Stepwise environmental product declarations: ten SME case studies

Zackrisson M, Rocha C, Christiansen K, Jarnehammar A (2008)

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Journal of Cleaner Production 16(17):1872-1886.


The lack of reliable communication tools is anticipated to become an important barrier to design and sell products with improved environmental performance. In this paper, environmental product declarations, EPDs, and in particular a Stepwise EPD approach is investigated as a means to overcome the communication barrier. The experiences of ten European SMEs who have tried to use Stepwise EPDs for market communication and as a basis for eco-design are described and discussed. The experiences suggest that Stepwise EPDs based on life cycle assessment can be a cost-efficient tool to improve the environmental performance of products. For normal marketing activities the Stepwise EPDs were disappointing. Using the underlying LCA as a platform for in-depth communication with selected parties in the supply chain showed more promise.

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