The quality of the Environmental Profiles we produce can only be as good as the data that goes into making them.
We base our information mainly on the Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) that Material Suppliers have already produced for their products. That information is what we need in order to show you the environmental values of different products and to make them comparable.
Our platform is also the only one that makes full use of all the data in EPDs, not just carbon emissions. We also look at things like how the product affects different ecosystems and how well it fits into circular economy.
However, not all the environmental data we receive is equal. There are some ways in which this data can vary between products, which, of course, is something one needs to know in order to make truly informed material choices. And because our mission is to enable exactly that, we wanted to make the quality of the data very transparent.
Our Data Quality Indicators
There are mainly three aspects in which the data on the Platform might vary between products
In order to be super transparent about the quality of the data behind each product's Environmental Profile, we present you with indicators, that help you understand what kind of data you're looking at. There are mainly three aspects in which the data on the Platform might vary between products:
1. Type = Does the data comply with the latest standard (EN15804+A2), or is the data of the older version of the standard (EN15804+A1). For some product types, such as furniture, EPDs aren't that common yet. As we believe some data is always better than no data, we sometimes accept other sources as well, such as independent co2-calculations. If this is the case, you'll see that clearly marked here, for this data may not compare fairly with other products, but may nevertheless help you have some kind of understanding.
2. Accuracy = Does the data reflect the environmental values of the product quite specifically, or has the EPD been calculated for a larger group of products, e.g. all products produces in a certain factory, resulting in a more generic calculation. In this case on the Platform you would find a group of products having the same values. Happily the trend is moving towards more specific information, which makes the comparison between products more truthful, and our Environmental Profiles more accurate.
3. Comprehensiveness = Does the data include all life cycle stages, or are some of them missing. In the current version of the EN15804 standard (+A2) it is mandatory to include all life cycle stages from the extraction of the raw material (A1) to possible benefits (D), as well as a more comprehensive set of emission types. Some older EPDs (+A1) may include full set of life cycle stages as well, but that depends on the manufacturer, since that used to be optional. On the Platform you can see this presented clearly, with reported stages in a white, and unreported stages in grey.
In the search each of these data quality indicators can be used as a filter, enabling maximum ability to ensure a fair comparison. The indicators are declared for each product in the listing view, as well as on the product pages.