When you purchase a building product, you get information about its environmental impact in several ways.

There are environmental labels, declarations by the manufacturer himself and environmental product declarations.

If you see a label or information on a product, you should verify what the source of this information is and what it means. That is not always easy! A picture of a green leaf with the word 'ECO' underneath can give the impression that it is an environmentally friendly product, but is that actually the case?

New legislation:

Since 2014 new legislation has come into effect that establishes rules for environmental messages on building products. This legislation applies to all building products that are sold in Belgium and that are based on existing European and international standards. The manufacturer will be obliged to draw up and publish an environmental product declaration if he wants to put an environmental message on his product. That way, you will be able to check how environmentally friendly the building product is.
The environmental product declaration is not delivered automatically with the product but the consumer can request one from the manufacturer.

The environmental product declarations (EPD) are published via a database of the FPS.

What is an environmental product declaration?

The complete life cycle of a product is thoroughly studied to create an environmental product declaration. There are many different aspects that determine the environmental impact.
- Is the product made locally with local raw materials?
- What is the energy consumption during the production process?
- To what extent is the production process polluting?
- Does it require a little or a lot of maintenance? Does it have to be replaced quickly?
- Can the product be recycled?
All of this and much more contributes to the complete environmental impact of a product. The global environmental impact during the entire life cycle can be found in the environmental product declaration that has been drafted according to international rules.

Please note: the environmental product declaration does not explicitly state whether a product is environmentally friendly or not but it provides transparent, scientific and complete information about its life cycle