BlueScope updates Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs)

Koombana Bay Foreshore Pedestrian Bridge, Western Australia

BlueScope has released an updated range of Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) providing an increased level of transparency for the environmental impacts of its products across a range of categories. The updated EPDs for Hot Rolled Coil, Welded Beams and Columns and XLERPLATE® steel are published in line with EN 15804:2012+A2:2019 and are the first to be registered to this standard under the EPD Australasia programme.

The results in the updated EPDs show improvements in environmental performance across most indicators, including a decrease in global warming potential, when compared with the results contained in the previous EPDs.

BlueScope’s EPDs are expressions of its strong commitment to environmental transparency and reflect its focus on product stewardship and broader commitment to sustainability.

What is an EPD?

An Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a third party verified and registered document that communicates transparent data and other relevant environmental information about the life-cycle environmental impact of a product.

Unlike industry average EPDs, BlueScope’s EPDs are product-specific so you have the confidence of knowing the results are representative of the product you have specified.

How do I use an EPD?

EPDs can help to earn points for Green Star and Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) Rating. Specifying BlueScope products with EPDs can be a fast, cost-effective means to increasing points for your project.

BlueScope EPDs are verified to be compliant with International Standard ISO 14025 and the best practice European Standard EN 15804. They also provide optional environmental data that can help enable BlueScope’s customers achieve further credits under Green Star.

BlueScope EPDs can be used to help support whole of life assessment for end uses such as buildings, infrastructure and their components, as well as everyday materials. Using product-specific EPDs in the context of a whole structure or development can enable better environmental optimisation and progress towards a better built environment.

Why have they been updated?

Originally published in 2015, BlueScope’s EPDs were the first to be registered in Australia under the Australasian EPD program.  To remain current, an EPD must be updated as a minimum, every five years. As BlueScope’s steelmaking processes and inputs have changed, so have their impacts – the EPDs have been updated to reflect these changes.

BlueScope’s updated EPDs are the first Australasian EPDs to be published in line with EN 15804:2012+A2:2019. As this is a new standard, results have also been published in line with the previous standard (EN 15804:2012+A1:2013) to enable comparison.

Results are now split by steel grade groups, based on their carbon and alloy content  (Low carbon, Medium carbon and Alloyed steel), providing BlueScope’s customers and other interested stakeholders with more specific and accurate information about the products. 

What others say about BlueScope EPDs

For a user of EPD data it will be satisfying to see that BlueScope has built on the work that was done for the initial Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and EPDs in 2015, and added a layer of detail differentiating between types of steel. This is a great example of continual improvement that increases the accuracy of the LCA. As the verifier, start2see not only reviewed the current LCA, but also confirmed changes in the data compared to the previous EPDs were clearly described in the LCA report and EPDs.

Rob Rouwette
EPD third party verifier, start2see

The revalidation and publication of BlueScope’s EPDs show their genuine commitment to transparency and continuous improvement. Originally the first Australian EPDs published under our program, they have now achieved a new milestone as the first EPDs to comply with the new EN 15804+A2 standard in the region, well ahead of it becoming mandatory in 2022. This is a great example of what can be achieved when there is a willingness to quantify and communicate third party-verified, reliable, product-specific information.”

Stephen Mitchell
Chair of the Board, EPD Australasia

BlueScope is raising the bar by implementing the revised standard (EN 15804+A2) for their updated EPDs and their customers are benefitting from more specific and accurate information resulting from this update. Of particular note, is the significant carbon reduction achieved in BlueScope’s products over the past 5 years in a ‘hard-to-abate’ sector – this is testament to BlueScope’s commitment to climate change action. Having the original EPDs from 5 years ago as a benchmark allows BlueScope to demonstrate this progress in a transparent manner.

Barbara Nebel
CEO, thinkstep-anz


Download BlueScope's updated EPD's:

The existing COLORBOND® steel EPD remains valid until 2022.

Acknowledgements

Source: BlueScope - November 2020
Image: Koombana Bay Foreshore Pedestrian Bridge, Western Australia. Architect: Gresley Abas
Trademark Acknowledgements: XLERPLATE®, COLORBOND® and BlueScope® are registered trademarks of BlueScope Steel Limited, ABN 16 000 011 058.

The quotations in this article are provided by the listed sources and are a reflection of their views and experience.