Tata Steel has announced that it has become the world’s first steel company to be approved to operate an Environmental Product Declaration Programme (EPD), helping to deliver clear reporting of its steel-based products and reinforcing the sustainability of steel through the lifecycle.
In today’s industry, the focus on the environmental impact of a building and its materials is higher than ever. As such, the readily available lifecycle inventory data contained with Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) is increasingly being used to assess the sustainable attributes of building products and increase points in sustainability building certification schemes, such as BREEAM and LEED. In fact, Tata Steel’s ComFlor EPD has already been requested as a requirement for supplying into the latest Dubai Metro project.
As a result of becoming an EPD programme operator, Tata Steel is now able to provide the market with third-party verified, product-specific EPDs for both its own construction products and the construction systems they become part of, in an effort to demonstrate the sustainability credentials of steel-based products. Indeed, steel is highly sustainable with qualities well-suited to circular economic use; it is durable, flexible and adaptable and, at the end of life, is capable of being reused and infinitely recycled without loss of quality.
What’s more, as well as co-ordinating with its entire supply chain, Tata Steel is also working closely with its supply chain partners, including key building envelope manufacturers, to use its programme for the production of their own EPDs. This ensures that the same accurate and informed life-cycle data is passed down the supply chain, increasing the provision of product-specific steel EPDs and improving transparency in construction.
Barry Rust, energy and sustainability marketing manager for construction at Tata Steel, said: “We are very proud of our core sustainability ethos and are always looking for ways to push the industry standard further, as evidenced by our commitment to becoming a carbon neutral manufacturer by 2050. Having already been awarded BES 6001 Certification for responsible sourcing across the widest portfolio of construction products globally, we decided that becoming an EPD Programme Operator was the next stage, gaining the ability to provide our customers and supply chain partners with transparent environmental data on all our products and systems.
“We believe that it is critically important to consider the whole life-cycle of building products when making any resource decision, from the raw materials extraction to end of life scenarios. Our EPD programme operatorship, and our increasing number of EPDs, helps to ensure that such information is readily available at the specification stage, so that informed choices can be made.”
Barry added: “Our third-party verified EPDs deliver environmental impact data specific to our products, and our supply chain partners’ products, providing the market with the peace of mind that they are dealing with a manufacturer that understands and actively manages the sustainability of its products. Another benefit of product-specific EPDs is that they help to contribute to providing more points in sustainability building certification schemes, such as BREEAM and LEED.”
Tata Steel’s EPD Programme operatorship complies with all relevant ISO standards and its third-party (type III) EPDs comply with EN15804 and ISO 14025 standards. Tata Steel have the highest class of EPD available for its structural hollow sections, cladding systems and structural decking (both roof and floor).
What’s more, Tata Steel also realised that, for some product groups, customers may have specific scope and specification requirements, which could make differences to the lifecycle impact of the product. It therefore took the innovative step to create a range of EPD tools for these product groups, which allow scope and specification requirements to be detailed in order to generate bespoke EPDs for customers. This approach to transparency and reporting demonstrates Tata Steel’s significant ambition in improving the sustainability of the built environment.