Ecolabel Type I: Regulated by standard ISO 14024. Products that carry this comply with certain predefined environmental requirements, agreed upon by recognized entities and available to the public.
Ecolabel Type II: These refer to environmental self-declarations. The manufacturer makes its own environmental declarations, in the form of symbols or graphs, based on criteria predefined by the organization itself.
Label type III: These are regulated under standard ISO 14025 and refer to environmental product declarations (EPDs). It is a technical report that sums up all the most significant data of the environmental behavior of a product.
Label sub-type I: These are not governed by any European standard and focus on a product's compliance with a specific environmental characteristic.
As their name itself indicates, these are declarations created by the manufacturers themselves, who are the ones who define their own environmental criteria. They do not have to comply with specific requirements, are very simple to implement, and do not require an external verification and validation process. In short, there are many types of ecolabel in the market that are advertising statements with no real environmental basis.
Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) fall into the category of type III ecolabels. They are regulated by standard ISO 14025 and provide regulated information on the environmental behavior of a product, including quantified environmental data based on an analysis of their life cycle (LCA).
It should be noted that the provision of an EPD does not mean that said product is better than another, just that there is clear, transparent, valuable information on its environmental parameters.
This type of document serves to exchange environmental information between manufacturers and their industrial clients. Therefore, it is of no practical use to end users.
No, a carbon footprint is an environmental measurement that calculates the total greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) generated by a person, group, organization, company, product, or service. To calculate the carbon footprint, only one of the 7 categories of environmental impact is taken into account: global warming.
An EPD is a type of ecolabel, but the main difference compared with the rest is that environmental declarations do not define any minimum requirements to be met; they just show the results of the LCA. Environmental declarations provide very valuable technical information on the environmental parameters of a certain product and are aimed at the exchanging of information between manufacturers and industrial clients.
BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) is a voluntary sustainability rating for green buildings and sustainable construction. It came about in the United Kingdom, and its purpose is to assess the environmental performance of buildings through compliance with environmental criteria in its 9 categories. Finally, a rating is given: Acceptable, good, very good, excellent, and exceptional.
LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Designs) is a certification system for sustainable buildings developed by the US Green Building Council. It is the most internationally-recognized sustainable building certification and is measured on a scale of 1 to 100 based on the possible environmental impact in each of its categories.
These are sectoral environmental declarations that show the average behavior of a certain product and take into account the average environmental information of a product's life cycle, based on the data provided by the companies that represent the specific sector to be verified. In short, it does not show the environmental profile of any specific product but rather the average for the declared sector.