The Australasian EPD Programme

PROFILE: Maartje Sevenster – Latest Approved EPD Verifier

Maartje is an independent consultant advising industry, government and NGOs on life cycle thinking and sustainability assessments.  She has 15 years experience in the field, including a decade with Dutch think-tank CE Delft, before moving to Australia and establishing Sevenster Environment.  As well as being the newest edition to our approved EPD Verifier list, Maartje sits on the Board of the Australian Life Cycle Assessment Society (ALCAS).

We spoke to Maartje about the value of EPDs and the process of becoming a verifier.

What is the value of EPDs to the business community?

EPDs are a way to communicate the environmental performance of your products to customers in a way that allows direct comparison. All parties can trust that EPDs because they are based on robust methodology and have been verified.

EPDs are also an efficient way to measure and communicate environment performance because each product category has prescribed rules – you don’t have to start from scratch.

What prompted you to become an approved verifier?

EPDs are increasingly being implemented in sectors well beyond the building industry.  The Food Products sector, which is where I have long-term LCA experience, is now looking to EPDs as a way to confirm and communicate their green credentials.

How did you find the approval process?

The approval process was very transparent and my application was processed quickly. One of my supporting pieces of evidence was in German – I was part of a critical review panel of a detailed German LCA of beer containers of all things – and fortunately that wasn’t a problem because the Australasian EPD is part of the broader International EPD.

Why do you think it’s important to have a verification process?

Verification is an essential part of making standardised claims that can be used to compare products. It means that stakeholders can truly rely on the information without having to do more background research themselves.

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