A Manufacturing Sector's Experience of integrating EPD alongside product, management system and responsible sourcing certification for public procurement

Brankley, Lee; Tugrul, Ayhan; Anderson, Jane and Knight, David (2017). A Manufacturing Sector's Experience of integrating EPD alongside product, management system and responsible sourcing certification for public procurement. In: LCM 2017: 8th International Conference on Life Cycle Management, 4-7 Sep 2017, Luxembourg.

URL: http://lcm-conferences.org/session/using-lca-and-e...


CARES is a Certification body operating in over 40 countries, providing several product certification schemes covering reinforcing steel and associated products for use primarily in construction, most significantly the Steel for the Reinforcement of Concrete (CARES SRC) scheme. This scheme covers the entire supply chain for reinforcing steels, including welding and the application of mechanical couplers, thereby ensuring reinforcement is correctly produced, processed and delivered to site.
CARES also developed the Sustainable Constructional Steel (CARES SCS) scheme. Its objective is to provide independent certification of the sustainability performance of steel products. The assessment is based on certified management systems to ISO 9001, 14001 and OHSAS 18001 as well as the identification, collection, auditing and reporting to CARES of performance criteria covering environmental, social, labour, business ethics and local economic impacts.
The criteria were developed by a group of industry experts, and cover the supply chain from raw material purchase and the production of the steel through its processing to the delivery of the finished product. The CARES SCS scheme aims to establish a dynamic framework to improve the sustainability performance of products and provide a robust and transparent mechanism for communicating the sustainability performance of steel products to designers, specifiers and clients.
The Sustainable Construction Steel scheme also allows CARES to provide annually updated industry KPIs based on audited data from its members and to set sector targets for improvements which are published in CARES Annual Sustainability Reports. A core KPI has been the “cradle to gate” carbon footprint for the production of 1 tonne steel which CARES have produced for each scheme member using a bespoke Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) tool developed by thinkstep using their GaBi Envision software.
Since 2013, the CARES Sustainable Constructional Steel scheme has also provided an integrated approach to providing Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) for steel products using environmental data from members which it has audited, again using a bespoke LCA tool in GaBi Envision developed by thinkstep. The EPD tool has been verified by BRE Global using their EN 15804 verified EPD Scheme, and to date within this EPD Scheme, 19 reinforcing steel bar producers have produced verified EPD, alongside a sector average EPD for reinforcing bar produced using the secondary production route covering 13 CARES members, and a number of EPD for structural steel and flat steel. Additionally, the CARES SCS scheme has provided 19 CARES members with certification for responsible sourcing to BES 6001, BRE Global’s Framework Standard for Responsible Sourcing Scheme for construction products.
In 2015, the UK Government highlighted the need, when procuring steel for major projects, to assess the health and sustainability of potential suppliers through the supply chain, including compliance with relevant health and safety and employment legislation, and to take account of appropriate social and environmental impacts. Addressing this need for additional assurance in public procurement, this paper will provide a manufacturing sector’s perspective on the lessons learnt from its integrated approach to the production of EPD alongside product, management system and responsible sourcing certifications.

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