FEICA Model Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)

FEICA Model EPDs demonstrate the environmental credentials of adhesives and sealants in construction

FEICA is committed to identifying workable solutions for our industry and thus increasing members’ engagement with sustainability. 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. Increasingly, architects and green procurement bodies are demanding products that meet international sustainability standards. Furthermore, the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) 305/2011 of the European Parliament and European Council (check FEICA position on the review of the Construction Products Regulation (EU) No. 305/2011) has included the requirement for 'sustainability', and Belgium and France have national legislation requiring Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) for construction products with an environmental claim.

Since 2015, FEICA has been offering "FEICA Model Environmental Product Declarations (Model EPDs)”, which can be used by construction products manufacturers to prove the environmental impact of their products. Therefore, the choice of adhesive and sealant products available to architects and green procurement bodies have also been significantly increased. The expansion of the range of products with Model EPDs gives SMEs improved access to a market that is otherwise only available to some and leads to significant cost and time savings for companies.

As the Model EPDs require updating after 5 years, FEICA started an initiative to update the EPDs in 2019, together with EFCC (European Federation for Construction Chemicals), IVK (German Adhesives Association) and Deutsche Bauchemie.

The update process is taking longer than expected due to a variety of circumstances, and the Institut Bauen und Umwelt (IBU), the programme operator, has therefore supported the process by extending the validity of the existing EPDs. The EPDs will expire as follows:

  • PU-based - Reactive resins based on polyurethane or SMP (5 EPDs): February/March 2022
  • EPOXY-based - Reactive resins based on epoxy resin (5 EPDs): May 2022
  • DISPERSION-based products (3 EPDs): August 2022
  • Modified mineral MORTARS (3 EPDs): May 2022
  • SILANE-based: Silicone-based construction sealants (1 EPD): February 2022

We will update this webpage as and when new information becomes available.

The Model EPDs are available to FEICA Direct Company Members (DCMs), Affiliate Company Members (ACMs) and FEICA National Association Members (NAMs). 

The official language for EPDs is English and FEICA only provides English versions of the EPDs.
 
More background on EPDs

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.

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 the so-called 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.

What are EPDs?

An EPD 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.

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.

FEICA Model EPDs survey

Many have already used FEICA Model EPDs. If you have too, and you haven’t already done so, then please take the FEICA Model EPDs survey so that we can learn from you! It takes less than five minutes to complete.

Take the survey Capture.PNG

IBU (Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V.) has published the FEICA Model EPDs for the following systems; PU-based (including One-Component Foams), EPOXY-based, SILANE-based, modified mineral MORTARS, and DISPERSION-based. In 2018, the scope of the PU-based systems was extended to include silane modified polymers (SMP).

You can download all FEICA Model EPDs from the table below or from the IBU website (type 'FEICA' under 'Manufacturer').

Download the FEICA Model EPDs

Product Category PCR

(Product Category Rules)

Request FEICA guideline
Reactive resins based on polyurethane or SMP, filled or aqueous, solvent-free
EPD-FEI-20150250-IBG1-EN
Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline PU-based
NEW Reactive resins based on polyurethane or SMP, unfilled/solvent-free, polyol-free
EPD-FEI-20180091-IBG1-EN
Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline PU-based
Reactive resins based on polyurethane, unfilled/solvent-free, containing polyols
EPD-FEI-20150252-IBG1-EN
Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline PU-based
Reactive resins based on polyurethane, containing solvent, solvent content <10%
EPD-FEI-20150253-IBG1-EN
Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline PU-based
NEW Reactive resins based on polyurethane or SMP, containing solvent, solvent content between 10% and 50% (valid for OCF)
EPD-FEI-20180092-IBG1-EN
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
EPD-FEI-20150298-IBG1-EN
Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline EPOXY-based
Reactive resins based on epoxy resin, aqueous/unfilled
EPD-FEI-20150299-IBG1-EN
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
EPD-FEI-20150300-IBG1-EN
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
EPD-FEI-20150301-IBG1-EN
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
EPD-FEI-20150302-IBG1-EN
Construction adhesives and coatings Reaction resin products Request guideline EPOXY-based
Silicone-based construction sealants
EPD-FEI-20150323-IBG1-EN
Membranes, including Liquid applied and kits Building sealants Request guideline SILICONE-based
Modified mineral mortars, group 1
EPD-FEI-20160017-IBG1-EN
Masonry and related products Mineral factory-made mortar Request guideline MORTARS
Modified mineral mortars, group 2
EPD-FEI-20160042-IBG1-EN
Masonry and related products Mineral factory-made mortar Request guideline MORTARS
Modified mineral mortars, group 3
EPD-FEI-20160043-IBG1-EN
Masonry and related products Mineral factory-made mortar Request guideline MORTARS

