Decarbonising Construction with Smart EPD

Smart EPD helps organisations create EPDs at scale and explore innovative reporting solutions all while maintaining highly rigorous third-party quality standards.

As the founder and CEO of Smart EPD™, Anna Lasso focuses on the intersection of policies, tools, and methods used to calculate and report the environmental impacts of products in a credible, streamlined, and universally understood manner. Anna has provided transparency, sustainability and operations consulting services for 15+ years, led North America’s largest EPD Program at UL for close to a decade, and is a Life Cycle Assessment Certified Professional (LCACP). 

Anna has worked with major Fortune 5 retailers, manufacturers and start-ups across many industry sectors, including building and construction, agriculture and food, consumer products, packaging and chemicals, and has MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Technology Policy from MIT and BS degrees in Industrial Design and Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University

Q & A with Smart EPD

Q1: What inspired you to start Smart EPD?

A: I noticed the need for digitisation in EPDs while leading a programme at a North American EPD operator. With the advent of tools like EC3, traditional PDF-based EPD publishing seemed outdated. Manufacturers and industry associations supported the idea of a digitised platform for EPD publication, leading to the creation of Smart EPD.

Q2: How did you go about building Smart EPD?

A: Despite lacking a background in software development, I gathered encouragement and support from key stakeholders. I formed a team of designers, developers, and product developers, building an MVP from May to December 2022. We went live in December of the same year and have since grown to 28 clients.

Q3: What’s the most exciting innovation you’ve developed?

A: Our digital platform allows for EPD publication according to the Open EPD framework, fostering consistency and scalability. We focus on product-specific EPDs and integrate with existing LCA tools like Sima Pro, aiming to streamline the EPD generation process.

Q4: What are the obstacles to wider adoption of EPDs?

A: Resource-intensive LCA model development, lack of consistency in verification, and high costs hinder broader EPD adoption. Flexible, parameterised LCA models are needed to accommodate complex supply chains and evolving product portfolios.

Q5: How can the industry overcome these obstacles?

A: Automation, scalability, and consistency are key. Leveraging AI in verification processes can improve accuracy and efficiency. Standardising EPD formats and integrating with policy requirements can drive wider adoption and value generation.

Q6: What does success look like for Smart EPD?

A: Success entails publishing as many EPDs as possible and digitising standards development to align with industry needs. We aim to reach 1,000 EPDs next year and prioritise collaboration with policy requirements for enhanced value generation.

Q7: Who are your role models?

A: Stacy Smedley, Lindita Bushi, Tom Gloria, and Jeff Zeman have been instrumental in supporting and advising Smart EPD’s journey. Their expertise and encouragement have been invaluable in shaping the company’s direction and vision.