The Benefits of EPD for Businesses: More Than Just an Environmental Product Declaration for Sustainable Materials

The Benefits of EPD for Businesses: More Than Just an Environmental Product Declaration for Sustainable Materials

2023 witnessed a remarkable surge in the number of green-certified buildings. According to the latest report by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), by the end of 2023, Vietnam had 396 green-certified buildings. This figure represents a 130-building increase, equivalent to a 30% growth in floor area compared to the previous year. More surprisingly, IFC also reported an additional 34 green-certified buildings in the first three months of 2024, including 18 EDGE-certified and 16 LEED-certified buildings. This acceleration and the significant proportion of EDGE and LEED certified green buildings demonstrate the trust of investors and the market in these two certifications. While EDGE manages operational aspects related to energy, water, and materials, LEED and other popular certifications in Vietnam evaluate and measure a building across a wider range of aspects. Among these, "Sustainable Materials" plays a crucial role and forms the foundation of the green building assessment framework.

In reality, efforts to build green buildings have long focused on reducing emissions during operation, such as the energy required to light, heat, or cool a building. However, in 2019, the World Green Building Council (WGBC) signaled the need for a significant reduction in carbon emissions, emphasizing the minimization of environmental impacts from building products and materials. The requirement to reduce the impact of building materials extends beyond carbon emissions during use; it demands a reduction in embodied carbon emissions. According to OneClick LCA, embodied carbon refers to the amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the environment during the extraction and production of a material. Therefore, to measure and ensure that products meet minimum embodied carbon emission levels, experts rely on green product certifications that utilize Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Notably, the Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) stands out as a key certification.

However, it would be a significant oversight to view EPD solely as a certification for sustainable materials. With over 12 years of experience in green building consulting and as a pioneer in providing LEED certification in the Vietnamese market, GreenViet asserts that EPD offers businesses much more than a typical green certification. Specifically, here are four key benefits that EPD provides, empowering businesses to confidently choose the right green certification for their investments:

Firstly, EPD provides a COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE: EPD is a documented and certified proof of a product's environmental performance throughout its life cycle. Project developers and real estate investors in Vietnam are now prioritizing the search for and selection of suppliers with EPDs.

Secondly, EPD helps businesses become MARKET-LEADING SUPPLIERS by assisting their clients in achieving optimal scores under green building and infrastructure rating systems when they use the company's products.

Thirdly, a benefit that businesses may not have considered is that EPD serves as the MOST AUTHENTIC PROOF of a company's Sustainable Development strategy, preventing them from falling into the trap of "Greenwashing."

Finally, a benefit that few businesses realize before implementing EPD certification is the ENHANCEMENT OF SUPPLY CHAIN MANAGEMENT CAPABILITIES. EPD measurement data helps manage both environmental risks and opportunities, enabling appropriate adjustments for each stage of the supply chain.

However, due to limited understanding of EPD and the prevalence of EPD certification service providers in the Vietnamese market, Vietnamese businesses are still struggling to find opportunities to compete in the Sustainable Building Materials market. To address the challenges faced by businesses in the industry, GreenViet is organizing the Green Dialogue | Special Topic "EPD CERTIFICATION FOR GREEN PRODUCTS" on July 5, 2024, at GreenViet's green office in Thao Dien, Thu Duc City. It is hoped that through this dialogue, GreenViet will help remove barriers and accelerate the progress of businesses in Vietnam's sustainable development market.