ECO Newsletter archive
ECO Platform - Newsletter October 2020
Despite the disturbances of the corona epidemic, ECO Platform is moving fast. An important milestone was reached: We launched the ECO Portal, the central access point for users to digital EPD data.
This was made possible by close cooperation with the InData initiative. We are grateful for the good work resulting from shared common goals and are currently in talks about the future of our collaboration.
The ECO Portal is online, but only as a first version of what is going to be developed to an international connection-point for LCA-tools or other digital and manual applications.
Along with the provision of digital data, many changes were and still are necessary, starting from the Membership Fees for ECO EPD Programme Operators, over cooperation agreements with InData and other initiatives, to adjusting our mission statements, work programme and eventually even our structure.
In an intense process, we discussed ECO Platform's future vision together with all members. Based on a detailed survey, we held a workshop and drafted new mission statements.
The results of our last 6 month of work are subject to approvals of the extraordinary General Assembly on November 24.
From there, we are looking forward to a successful 2021.
ECO Platform held General Assembly 2020 online
Due to COVID-19, ECO Platform decided to hold our General Assembly online, like so many others. Knowing that crucial aspects of physical meetings can't be replaced, an online meeting has some advantages, too. For sure the saved travelling efforts and impacts are to be mentioned.
The online format has proven to work well, the General Assembly took some important decisions.
New Board of Directors appointed
In good old tradition, some of the former Directors were appointed to the new Board for ensuring sufficient consistency and avoid loss of history. At the same time, some new Directors were appointed to ensure enough change.
President remains Sven-Olof Ryding. Hakon Hauan got appointed as a Vice President.
Please refer to our homepage for more information about our Board Members.
Extraordinary GA on Nov 24 for re-evaluation of COVID-19 impacts
Since the impacts of the corona epidemic were very unclear, in May, the General Assembly decided to re-evaluate the situation in an extraordinary General Assembly in November, putting some decisions "on hold".
ECO Platform will hold their extraordinary General Assembly online again, on November 24.
ECO Portal online
Digitalization and the protection of the environment are key issues of our time. ECO Platform aims for facilitating decarbonization by provision of credible data for building LCA. Digitalization helps to significantly reduce the effort of data generation and communication, if we set it up smart, under consideration of some principles.
Principle 1: No competition on data communication level
We strongly believe that competition drives innovation. However, on the level of data exchange, competition would do the opposite and impede innovation.
Why? Because different formats, qualities, processes and data sources
Principle 2: International Open Data Network (InData Network)
There won't be a "super database" offering all required data. The solution is an open database network based on:
The network allows to connect databases of our ECO EPD Programmes as well as national databases. Some databases are already connected to the network, some are in the process of getting connected. For smaller data providers that do not operate their own database yet, ECO Platform is offering a shared database, in which ECO EPD POs can upload digital EPD datasets.
Principle 3: Offer direct access for LCA tools via APIs
The ECO Portal works as an access point for applications and users. It is an own node, operated by ECO Platform, based on the ILCD+EPD format.
The ECO Portal allows search and download of digital ECO EPD data. The functions for searching and filtering the data are still limited. ECO Platform is developing future functions together with stakeholders, both data providers and data users.
The most relevant development will be the direct connection to digital applications. That is the real digital transformation, as it will significantly reduce the effort for data exchange. Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) will be used to realize machine-readable access to data.
Of course, many rules need to be set-up for this new way of data communication. Rules for how to use and communicate digital data, feedback from applications about the use of the data, data ownership and liability, confidentiality etc.
Principle 4: Consistent approach for data from public databases and private EPD
Building LCAs need data for all building elements. And the data must be consistent. Gaps of missing specific data are to be closed with generic or average data. And for early design stages, product-neutral data is needed.
The objective is to provide all required data from one data source, consistently. Closing the gap of missing data is basis for making building LCA mandatory.
To ensure the consistency of data format and exchange, the InData Group has developed basic rules, which can now be used for further development and realization.
Principle 5: Specific data preferred in applications
The more specific the data, the better the result of the LCA. Applications, like Green Building Rating Schemes, legislation or Green Public Procurement are to follow this principle. Examples show that bonus/malus systems work well. The public German BNB system as well as the private DGNB rating scheme make building LCA mandatory, based on the German oekobau.dat database. In the building LCAs a safety-factor has to be considered for generic data, which makes the use of product-specific data (EPD) more favourable.
This principle will increase the demand for specific data dramatically. At the same time, it will drive innovation for more sustainable products.
Please follow this link to access the ECO Portal. Don't hesitate to let us know your opinion or ideas for further development.
Together with our InData partners we were planning a joint session at the Beyond 2020 conference, which was scheduled for June 2020 in Gothenburg. Due to corona the event was shifted to an online conference from November 2-4.
The main objective of the session is to introduce our digital solution for facilitating building LCA with affordable effort for manufacturers. Based on
Following the requirements of the Beyond 2020 online-conference, we split our contribution into two sessions of 60 minutes each. For each of the sessions, we agreed on a format with 4 short presentations of 5 minutes, followed by a 30-minute Q&A / discussion.
Session I (Nov 2, 15:45 – 16:45 CET)
How digital transformation helps mainstreaming sustainable design of buildings
Moderation/Introduction by Tanja Brockmann (InData) and Christian Donath (ECO Platform)
Keynote by Matti Kuittinen (Senior Advisor at Ministry of the Environment, Finland)
Session II (Nov 3, 9:30 – 10:30 CET)
From Manufacturer's Product data to a Sustainably Built Environment,
Moderation/Introduction by Christian Donath (ECO Platform) and Tanja Brockmann (InData)
Keynote by Hakon Hauan (EPD Norge)
Follow this link (https://beyond2020.se/) to register and for more information on Beyond 2020.
Our new members
We are very happy to welcome new members at ECO Platform.
With Croatia GBC another Green Building Council is represented in our association. Benjamin Petrovic already contributed an article about the LIFE LEVEL(S) project to our Newsletter from May 2020. We appreciate to have an active member on the building level for cooperation on the important interface LEVEL(S).
For more infos on LIFE LEVEL(S) follow this link.
With ift Rosenheim (Germany) the 20th EPD Programme joins ECO Platform. After having been in touch already in 2017, ift Rosenheim now decided to open their Programme to all product categories and prepares for implementation of EN 15804 A2 and their initial audit.
With Bionova (Finland) we welcome the well-known LCA Tool provider of "One Click LCA" as a member. Panu Pasanen already indicated interest in contributing to the new field of defining an approach for treating application programming interfaces (API) from our ECO Portal to digital applications. We are glad to have won a new strong partner for this important part of our future work.
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