Concrete @ your Fingertips

Question on measuring environmental impact

What are Ecopoints?


A UK Ecopoint is a single unit measurement of environmental impact. It is a measure of the total environmental impact of a particular product or process expressed in units (ecopoints). It is calculated in relation to impacts on the environment in the UK and therefore applies to UK activities only. UK Ecopoints are calculated from a defined range of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) data. This calculation is described in detail in the Ecopoints Process chart (see BRE Digest 446, page 9). The BRE´s Environmental Profiles are an internationally established LCA method and there is a published UK methodology for construction materials. Characterised data is expressed in the category units (e.g. climate change, minerals extraction), divided by the norm (UK impacts per person) and multiplied by a weighting (derived from the consensus of expert panels) to become Ecopoints.

Environmental profiles
The BRE Environmental Profiles database was developed for, and with the support of, the UK materials production industry and the DETR. Environmental profiles allow level playing-field comparisons of materials, elements or buildings that perform the same function. Profiles may be calculated for generic and proprietary construction products.

Further details of BRE’s Environmental Profiles methodology and database, can be found at: BRE

Acknowledgement: The Concrete Society

Other references:BRE report 370 : BRE methodology for environmental profiles of construction materials, components and buildings
BRE Digest 452 : Whole life costing and life-cycle assessment for sustainable building design
BRE Digest 446 : Assessing environmental impacts of construction - Industry consensus, BREEAM and UK Ecopoints