As from 1 January 2015 manufacturers who wish to include an environmental message on their product should first have a life cycle analysis carried out and should have it registered in a database that is accessible to the public. The legislation (Royal Decree on environmental messages of 22 May 2014) applies to all building products that are placed or made available on the market in Belgium.
Please note: you are only obliged to carry out an LCA if you want to include an environmental message on your product.
How should a manufacturer carry out an LCA and have it verified?
The manufacturer looks at the global impact on the environment for the complete life cycle of his product: from the production process to the waste management phase. In order to carry out an LCA, the manufacturer needs to know both the input and output raw materials for each process. An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a standardised way to communicate environmental information. The manufacturer has to have all environmental product declarations that are based on the LCA verified by an independent third party over time.
Central database: assessment on building level
The manufacturers have to enter the specific environmental information about their building products in a database that is accessible to the public. Every building product containing an environmental message shall contain a reference to this database (www.environmentalproductdeclarations.eu ).
The assessment of the environmental impact of building products is best carried out on building level or on building element level. That is why our FPS is cooperating with the regions. They are developing a calculation module to calculate the environmental impact of building products on building level for the benefit of architects and public authorities (for instance). In order to do so, they will use the federal database and its specific environmental data that are based on LCAs.
- More information about the environmental impact of buildings can be found at the Openbare Vlaamse Afvalstoffenmaatschappij (OVAM (external link), Public Waste Agency of Flanders) for Flanders,
- at the Brussels Instituut voor Milieubeheer (BIM (external link), Brussels Institute for Management of the Environment) for Brussels and
- at the Portail de l’énergie en Wallonie (Energy Portal in Wallonia, available in French and German) for Wallonia.
What are the benefits?
- It gives a complete and objective view on your product’s environmental impact.
- It provides better insight into your production process allowing you to draw up improvement plans.
- It provides you with a correct assessment of building products, not only on product level but also on building level, including specific data.
Detailed rules that have to observed can be found in the B-EPD programme
Here, you will find a list of frequently asked questions and answers.