As one of the leading LCA consulting firms, WAP Sustainability Consulting has performed thousands of LCAs and EPDs for clients around the world. As their client base grew to include international electronics companies, the company's LCA services also had to grow… This is why Manasa Rao and Matt Van Duinen, respectively Sustainability Data Manager and Sustainability Director, naturally turned to PEP ecopassport®. Having become accredited verifiers of the program, we met these attentive and committed actors.
What prompted you to apply to become an accredited verifier of the pep ecopassport program?
As LCA practitioners and verifiers, we are always trying to learn and expand our knowledge of the industry. So when one of our clients approached us looking for help verifying their PEPs, we knew this was another opportunity to grow both individually and as a company. Becoming accredited verifiers will not only allow our existing and future clients to publish verified PEPs, but also provide a new LCA perspective and approach we can bring to other industries and certification programs.
What are the sectors which, in your opinion, have the greatest margins for progress?
With our clients, we focus on the idea of Know > Disclose > Assess > Optimize. To truly make progress and become better, you first have to know more about your product and its impact. From there, you should be transparent and Disclose those results publicly. At the same time, you can use the knowledge you gain to Assess your products in a new way to discover hotspots or high-impact areas of the life cycle. Only then can you work to Optimize your product and reduce its impacts.
Given this mindset, there are several sectors where additional progress can be achieved. The building products industry has been doing a great job in recent years publishing EPDs and other LCA-related information, but there has been very little focus on optimization and what that looks like. With consumer packaged goods, companies have been working to generate LCA data internally, but they very rarely make that information publicly available. Additional disclosure in this space can help inform consumers of the impacts of the goods they buy.
Lastly, the LCA industry as a whole has room to improve by making the information found in EPDs and PEPs actionable. As of now, much of this information is locked away in pdfs requiring users to scour the documents to pull the information they need to make informed decisions. Making this information more readily available will allow for greater change.
What impact do you expect from your environmental missions?
At WAP Sustainability, our goal is to make sure our clients understand the human and environmental impact they are having on this world and to work with them on reducing that impact in whatever way they can. It is extremely gratifying when we present results to our clients: their immediate thought isn’t "Why is our impact so large?" But rather " What can we do to reduce our impact? ". When this happens time and time again with companies producing products all over the world, you know you’re doing something that is helping save our planet.