Creating an Environmental Product Declaration for stone

In the face of criticisms that there were too many environmental standards, the European Union added another in 2012 – EN 15804.

The aim was to create a single standard that could be used across borders and would enable buyers and specifyers to compare the environmental impact of products assessed by a lifecycle analysis.

EN 15804 is used to produce Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs). Now Stone Federation Great Britain is aiming to produce a generic EPD for stone – or perhaps a series of generic EPDs, depending on the type of stone or its use.

This will not prevent individual companies from producing their own EPDs – in fact, it could to their advantage to do so if they can show they are greener than average – but will help the stone industry in general by making it easier for clients and specifiers to use stone and to gain BREEAM or LEED points by doing so.

The stone industry has been accused of leaving it too late to engage with the BRE's Green Guide, which some suggest has disadvantaged stone as a whole. Stone Federation was keen to engage with the new standard at an early stage to avoid that problem.

It could be a good move, because there is every likelihood that within five years or so EN 15804 will be a legal requirement in the same way that CE marking became a legal reuqirement on building products in July last year.

You can find out about EN 15804 and Environmental Product Declarations (and other environmental standards) in the May issue of Natural Stone Specialist magazine. To subscribe, click here.