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Green Procurement of Infrastructure

The results from LCA studies can support green procurement and setting requirements in rail and road infrastructure projects. Environmental requirements may be set, where LCA studies function as both evidence of environmental performance as well as estimating the environmental impact during the life cycle of the project. For example, a supplied product can use LCA data to prove its environmental performance and provide the necessary information for that data to be used in the LCA at project level. In addition, LCA studies can facilitate environmental goal setting, providing a measurable and verifiable process for integrating environmental performance to procurement activities.

 8.1 Environmental Product Declarations in green procurement

Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) according to ISO 14025 are based on the results of LCA studies. EPDs can be developed at varying product system levels and provide verifiable information on the environmental impact of the material or component of an infrastructure project.

 Setting requirements for the delivery of ISO 14025 compliant EPDs during procurement processes provides a basis for assessing the environmental impact of alternative options as well as the complete infrastructure project. EPDs allow for evaluation of suppliers’ environmental performance, as suppliers with lower environmental impact can be selected against alternative options.

 It is recommended to request EPDs for materials, elements and components in tenders or requests for quotation. More than providing for verifiable evidence of environmental performance and supporting decision making processes, EPD may also function as a driver for increased environmental awareness for suppliers and achieving the ripple effect of lower environmental impact supply chains.


8.2 Defining environmental performance goals and metrics

Environmental performance data based on LCA results can provide specific emission and impact targets that are to be met. As preliminary assessment of environmental impact at project level is carried out, a baseline can be set defining the expected environmental impact of an infrastructure project during the life cycle. The initial LCA can be remodeled with an optimal, lower environmental impact scenario. This can be used to define numerical goals for project environmental performance.

 It is recommended that procurement activities utilize this information and support the process through integrating these goals to tender documents and quotation requests. Similar goals may be established at product system levels of component and material.

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