Environmental footprint methodology for horticultural products

A new methodology for assessing the environmental footprint of horticultural products is now available for free. It’s an excellent new methodology for when you want to assess the environmental footprint of cut flowers, potted plants, fruits and vegetables.

Growing demand for sustainable horticultural products

The development of this uniform standard methodology for horticultural products was started in early 2018, with PRé as one of the project partners. The goal was to meet the increasing need for calculating the environmental footprint of horticulturally grown products. Sustainably produced horticultural crops such as fruits, vegetables and flowers are increasingly in demand. Naturally, retailers, consumers and manufacturers of processed food want to make informed choices about the environmental footprint of the horticultural crops in the products they purchase and sell.

Importance of the new methodology

The old methodology for horticultural products, PAS 2050-1:2012, is limited because it only assesses climate change impacts. However, horticulture also requires water, uses land and often applies fertilizers and pesticides. And there are other environmental pressures taking place in the life cycle and value chain of horticultural products.

Consequently, a robust and comprehensive methodology for environmental footprinting is needed to satisfy the demands of all value chain actors and to provide consistent and credible information on the sustainability of horticultural products.  

Alignment with the European Environmental Footprint rules

The new methodology follows to a large extent the European Commission’s specific guidance for product groups, the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR). Although 19 PEFCRs have been approved for a wide variety of product groups, none had yet been developed for horticultural products.

The project was initiated by Royal FloraHolland, Fresh Produce Centre and Wageningen Economic Research, with co-financing from TopSector Horticulture & Starting Materials. The other organizations involved in this project are ABN AMRO Bank, Blonk Consultants, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy, Glastuinbouw Nederland, MPS, PRé, Rabobank and Stichting Benefits of Nature.

Start using it

Are you a grower and do you want to quantify the environmental footprint of your products? Or are you a value chain actor in the horticultural sector and interested in implementing the methodology? The methodology is free to use and available to organizations of all sizes and types, in any location. So access the HortiFootprint Category Rules today and start assessing and potentially reducing the environmental footprint of the horticultural products you offer.

If you have any questions, please contact our Principal Consultant Marisa Vieira.

Marisa Vieira

Principal Consultant

The time of the industrial revolution is over. Now it is time for the green revolution to go full steam ahead! Everybody needs to be involved in this process, therefore I aim to guide individuals and businesses in understanding the trade-offs between impacts. This will help them make informed decisions, which will truly help sustainable living thrive."

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