ARGE’s STRATEGY GETS GREEN LIGHT FROM EPD EXPERTS
ARGE is celebrating a successful annual conference after its plans for delivering Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) were met with overwhelming approval from some of the industry’s leading EPD experts.
Held in the Veneto region of Northern Italy, the meeting of delegates from Europe’s largest association of lock and hardware manufacturers was hosted this year in conjunction with Silca S.p.A. part of the Swiss KABA group. Attended by 50 members from across Europe, the conference marked yet another milestone in the organisation’s sustainability roadmap and drive to deliver generic EPDs for locks and hardware for the commercial benefit of its members.
During the 2-day conference both Sven-Olof Ryding, an expert in EPD programme holders and managers at a European level, and Lionel Meleton, who specialises in the writing and delivery of EPDs, were in support of ARGE’s planned programme.
Mr Ryding in his capacity as President of the European ECO Platform for product declarations confirmed that he believed the ARGE EPD strategy was “well thought-out and very deliverable.” Mr Meleton, Eco-Design Manager at CETIM France and ARGE’s EPD Project Manager, lent his support verifying that the EPD project plan was on course to meet with agreed timescales, budgets and expectations.
Speaking on the conference’s success and the progress being made with the EPD project, ARGE Chairman Hans Weissenböck, said:
“Over the past 12 months we have made significant progress with our plan to deliver generic EPDs, so having this corroborated by two of Europe’s most qualified experts in EPDs was very encouraging.
“A market study has been conducted with members to establish the key European manufacturers most relevant for the selected individual product groups. In parallel, work on the Product Category Rules (PRCs) for those product groups has started. By autumn we hope to confirm the programme-holder for the EPDs, with companies selected for PCR data collection. A feasibility study will define which product groups will be covered by the initial wave of generic EPDs later in the year. In conclusion I am happy to confirm that we are on target to deliver the agreed EPDs by summer 2015.
“The positive steps taken and validated on the EPD project, as well as the renewing of the ASSOFERMA membership after a two-year absence meant this year a spirit of optimism was clearly palpable amongst the conference participants. It is clear that the developing ARGE agenda is becoming increasingly relevant to our members – given the increasing membership and participation in our key initiatives.”
The conference also saw working groups report on progress made in 2014, as well as discussing its recent role with CEN and the European Commission Services, and presentations on the future of hardware design.
ARGE held exclusive talks with CEN managers about the delays in publication of certain key product standards, and as a result, has agreed with them an escalation process to address unnecessary potential delays in the future.
ARGE has become a “liaison member” of CEN/TC33, which is responsible for lock and hardware performance standards. This will enable ARGE to represent member interests more effectively.
In addition, ARGE has applied to become a “liaison organisation” within CEN/TC350 – the technical committee focused on construction product sustainability – enabling ARGE to influence how Product Category Rules (PCRs) are written. This, in turn, will form the basis of EPDs, helping to ensure that the initial phase of ARGE EPDs will be adopted across Europe.
Delegates also attended an interesting excursion to SILCA S.p.A, at Vittorio Veneto. Here members were able to see first hand the capacity and the technical variability of one of the most advanced production sites for keys, access systems and key milling machines in Europe.