Type I (ISO 14024) claims are based on criteria set by an independent, authorised third party. The awarding body may be either a governmental organisation or a private non-commercial entity. Commonly known as eco-labels, Type I Labels include multiple criteria awarded to recognise leading environmental performance within a particular product category based on life cycle assessment. Their use is growing with potential to widen their appeal to world markets. The European Ecolabel, The Nordic Swan (Scandinavia), The Blue Angel (Germany), Umweltzeichen (Austria), Ecomark (Japan) and EcoLogo (Canada) are well known Type I Labels.
Type II (ISO 14021) claims are based on self-declarations by manufacturers, retailers, importers, distributors – anybody who might benefit from such declaration. Claims may be diverse but typically take the form ‘made from x% recycled material’. Self-declarations can be presented without certification by an impartial third party. They must be precise, verifiable and specific for the given environmental aspect and must include the important aspects of life cycle of product.
Type III (ISO 14025) claims consist of quantified product information based on life cycle impacts. Type III Labels describe the format for reporting ISO 14040/44 life cycle analysis (LCA) results through Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs).
An LCA compiles and evaluates the inputs, outputs and the potential environmental impacts of a product system throughout its life cycle. Information generated from the process is relevant, verified and comparable. EPDs are increasingly popular in sectors as diverse as construction, food and agricultural products, textiles, chemicals, machinery, electricity generation and furniture.
Harmonisation of construction product EPDs is managed by ECO-Platform according to standard EN 15804 in the EU but could also conform to the equivalent ISO 21930:2007 in other jurisdictions. IBU (Germany), International EPD System (Sweden), INIES (France), Global EPD (Spain) are just few program operators of note.
For Type III Labels, Product Category Rules (PCR) needs to be developed for a particular product or product group. For any product groups a PCR can be developed.