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Initiation Phase

The initiation phase includes the following elements:

1. Appoint a PCR moderator
2. Consider available PCRs
3. Seek cooperation with other parties to take part in the PCR Committee
4. Planning of the PCR development
5. Announcement of the initiation of the PCR work on www.environdec.com


PCRs in the International EPD® System are classified according to the UN Central Product Classification system (UN CPC). A PCR may cover one or more 3, 4, or 5-digit CPC codes.

To find the correct product category for your PCR, see the UN CPC website.

Appoint a PCR Moderator

There is a need to closely link external experts to help and support the programme operator in developing and updating PCR documents, as for the foreseeable future, there will be a number of countries with no national programmes running. Also the intended applicability of the International EPD® System on a global market might lead to a too high workload for programme operator in case PCR development has to be handled with limited external help.

The work to be carried out for the PCR development process needs strong coordination. Therefore, it is of vital importance that the work is led by a person familiar with the EPD approach as well as having the necessary basic LCA understanding. This work shall be carried out in close cooperation with the programme operator.

To safeguard a successful outcome of the PCR development work, the International EPD® system nominates a PCR moderator to take on the role as a leading person in the PCR preparation process.

Any party that is interested in developing a PCR is encouraged to contact the Secretariat at pcr@environdec.com.

Consider available PCRs

PCRs in other systems in accordance with ISO 14025 may be found via the links on this page: PCR libraries and resources.

Harmonisation of PCR documents is a cornerstone in the International EPD® System due to its international applicability. Therefore, the development of PCR for a product category should be done considering readily available PCR documents in the same product category and the appropriate market area, as advocated in ISO 14025. When starting up PCR development, it is therefore important as a first step to search for available PCR documents, which could be done by making use of the existing PCRs developed within the framework of the International EPD® System or other ISO 14025 compliant programmes.

If a relevant PCR document already exists in another environmental declarations programme it is important to examine the basic LCA approach taken to find out if the degree of consistencies with the approach taken in the International EPD® System. As a general rule appropriate information from other PCR document should be used to the extent possible. If a PCR does not exist for the product category of interest, this has to be prepared and approved in accordance to the procedure for developing a PCR document within the framework of the International EPD® System.

Seek cooperation with other parties to take part in the PCR committee

Developing PCR documents should always be done as an open co-operative effort including as many interested parties as possible, e.g. representatives different companies and trade associations to ensure a broad acceptance and reproducibility of the calculation rules. The PCR committee should include members representing the geographical scope of the PCR.

It is recommended that the PCR committee is composed of enough independent members to assure the interests of one party do not dominate the PCR development process. It is recommended that any potential conflicts of interest by PCR Committee members are announced within the PCR Committee.

In case of single companies initiating the work to develop PCR, it is especially important to seek co-operation with other parties that may be interested to participate in the work. This work may be supported by the programme operator. Reaching out to other parties shall include stakeholders interested in the product under study.

Based on the Guidance for Product Category Rule Development, stakeholders that need to be considered are those that:

  • Manufacture products in the product category
  • Use products in the product category
  • Are experts in the product category
  • Represent manufacturers or users of products in the product category
  • Have financial interests in the product category
  • Are in the chain of accountability
  • Have authority or decision-making power over some aspect of products in the product category
  • Are program operators
  • Are PCR developers
  • Are experts in the field of product sustainability
  • Are non-governmental organizations (NGOs) or other organizations interested in societal wellbeing or environment protection

Planning of the PCR development

The PCR moderator shall, before the announcement of the PCR, send in a time plan for the PCR development process. The time plan shall give estimate date when the draft PCR will be available for open consultation. This information will be published on the website when the PCR is announced. If the time plan is revised the PCR moderator shall inform the Secretariat. If the development procedure is delayed without any information from the PCR moderator, the Secretariat can stop the PCR development process.

Announcement of the initiation of the PCR work on www.environdec.com

When a decision is taken to start the work developing a PCR document, this shall be announced to the programme operator being responsible for handling such an announcement. The announcement may be accompanied by selected information of relevance for the PCR work. It is compulsory to indicate the PCR moderator to contact for further information.

The programme operator will make information public available about the upcoming PCR work on the website, searchable database and social media. The immediate announcement of a PCR document under preparation is important due to several reasons, e.g. to inform and engage interested parties to be involved in the work (which should be done by contacting the PCR moderator) and to avoid parallel work within the same product category in another environmental declarations programme, if found relevant.

The PCR moderator shall inform the Secretariat about relevant industry and trade publications were PCR development should be announced.

It is recommended that the preparation phase lasts for at least four weeks, from annoucement on the web page to start of the open consultation.