Dispersion-based products, Class A

EPD-FEI-20160084-IBG1-EN

Building products

Construction adhesives and coatings Request guideline DISPERSION-based

Dispersion-based products, Class B

EPD-FEI-20160085-IBG1-EN

Building products

Construction adhesives and coatings Request guideline DISPERSION-based

Dispersion-based products, solvent-free

EPD-FEI-20160086-IBG1-EN

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. 

FEICA Model EPDs - Frequently asked questions

Is there a list of products that are certified according to Model EPDs?

There is no list of products that fulfil the requirements of the FEICA Model EPD system; the supplier usually provides a self-declaration stating that it has checked that its product is covered by the respective Model EPD.

What must a FEICA member do when receiving a Model EPD? Are there any further steps that need to be considered when using the FEICA Model EPDs?

According to the FEICA Model EPD system, the manufacturer is responsible for checking that its formulation fulfils the requirements of the respective guideline provided by FEICA to its members. The FEICA member must verify whether the Model EPD in question really covers its product by checking the guideline against its recipe. It then produces a declaration based on the FEICA template confirming that it has checked that the product is covered by the respective Model EPD.

Do FEICA members simply need to issue a declaration based on the FEICA template as a cover letter for the respective Model EPD?

Yes. Model EPDs allow customers to make more informed purchasing decisions. So FEICA members need to issue a declaration based on the FEICA template as a cover letter for the respective Model EPD. The template for FEICA members indicates that as members, they can use the Model EPDs.

Can the Model EPD declaration, produced by a FEICA member, be used by a third label partner?

The declaration can be handed to third party, but it will bear the signature of the original producing company. The third party cannot publish a similar declaration for the product as they have not checked it themselves (they do not have the guideline or the recipe).

How should a FEICA member provide customers with a reproduction Model EPD showing the product name and company details?

The Model EPD must be accompanied by a self-declaration that a FEICA member (or member of a FEICA NAM) has checked that the formulation (or the product) is covered by the FEICA Model EPD. If a customer of one of our members is not a FEICA member and if it does not have the recipe, it cannot produce such a self-declaration. It can however use the self-declaration produced by the FEICA member (or the member of a FEICA NAM).

Does the Model EPD system allow the calculation of single substance scores by the users?

No, it does not. The single scores are part of the guidelines, which are part of the programme operator’s (Institut Bauen und Umwelt e.V. (IBU)) verified EPDs.

FEICA has initiated a joint update project together with three other associations: EFCC (European Federation for Construction Chemicals), IVK (German Adhesives Association) and Deutsche Bauchemie. One task of the project was to collect the chemical substances which were being used by manufacturers in formulations and which should be covered by Model EPDs. In a 2-step process, manufacturers were asked to propose substances. Almost all these substances will be either included in the substance list or are already covered by an existing group of substances. The list is now closed and the single scores for the environmental impact calculated. 

In addition, manufacturers had the opportunity to check whether the score ranges of the worst-case formulations, which serve as model for the EPDs, were appropriate for their requirements. Based on the feedback, the worst-case formulations were adjusted accordingly.

A consultant has now started to calculate the life cycle assessment (LCA) data for the formulations. Experts from the four aforementioned associations will work on the description and the technical data of the application modules.

It is planned to have all the documents ready to start the verification process at IBU in November 2021 for the PU EPDs, and in February 2022 for the others.