ECO Newsletter archive
ECO Platform - Newsletter May 2021
May 11 was ECO Platform day. Did you join? If not, you will find some interesting news from that day in this newsletter about our new Board or our cooperation with partners in America.
Following the article on digitalization in our last issue, Hakon Hauan from EPD Norge shares his ideas and experiences on automation with us. An important issue for reducing the efforts of EPD generation and securing the quality of data as well as processes at the same time.
Just as important is the direct acces of building LCA tools to the digital data from our ECO Portal. We have launched a pilot project on connecting various applications to our ECO Portal via API. Oliver Kusche has some information for you about objectives and expectations.
In our last newletter we asked you about your interests for our communication. We are now in preparation of webinars accordingly for providing important updates on relevant developments. Please follow us on LinkedIn for updates and registration.
General Assembly 2021
by Christian Donath
On May 11, ECO Platform held their Annual General Assembly, virtually again. Due to the numerous activities of the past months, our reports by the various Working and Task Groups were presented in a three-hour Board Meeting in the morning of the same day.
The General Assembly in the afternoon approved 7 new members, amended Statutes and Internal Regulations. And it appointed a new Board of Directors. Next to the former Directors, Xavier Houot from PEP ecoPassport was appointed as eighths member of the Board. Sven-Olof Ryding remains president of ECO Platform, Hakon Hauan vice president and Alexander Roeder treasurer.
Introduction of new Director Xavier Houot
Xavier Houot (PEP ecoPassport President & Schneider Electric)
Xavier Houot is the current President of PEP ecoPassport (since fall 2018). PEP ecoPassport is a Program Operator focusing on EEE/Electrical and Electronic Equipment, and leads this space globally with ~2000 EPDs/Environment Product Declarations in 17 Product categories (each enjoying Product Specific Rules/PSRs).
As Senior Vice President of Environment then Sustainable Supply Chain leader with Schneider Electric, for more than 7 years, Xavier has been leading key transformations such as Carbon neutral and Circular Economy strategies, Product Environment stewardship (ecoDesign, LifeCycle Assessments, now for > 80% Schneider product turn-over).
Prior to Schneider, Xavier worked 25 years in the Consulting space with PwC, EY, BearingPoint, with a focus on Sustainability in last 15 years, working globally (of which in India) and across industry sectors.
ECO Platform is gratefully welcoming Xavier in his new role as Director on our Board.
by Christian Donath
MoU with EC3 and Digital Disclosures
Following the common objective to globally align environmental product declarations (EPD), the North American Initiative Digital Disclosures and ECO Platform signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in a ceremony, following our GA on May 11.
Follow us on LinkedIn for more details and on the MoU to be signed in the next days with Building Transparency (EC3).
Signees holding up the signed MoU: William Paddock (top left), Sven-Olof Ryding (top right), Hakon Hauan (bottom left) and Brad McAllister (bottom right)
Welcome European Aluminium
European Aluminium decided to join ECO Platform to contribute to the coordinated improvements in the provision of reliable data about building products through Environmental Product Declarations, potentially in digital format, and the promotion of their recognition and use in the relevant legislation and building assessment schemes.
European Aluminium, founded in 1981 and based in Brussels, is the voice of the aluminium industry in Europe. European Aluminium is actively engaged in advocacy and technical and environmental standardization related to the full aluminium value chain, including the Building & Construction applications which is one of its key markets.
Benedetta Nucci will represent European Aluminium within ECO Platform. Benedetta is currently Environmental Manager at European Aluminium, where she manages, among others, the LCA working group of the association and the EPD Programme of European Aluminium. In addition, Benedetta represents the association within CEN TC 350. With a background as chemical engineer, she is experienced in life cycle assessment and product environmental footprint.
Welcome Fraunhofer IBP
Fraunhofer IBP –Life Cycle Engineering (GaBi) is a department of the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP focusing on sustainability assessment and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). They have over 30 years of professional experience in national and international research in the areas of sustainable construction, energy systems, mobility, resources and product systems.
Their tool GENERIS®, which is already participating in our ECO Portal API pilot project is a web software for building LCA aiming to facilitate research findings for LCA practitioners. Being tailored for sustainability certifications its focus is on robustness and consistency of data as well as flexibility in modelling.
Rafael Horn is responsible for the technical development of GENERIS® at Fraunhofer IBP. His research focuses on the development of assessment methods and the automation of sustainability assessments, particularly in planning and design of buildings as well as product development.
ECO Portal Pilot Phase
by Oliver Kusche
Pilot project for API connection to ECO Portal launched
ECO Portal provides a single access point for a growing number of digital EPDs provided by ECO Platform members. In order to foster access to this data pool via the API for building LCA solutions, ECO Platform has launched an API Pilot Program for interested tool vendors.
The program runs from April through June and aims at giving interested parties (especially those who are offering building LCA tools) the opportunity to try and evaluate the API and the data, in order to collect feedback and identify additional requirements for machine-readable EPDs and thus then to be able to improve the information scope of the data offered by ECO Platform members. The first two joint workshops were held with an introduction and demo of how to use the API as well as a discussion of various questions and solutions to common problems, and so far quite a bit of valuable feedback has already been gathered.
