Following the decision for the UK to leave the EU and the political turmoil that has subsequently followed there have been many questions as to what Brexit will mean for our nation.
One of these aspects relates to our involvement in European Standard committees of which BRE are actively involved in. BSI as our national standards body have stated, “The result of the Referendum has triggered a process for the UK government, but for the foreseeable future we see no change to BSI’s status and obligations as a full member of CEN and CENELEC. We are confident that a UK exit from the EU will not affect BSI’s membership of ISO and IEC. It is business as usual for BSI, including all aspects of our standards making, policy and strategy work… Participation in the development and maintenance of voluntary industry standards by CEN and CENELEC for use across the European single market is an essential element of the UK’s relationship with our European partners. The CEN and CENELEC single standard model, with identical adoption of European standards across 33 countries and the withdrawal of conflicting national standards, facilitates market access and simplifies the market structure across Europe.” The important part to note is that CEN and CENELEC are not EU institutions so we are not exiting from these committees.
Clearly this is good news as BREEAM has made clear its strategy to promote the use of EPD (to EN15804) and to migrate towards building level assessment (EN15978). Within Sustainable Products we are transitioning from Environmental Profiles to EPD and have been communicating this to our existing clients; in these aspects the strategy remains the same and we are continuing to promote a future where EPD are more commonplace; more useful and increasingly part of the value of the asset.
EPD will give the industry better access to more robust product data; this in turn will help support better design considerations and ultimately will mean the end results are more considered than before. Leading organisations in a number of sectors have already started on their journey to increased transparency in supply chains. There may be political uncertainties ahead, but EPD remains the direction of travel for BRE.