The Environmental Performance Laboratory of the CSTB
To support industrial companies seeking to highlight the environmental performance of their products, the CSTB created the Environmental Performance Laboratory in November 2015.
A pioneer in product environmental declarations, the CSTB offers stakeholders its experience of more than 10 years as well as renowned know-how, particularly in drafting and verifying FDES datasheets. To date, six experts of the CSTB are authorized to draft or check regulatory environmental declarations and FDES datasheets.
A comprehensive, tailored offering
You need to conduct a feasibility study prior to drafting an environmental declaration, a product Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), or a critical review of the LCA, or you already have a declaration prepared in accordance with another European program, which needs to be tailored to French requirements.
You do not have an Environmental Declaration for your products and you want to communicate about the environmental performance of your products.
You do not have a verified Environmental Declaration, and you want to anticipate changes in French regulations.
You have a new product, or you have made a significant change in your production, or your declaration is in an old format or obsolete.
What are the regulatory requirements in France?
Any stakeholder1 responsible for the market launch of a construction or decoration product whose communication “contains environmental claims or claims using terms relating to sustainable development or synonyms thereof” must draft an environmental declaration covering all of the environmental aspects of the product.
Since July 1, 2017
Since July 1, 2017 French regulations2 require the verification of environmental declarations by an independent third party. This verification step consists of substantiating that the values of the environmental indicators contained in the declaration were produced in compliance with the NF EN 15804+A1 standard and its national supplement NF EN 15804/CN.
What is an environmental declaration?
An environmental declaration gives quantitative information regarding the environmental characteristics of a construction or decoration product.
These data are produced through the analysis of all of the stages of the product life cycle: extraction of the raw materials and procurement, transportation to the worksite, implementation, use and end-of-life (recycling and disposal).
The environmental declaration may also include health-related information, such as emissions of substances into the air, water and soil during its period of use in the building.
The environmental declaration has a maximum validity period of five years. It must also be updated whenever a significant change is made to the product, under the responsibility of whoever markets the product.
The Environmental Declaration (DE) corresponds to the terminology used in French regulations.
At European and international levels, the term EPD, or Environmental Product Declaration, is used. In French, this corresponds to DEP (Déclaration Environnementale de Produit).
However, in France, the most common term is FDES (Environmental and Health Declaration Datasheet). An FDES includes both the Environmental Declaration and the health-related information on the product subject to the FDES. The FDES is an EDP supplemented by health-related information.
What is the purpose of environmental declarations?
Environmental declarations provide comprehensive, reliable information on construction and decoration products:
For consumers, who are increasingly aware of environmental concerns, this declaration provides clear, precise and reliable information that is helpful when buying products.
For the manufacturer, the environmental declaration provides quantified data which is useful in determining how the product can be improved in environmental terms, throughout its life cycle, for the purposes of eco-design.
This facilitates compliance with the certification systems that apply to sustainable construction, such as HQE, BREEAM and LEED.
- For clients and architects, environmental declarations enable environmental design choices at the level of the building, taking account quantifiably of the environmental impact of the products used, for example, in HQE projects.
Where can you find environmental declarations?
All of the construction and decoration environmental declarations are referenced on the regulatory website www.declaration-environnementale.gouv.fr.
The contents of the product environmental declarations, as well as the health-related information, can be viewed in the French database INIES (www.inies.fr) or, where relevant, on the website of the declaration holder.
What are the different types of environmental declarations?
There are individual environmental declarations, drafted for a manufacturer's product.
There are collective environmental declarations, drafted for a set of similar products marketed by several different entities. Such declarations are usually submitted by professional federations or trade associations.