How to read an EPD

The new EPD standard (EN 15804+A2) provides accurate insights into the environmental impact of products throughout their life cycle. Here are answers to some of the most important questions about EPDs.


EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) specifies the
environmental impact of a product during its life cycle. Based
on the European standard (EN 15804 + A2) it is a transparent and
well established way to present verified environmental information.


What does an EPD tell you?

An EPD (Environmental Product Declaration) accurately describes the environmental impact of a product throughout its life cycle. Based on a European standard (EN 15804+A2), the EPD is a well-established way to present verified information.

The EPD splits the product life cycle into stages and lists the GWP value (Global Warming Potential) for each stage. Modules A1–A3 focus on raw material supply and the manufacturing process, modules A4–A5 on transport and construction and modules B1–B5 on product maintenance during its life cycle. Modules C1–C4 list the CO2 emissions from product disposal and module D contains the potential benefits from the possible reuse, recovering or recycling of the product.

The combined total of stages A1–C4 represents the environmental impact throughout theproduct’s life cycle.

“In the EPD, module D describes the potential benefits of reusing, recovering and/or recycling a product at its end of life. Since these benefits are only potential and not yet verifiable, the full life cycle impact is usually reported as the GWP value for A1–C4,” says Paroc’s Senior Sustainability Specialist Emelia Samuelsson.


GWP A1–C4 = Emissions across the whole life cycle

Some manufacturers still communicate their impact using the GWP value for A1–A3, indicating product stage emissions, but OC Paroc uses the GWP value for A1–C4, covering emissions across the whole life cycle.

“I believe that considering total life cycle emissions will become more common in the future. We are already communicating the CO2 emissions of our products’ total life cycles, as it provides the most comprehensive description of their environmental impact,” says Emelia Samuelsson.

However, customers who need the GWP value for A1–A3 can still easily find it in the EPDs for PAROC® products.


How does the new EPD standard differ from the previous one?

Unlike the previous EPD standard, the new standard (EN 15804+A2) distinguishes between four separate GWP values: GWP Total, GWP Fossil, GWP Biogenic and GWP Luluc.

GWP Total is the sum of the CO2 -eq emissions of an insulation product and is the most comprehensive way of measuring the actual environmental impact of the product. GWP Fossil indicates emissions from fossil fuels, and GWP Luluc accounts for emissions from land use and land use change. The least relevant indicator for stone wool insulation products is GWP Biogenic, which indicates the CO2 -eq emissions from bio-based materials. In the case of PAROC® insulation products, this includes emissions related to the wood pallets used to transport products and the capture and release of the carbon stored in them.

It should be noted that EPDs and their values based on the new standard are not comparable with the ones published under the old standard.


Why do some of the modules in the EPDs read zero?

Rows B1–B5 in all the EPDs for PAROC® insulation products read MNR, module not relevant. This means that in modules B1–B5, which declare the environmental impact from the product’s use stage, PAROC® insulation products do not generate any emissions at all. This is due to their long lifespan, which in the EPD is stated to be 60 years.

The lifespan is truly important, as every time the insulation needs to be replaced, it generates new emissions from manufacturing, transportation and demolition.

“When used as designated, PAROC® Stonewool is maintenance-free and does not need to be replaced during the lifetime of a building. This means that the environmental impact during the use stage in the EPD is simply zero,” Emelia Samuelsson says.

What is the easiest way to find the different GWP values?

There is a PAROC CO2 Calculator on the Paroc website, which is based on the latest EPDs. It provides a quick and easy way to calculate accurate GWP (A1–C4 and A1–A3) values for PAROC® building insulation products of different thicknesses.

The GWP values for all PAROC® insulation products can also be found in the product EPDs, available on the product pages.

Do you have questions related to EPDs? Please contact our Senior Sustainability Specialist Emelia Samuelsson.