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The future of environmental impact labelling

How does the ongoing work with EPD (Environmental Product Declarations) affect the production in Glamox? Technical Director Birger Holo is in charge of implementing sustainability measures throughout the entire value chain at Glamox. He breaks down how Glamox works with EPDs, both now and in the years to come.

EPDs is an important part of our ongoing sustainability work
Birger starts by explaining that EPDs are not the end-all and be-all of Glamox’s sustainability work. He underlines the importance of implementing sustainability at every level of the organization. Glamox sustainability efforts will be fully implemented in 2022 and will be a holistic strategy encompassing sustainability in both environmental, social and governance.

— In our strategy, we follow two main tracks where we focus both on our products and our operation. EPDs is one of the initiatives that fall under the products track. We want our sustainability work to be genuine and transparent, both for our employees and our customers, Birger notes. Sustainability impacts our entire value chain such as our production, as well as which suppliers we do business with and how we package and ship our finished products.


The impact of EPDs at Glamox
It might not come as a surprise that Glamox’s largest environmental impact comes from our products. What might surprise some, however, is the fact that most of that impact happens after the products have left our hands. How the customer uses the product, and how long they use them is the main contributor to the total energy consumption related to a product when seen over its entire lifetime. Thus this is also the main contributor to the overall environmental footprint of the product.

— We are working on a generator that will let us quantify the environmental impact for all our products, and we will begin with a few existing products in the spring of 2022. This will be a life cycle analysis of every single thing from materials, transportation and production, as well as customer use and lifetime operation. This is what makes EPDs so complex - for example, since the use phase is so significant for the total footprint of a luminaire, we have to assess how the customer will use the product. And for the decision-makers that use EPDs as a tool, they need to ensure that the EPDs they are evaluating is based on the same scenarios. If not, they face the risk of making the wrong decision as they are potentially not comparing apples to apples.

He further clarifies that EPDs will force Glamox to become increasingly conscious of every choice made in the development of a product, right down to the initial sketches. Could a different material or a different choice of electrical components give a lower environmental footprint? At this time we are focused on mapping the impact of our current products, but soon we will have to make environmental considerations as early as the pre-production stage of every single luminaire that we make.