European Commission is now exploring how to use the Product and Organisation Environmental Footprint methods in policies

Thursday, 25 April, 2019

“A company wishing to market its product as environmentally friendly in several Member State markets faces a confusing range of choices of methods and initiatives. Sometimes they have to use different ones for different markets. This results in costs for companies and confusion for consumers.

The European Commission proposed the Product Environmental Footprint and Organisation Environmental Footprint methods as a common way of measuring environmental performance. The approach was tested between 2013-2018 together with more than 280 volunteering companies and organisations. The results and reports of the pilot phase are available.

Based on the results of the testing, the European Commission is now exploring how to use the Product and Organisation Environmental Footprint methods in policies”, in a transition phase. (European Commission, 2019)

The main aims of the transition phase are to provide a framework for:

  • monitoring the implementation of existing Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs) and Organisation Environmental Footprint Sector Rules (OEFSRs);
  • developing new PEFCRs/ OEFSRs;
  • new methodological developments.

Swedish Life Cycle Center has been coordinating an expert group on Environmental footprint with the aim to better understand and influence the pilot process. The group invited Michele Galatola (Environmental Footprint Team Leader, DG Environment) to a webinar to better understand how to contribute in the transition phase. Swedish Life Cycle Center is now investigating its role in this process and how to get Swedish organisations to test the methodologies. If you would like to know more about the group you are welcome to contact Sara Palander (Swedish Life Cycle Center Technical secretariat) or Elin Eriksson (Chair of the expert group & IVL).

Swedish Life Cycle Center was granted funding from the Swedish Energy Agency (RE:Source) to analyze and debate how recycling should be modeled in life cycle assessment (LCA) and similar environmental assessments. This project also aims to contribute to the international harmonization processes such as the international LCA standard and the EU guidelines for Product Environmental Footprint. Read more about the project

To get the latest information and learning more about the process following web pages are available:

Single market for green products initiative

The environmental footprint transition phase

Results and deliverables of the environmental footprint pilot phase & E-learning packages

Environments footprint trainings

Joint research centre has published reports (March 2019) with suggested changes to PEF and OEF guide, including all learnings from the pilot phase: Read the reports


If you are interested in development of new PEFCRs and OEFCRs, the European Commission (DG Grow and DG Environment) welcomes organisations to apply.