1st UK manufacturer to register independently verified type 3 Environmental Product Declarations (EPD)
Saint-Gobain PAM UK has become the first UK manufacturer to register independently verified type 3 Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) across its range of access covers and gratings.
Says Paul Thompson, marketing manager for Saint-Gobain PAM UK: "The most comprehensive way of developing a sustainable built environment is to use life cycle analysis for environmental assessment. At Saint-Gobain PAM we apply this approach as part of our Eco-Innovation process and believe that the entire life cycle should be considered when developing any new solution or product.
"Obviously many of our products aid the environment by dissipating flooding or protecting against cable theft for example, but as ductile iron products we need to understand the environmental impact of their manufacture and use from cradle to grave. The data within the EPD covers the entire process from raw material extraction and processing, through manufacturing, transport, installation, maintenance and finally end of life and recycling.
"The results of the analysis describe any environmental impact areas including global warming potential, ozone breakdown and eutrophication of water and soil. To ensure that our customers have full confidence in this information we have registered type 3 EPDs, which means that the methods used to collect and present the data are independently verified to ensure full compliance with the relevant standards, in this case EN15804 and EN ISO 14025. In our case we have worked closely with the Sustainable Products Team at the Building Research Establishment.
"As we move to a more sustainable future and economy, there needs to be a clearer understanding of the full environmental story behind a product, with clearly verifiable facts based on tangible evidence. This is where type 3 EPDs can make a real difference in allowing organisations to make an informed choice.
"For us at Saint-Gobain PAM UK, it also helps us benchmark our own performance and identify areas where we can make future improvements to minimise our environmental impact even further."
In 2010 Saint-Gobain PAM UK was audited and accredited to the CEMARS (Carbon Emissions Management and Reduction Scheme) and committed to decrease carbon emissions, by turnover, by 7 per cent by 2016. The company achieved this target three years early, and now its emissions are actually 22 per cent lower than its benchmark of 2010. By 2020 its new target is to reduce this by a further 12 per cent, per tonne of material produced, by 2020.
Continues Thompson "For access covers and gratings, ductile iron remains the most cost effective material over its lifetime and will typically last 30 years, which is the average lifetime of a road. The products are manufactured in a foundry, which has an environmental impact, but measured over their full lifecycle our products offer an environmentally friendly solution. Our job is to improve these credentials further."
Saint-Gobain PAM UK has four different type 3 EPDs which cover, carriageway access covers, access covers in the pavement, gratings and kerb drainage and surface boxes. The company is also applying for a type 3 EPD for its above ground drainage system Ensign.