Accreditation Path for EPDItaly

We publish the article by Emanuele Riva, Director of Accredia’s Certification and Inspection Department, prepared for the September events.

ACCREDIA is the sole national accreditation body appointed by the Italian government in compliance with the application of the European Regulation 765/2008, and is a recognized association, which operates on a non-profit basis, under the vigilance of the Ministry of Economic Development.

Italy has always been active in the development of new instruments of communication of environmental impacts of products as shown by the number of Italian EPDs registered in the International EPD System. In fact, ACCREDIA has provided accreditation in the International EPD System for more than 10 years. This experience has been used in all the process of recognition and accreditation of the EPDItaly scheme.

After the submission of the EPDItaly scheme by the scheme owner (ICMQ) and the approval of the Committee for Accreditation Activity and of ACCREDIA’s Directive Council, a technical analysis was carried out by ACCREDIA according to all the applicable normative requirements. This document evaluation had a successful outcome in July 2017 confirming that EPDItaly is an accreditable scheme and consequently any conformity assessment body (CAB) can apply for accreditation in Italy.

Following ISO 14025, the verification of the EPD serves to ensure that the environmental information is reliable and obtained in accordance with the relevant PCR through a life cycle study in accordance with ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. Therefore, it is fundamental that an accredited independent third party body that certifies the correctness of the methods used as well as the veracity of the data conducts the verification process. Accreditation provides reliability that the third party body is genuinely independent, competent and impartial to perform this activity.

Furthermore, accreditation strengthens the reputation and competitiveness of CABs, with tangible benefits for Public Administrative Entities, businesses and consumers who trust accredited services.

For Public Administration Authorities accreditation offers support for legislation and therefore the application of international standards for accreditation, and conformity assessment reduces the necessity for additional national laws and it also complements the market surveillance activities undertaken by the Public Authorities. In addition, it helps the Public Authorities to choose a product which has been certified by an accredited CAB, ensuring that they respect the standards of service in the public sector.

In view of this, Italian Law 221 of 2015 refers specifically to the use of environmental and energy certifications issued by accredited bodies as an instrument for promoting a new model of development based on environmental sustainability by means of the adoption of a series of simplifications and incentives, which regard good practices by businesses and consumers.

An example in Italy of the application of a circular economy policy is contained in the Building CAM «Environmental Minimum Requirements» (ministerial decree of 11 October 2017) where, for Green Public Procurement (GPP) one of the ways of demonstrating the content of recycled material in a construction product, is by means of an EPD.