As the tool vendors are key in transforming the published data into a meaningful purpose, we’re looking forward to working closely with them to identify how the data and the ways to access it can be further improved.
Asked about the motivation for participating in our pilot project, Rafael Horn of Fraunhofer IBP said: "The availability of a consistent and machine readable data hub for environmental product declarations and other LCA data is key for the further advancement of LCA tools. The ECO Portal approach is highly relevant for tool developers not only in the context of automation of LCA, but also to offer relevant and robust alternatives to the practitioners within a consistent framework."
by Christian Donath
Webinars to come (survey results)
We asked you all to select the issues for our webinars, in which ECO Platform aims for providing background information and for discussing relevant issues. Your first three choices are:
More than 370 followers!
6 months ago, we launched our LinkedIn profile. Meanwhile we have over 370 persons following our social media posts. Please use our social media offer and support it. Be active in sharing, commenting and liking. Connect your communication to ours by mentioning us in your posts and share our posts. Inform us about relevant communication on your end to jointly push for more visibility.
Our LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/company/eco-platform-aisbl/
by Sebastian Welling
Latest news on the work with the PCR Registry
Product Category Rules (PCR) ensure consistent reporting for similar products and are an important backbone of each EPD. With the first version of the ISO/TS 14027 being published in 2017, further harmonization in providing principles, requirements and guidelines for developing, reviewing, registering and updating PCR was introduced to the market. PCRs contain key methodological guidance on how to perform the underlying LCA for an EPD. Communication and understanding the contents of an PCR are therefore key to enable a fair interpretation of the results in an EPD.
Transparency in this field is key! We would like to contribute with the development of a common PCR Registry, that can be used by any interested party. The PCR Registry gives a common place to inform and share information about available PCRs on the market. Through the use of common communication methods and formats we aim both for further harmonization and an efficient transfer of PCR information to all interested stakeholders.
Based upon the previous work we are now further developing the format for communication and infrastructure for the set-up of the PCR Registry, to make sure we are aligned and ready for the digital future of the EPD.
Please support us by sharing your inputs on how this can be made as relevant as possible for you! Thank you for making your voice heard and influence the work of the PCR Registry!
Link to the survey: https://forms.office.com/r/MzHZEiknrk
by Hakon Hauan
Solutions on Automation
The machines are taking over. That's a fact.
Predicting the future is not easy. That is why astrologers and fortune tellers tend to keep their forecasts as vague as possible. But in the high-stakes world of high technology, the future belongs to those who see it coming well in advance.
Before discussing the future and that the machines are taking over, I would like to turn the clock backwards and see if history can repeat itself. What has "Spinning Jenny" one of the most important innovations in the industrial revolution in the late 17th century in common with developing EPDs?
Pictured above: The "spinning jenny" is a multi-spindle spinning frame and was one of the key developments in the industrialization of textile manufacturing during the early Industrial Revolution.
In the late 17th century, women workers in Britain attacked the Spinning Jenny because it speeded up the spinning process, and consequently, reduced labour demand.
Today, EPD developing tools becomes more and more available. And as with the Spinning Jenny, EPD tools speed up the process, rigged for high volume, reduce costs, and reduce the need for the traditionally consultant for EPD development and verification. I do not think the traditionally EPD developers will attack the "machines" which automate and develop EPDs, but we are in the middle of a disruptive innovation which are changing the whole EPD industry.
Traditionally EPD development is a time consuming and costly process, just like the times before Spinning Jenny. Small and medium sized companies will find high barriers to enter the EPD world. Increasing demand for EPDs and growing volume of EPDs can not be supported though the traditional way. Finally, its matter of short time before all EPDs must be in a machine-readable format (digital EPDs) and converting EPDs manually or semi manual into a digital format Is also time consuming.
The answer to all this is EPD generating tools which automate the EPD development process, can handle large volumes, can create digital EPDs automatically and reduce time and cost significantly.
In EPD-Norge, 64% of all published EPDs are developed by EPD tools and the % is increasing every week. And even more important, approx. 90% of all new EPDs entering the EPD-Norge system now are developed by EPD tools.
The 5 largest EPD owners, which all are using EPD tools represent 44% of all EPDs and they have in average 113 EPDs published each.
EPD - Distribution in EPD-Norge
EPD-Norge is the largest contributor to ECO Portal with more than 50% of all digital EPDs available. One key factor for this that a digital EPD is developed simultaneously as the traditional PDF by the EPD tool.
Thomas Watson, president of IBM, 1943 stated: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."
Do not do the same mistake as stated by Thomas Watson. See the writing on the wall. Go with the Machines and go digital now. Do not wait.
In business theory, a disruptive innovation is an innovation that creates a new market and value network and eventually disrupts an existing market and value network, displacing established market-leading firms, products, and alliances.
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