Announcement of second-wave EF pilots
The European Commission launched the development of environmental footprint (EF) rules for products and organizations in various industries. This new approach aims to harmonize the assessment of environmental impacts within a product group or sector. The first pilot phase started in November 2013, and the second wave started in June 2014.
Status of first-wave pilots
The European Commission launched the environmental footprint (EF) rules pilot phase in November 2013 with 14 Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and three Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) pilots. Most of the pilots are making good progress. The only project to be halted is the OEF pilot on household sanitary goods and toiletries, led by the EC Joint Research Centre. That pilot stopped due to a lack of support by the major producers and the relevant European Associations. All remaining pilots have submitted the draft scope and definition of the representative product for consultation with the Steering Committee, and all were approved. These pilots are now conducting the PEF/OEF screening studies.
Kick-off of second-wave pilots
In June this year, nine months after the first-wave pilots began, 11 new pilots started. These are all PEF pilots focusing on food and beverage product categories. The selected pilots are:
- Beer, proposed by Brewers of Europe
- Coffee, proposed by the European Coffee Federation
- Dairy, proposed by the European Dairy Association
- Feed for food-producing animals, proposed by the European Feed Manufacturers’ Federation
- Fish for human consumption, proposed by the Norwegian Seafood Federation
- Meat (bovine, pigs and sheep), proposed by the European Livestock and Meat Trades Union
- Pasta, proposed by the Union of Organisations of Manufacturers of Pasta Products in the EU
- Packed water, proposed by the European Federation of Bottled Waters
- Pet food (for cats and dogs), proposed by the European Pet Food Industry Federation
- Olive oil, coordinated by CO2 Consulting S.L.
- Wine, proposed by the Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins
If you’d like to be involved in the PEF and OEF pilots, please:
- apply to the selected Technical Secretariats, or
- subscribe as a stakeholder to the Stakeholder Workspace on the Environmental Footprint wiki to follow the process, participate in consultations and provide comments.
Together with Ecofys, PRé also gave the first face-to-face training on the PEF methodology to the second-wave pilots on 20 June. On June 27, we gave a webinar on defining the representative product, and on July 18 we hosted another webinar on data quality.
Tommie Ponsioen, Technical Consultant at PRé, has extensive knowledge of and experience with life cycle assessment in the food and beverage industry. He is the contact person for the Environmental Footprint Helpdesk of the dairy, feed and meat pilots. A cow working group was set up by the European Commission to solve cross-cutting issues between pilots related to cows, such as how to handle multi-functional processes. Tommie will use his expertise to participate in the discussions in this working group.
Now it’s time for the second-wave PEF pilots to define their scope and representative product. The first-wave pilots are currently carrying out the screening step, which will identify relevant life cycle stages, processes and impact categories, and define the product category or sector benchmark. We are looking forward to seeing further progress in the pilot phase and learning from this exercise.
My background in industrial design made it clear to me that the current system of consumption and disposal cannot be maintained in the long run. I quickly became interested in quantifying sustainability, so that well-supported decisions can be made in our move towards a more sustainable world. LCA provides the ability to focus on the facts.