Feasibility Studies, Environmental Assessments and Surveys

Assessment of Contaminated Sites

Old deposits and old sites, which cause harmful soil changes or other dangers for the individual or the general public, are designated as contaminated sites according to the “Bundes-Bodenschutzgesetz” (Federal Soil Protection Act). The reasons for this can be an improper treatment, storage or deposition of waste and improper handling of environmentally hazardous substances. EPEA carries out assessments of contaminated sites to determine the potential hazards for groundwater, surface water, soil, air and people living in the environment.

Environmental Impact Assessment

An environmental impact assessment is carried out by analyzing a potential project (e.g. planned industrial facilities and infrastructure measures) with regard to impacts on men, the environment and cultural assets. The resulting report makes it possible to plan and implement the right course of action and to minimize negative influences. Environmental impact studies are also used to inform and, if necessary, involve the public in the planning process. Increased transparency and involvement of the public in the decision-making process can contribute to the acceptance of the project in question or, as a result of negative effects, be assessed as not recommended in advance.

Assessment of Technical Facilities

EPEA offers to assess technical facilities, such as composting plants or waste and wastewater treatment plants, regarding their environmental compatibility. The impacts on the environment (including for example land use and biodiversity) along the supply chain as well as the material, CO2 and water cycles are considered. In addition, the concept of the facility as well as the facility components are examined with regard to the materials used, the environmental compatibility during the use and the recyclability of the materials after use. The analysis can also be refined so that it is based on the Cradle to Cradle® principles.

Feasibility Studies

For companies, EPEA offers feasibility studies regarding a Circular Economy according to the Cradle to Cradle® design concept. The examination includes the organizational implementation, the costs to be expected, the technical feasibility of circular products, the availability of resources as well as the temporal implementation. From this information, a status quo from a Cradle to Cradle® perspective can be depicted in which the company is currently situated in terms of production processes and material flow management. The feasibility study can be initiated by focusing on a product through the C2C QuickScan for products.

Measurement and Evaluation of Outdoor and Indoor Air Quality

People in Germany spend most of their lives in interior spaces, but the indoor air does not always have a quality that is beneficial to human health. Various sources can adversely affect the quality of the interior air through pollutant emissions, e.g. construction products, furniture and other furnishings, which can release chemical substances continuously. The problem of particulate matter and toxins is usually neglected in offices, residential and leisure facilities. EPEA therefore offers the measurement and evaluation of outdoor and indoor air quality. If pollutants occur, we conduct a root cause analysis and try to identify the sources. We also propose measures to improve indoor air quality.

Life Cycle Analysis

In order to evaluate concrete environmental influences from every phase of a product life, a lifecycle assessment (LCA) based on the ISO standard is carried out. As a classic "sustainability tool", LCAs provide an overview of the negative impacts which occur due to the production and use of products along the supply chain. With the help of LCAs it is thus possible to find out where the simplest improvements can be achieved in the case of products with regard to environmental influences. Different products can be compared. In addition, in the course of an optimization process LCAs can "measure" to what extent the influences have diminished.

LCAs typically require greater effort to achieve reliable results. Benefits and effort should therefore be weighed carefully beforehand. In some cases, a pre-analysis is also recommended, e.g. in the context of a QuickScan or a Quality Statement.

Consulting to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) defined by the United Nations in 2016 comprise a holistic approach to sustainability that is to be implemented at the economic, environmental and social level within the UN Agenda "Transformation of the World: Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development". EPEA advises the economy and politics in the achievement of these 17 objectives, which include among others a healthy life for all humans, clean water, a renewable energy supply, sustainable cities and a responsible production process. Our consultation services include workshops, the development of roadmaps and the implementation of the SDGs through innovative projects. For more information, see http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/

Consulting of building material producers and assessment of building materials

The complexity of selecting the right building materials is steadily increasing due to the wide variety of materials and legal regulations. Concerning construction products such as concrete, insulation materials or timber building materials, various regulations apply at national and European level. The pollutant content and the pollutant emissions are particularly important for construction products (in accordance with REACH, biocide, POP, or Decopaint regulations). By assessing building materials, EPEA enables the selection of right building materials with regard to the ingredients used as well as a possible recyclability, so that today and in the future the basis for an environmentally friendly procurement in the construction sector is provided.

Training of architects

Cradle to Cradle is the perfect innovation platform to shape the building of the future, to eliminate negative effects and to stop the immense resource consumption of the construction industry by permanently preserving the materials and products as a valuable material. For this purpose materials are preferably used in buildings which can retain in the bio- and technosphere, thus serving as a resource and whose effects are positive for humans and the environment. Thereby we develop a built environment that is modeled on nature. EPEA offers training courses for architects who feel connected to this vision and who want to implement and integrate positive innovations in the areas of construction and architecture with the Cradle to Cradle design concept. Also building labels such as the DGNB certification are included. For more information about Cradle to Cradle in the building sector, click here.

For further information on our service portfolio please contact us at: business@epea.com