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FEICA is committed to identifying workable solutions for our industry and thus increasing members’ engagement with sustainability.


The "FEICA Model Environmental Product Declarations” for the adhesive and sealant industry will lead to significant cost and time savings for companies. Moreover, by expanding the range of products with EPDs, it will significantly increase the choice of adhesive and sealant products available to architects and green procurement bodies. It will give SMEs improved access to a market that is otherwise only available to some.

FEICA Model Environmental Product Declarations (Model EPDs)

Summary

Over recent decades, the drive towards sustainable development has touched every industry. The adhesive and sealant industry has always played its part in this effort, not only by continually reducing the environmental impact of its operations and reducing or eliminating substances that can pollute the environment from its products, but also by developing products that enable customers to reduce the environmental impact of their operations and products.

Sustainable development is of growing significance in the construction industry. Increasing demands for sustainable construction projects from the market, particularly from architects and green procurement bodies, have led to a sharp focus on green building practices and materials. In addition, it is expected that environmental standards and regulations in the sector will increasingly place a range of obligations on the industry players.

FEICA is committed to identifying workable solutions for our industry and thus increasing members’ engagement with sustainability. We are convinced that the "FEICA Model EPDs” for the adhesive and sealant industry will lead to significant cost and time savings for companies. Moreover, by expanding the range of products with EPDs, it will significantly increase the choice of adhesive and sealant products available to architects and green procurement bodies. It will give SMEs improved access to a market that is otherwise only available to some.

EPDs - What are they?


An Environmental Product Declaration is a comprehensive report created to internationally agreed standards (e.g. ISO 14025, EN 15804, etc.) which documents the ways in which a product affects the environment throughout its life cycle.

Typically an EPD will include information, where relevant, about a product’s impact on global warming, ozone depletion, water pollution, ozone creation and greenhouse gas emissions. In the construction sector, EPDs help architects, designers, and other purchasers to better understand a product’s sustainable credentials and environmental impact.

As a result, EPDs allow customers to make more informed purchasing decisions.

EPDs - What's the issue?


Many industry sectors and the construction industry in particular are subject to increasing demands to improve and demonstrate the sustainability credentials of their products.

Certification organisations such as the DGNB (the German Sustainable Building Council), BREEAM (the UK’s Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method), HQE (the French High Environmental Quality certification), and LEED (the United States’ Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) have started to implement sustainability criteria, mostly for buildings, but also defining specific construction product requirements based on life cycle analyses, eco-balances and emissions.

In addition, architects and green procurement bodies are demanding products that meet international sustainability standards. Furthermore, the Construction Products Regulation 305/2011 of the European Parliament and European Council has included the requirement for ‘Sustainability’, and Belgium and France have national legislation requiring EPDs for construction products with an environmental claim.

This presents a huge challenge to adhesive and sealant companies operating in the sector, particularly SMEs.

Our industry is faced with growing demands for information about its products to prove they meet the requirements of sustainable construction projects. The demand is increasing even though the impact of a given adhesive or sealant in terms of the raw material and energy consumption related to the building as a whole may be negligible. One way to demonstrate the environmental credentials of a product is through so-called Environmental Product Declarations.

EPDs - Types and advantages


There are several types of EPDs, with the difference based on the way in which the data is assessed:

  • STANDARD EPDS

A unique EPD is developed for every individual product. Standard EPDs represent a high burden for the adhesive and sealant industry because of the huge effort it would take to develop and maintain EPDs for the broad and frequently changing product portfolios that typify the adhesive and sealant industry, especially where there are often only small differences chemically between the products.

  • AVERAGE EPDS

An average EPD is calculated for a particular range of products. These are suitable for specific product groups covering well-defined products with similar functions. However, they are not suitable for the adhesive and sealant industry due to the high diversity in the chemistry of products, even within a single application. Only companies that were involved in the development phase and have inputted their data can use the average EPD. Therefore, it does not serve the whole branch.

  • MODEL EPDS

These are the most suitable for adhesives and sealants. Rather than covering a particular range of products, they are structured according to chemical composition and cover all products within a certain range of formulations and applications. As the environmental impact of an adhesive or a sealant to a building is comparatively low (<1%), any differentiation between products would not contribute any more meaningful information due to the complexity of the system.

Model EPDs are developed using a "worst case scenario” approach. Although there is a high workload in the development phase to achieve an accepted and verified system, in the end they may be used by all eligible members of FEICA and can easily and conveniently accommodate new products.

European Core Model EPDs


Although there is a European Standard that is followed in the various EU member states, there is still a lack of harmonisation as regards to the details of implementation of EN 15804, with some member states asking for additional indicators. Therefore the EN 15804 can be seen as the core that is necessary for an EPD in Europe.

FEICA provides this core for the European Model EPDs.

Published European Core Model EPDs for adhesives and sealants


IBU (Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V.) has published the FEICA Model EPDs for the following systems; PU-based (including One-Component Foams), EPOXY-basedSILANE-based, modified mineral MORTARS, and DISPERSION-based,which can all be downloaded from the IBU website or from the table below:


Product Category PCR Request FEICA guideline
Reactive resins based on polyurethane or SMP, filled or aqueous, solvent-free Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline PU-based
Reactive resins based on polyurethane, unfilled/solvent-free, polyol-free Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline PU-based
Reactive resins based on polyurethane, unfilled/solvent-free, containing polyols Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline PU-based
Reactive resins based on polyurethane, containing solvent, solvent content <10% Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline PU-based
NEW! Reactive resins based on polyurethane, containing solvent, solvent content between 10% and 50%-OCF Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline PU-based
Reactive resins based on epoxy resin, unfilled/solvent-free with low content of reactive diluent Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline EPOXY-based
Reactive resins based on epoxy resin, aqueous/unfilled Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline EPOXY-based
Reactive resins based on epoxy resin, filled and/or aqueous with high content of filler Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline EPOXY-based
Reactive resins based on epoxy resin, unfilled/solvent-free with high content of reactive diluent Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline EPOXY-based
Reactive resins based on epoxy resin, filled and/or aqueous with low content of filler Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline EPOXY-based
Silicone-based construction sealants Membranes, including Liquid applied and kits Building sealants Request guideline SILICONE-based
Modified mineral mortars, group 1 Masonry and related products Mineral factory-made mortar Request guideline MORTARS
Modified mineral mortars, group 2 Masonry and related products Mineral factory-made mortar Request guideline MORTARS
Modified mineral mortars, group 3 Masonry and related products Mineral factory-made mortar Request guideline MORTARS

Dispersion-based products, Class A

Building products

Construction adhesives and coatings Request guideline DISPERSION-based

Dispersion-based products, Class B

Building products

Construction adhesives and coatings Request guideline DISPERSION-based

Dispersion-based products, solvent-free

Building products

Construction adhesives and coatings

Request guideline DISPERSION-based


The validated Declaration of the core EPD entitles the holder to bear the symbol of the Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. It exclusively applies for products produced in Europe and for a period of five years from the date of issue. The core EPD may be used by FEICA members and their members provided it has been proven that the respective product can be represented by this particular EPD.

For this purpose FEICA has guidelines on how to calculate that your product is covered by a specific core model EPD. These guidelines, together with a template for a declaration of compliance, are available for FEICA members by clicking on the 'request' link in the above table.