Environmental footprint

Type Expert group
Time period 2014-01-01 - Ongoing

Methods for environmental footprinting of products and services have been and are being developed all over the world. Two methods to measure environmental performance throughout the lifecycle, the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF), has been tested and evaluated. This expert group serves as a forum for dialogue between different stakeholders, e.g. business and government, on a national level.

Background

Companies have implemented LCA for different purposes such as marketing, purchasing, investments and strategies, with the objective to reduce the environmental impact from their products and services. In recent years, life cycle thinking has also been important for public policy-making and in public procurement. Methods for environmental footprinting of products and services have been and are being developed all over the world. In its communication Single Market for Green Products1 (SMGP, April 2013), the European Commission proposed actions to overcome problems on the internal market caused by this proliferation of initiatives. The SMGP established two methods, the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF), and recommends their use by Member States, companies and others. In connection to the launch of the SMGP, a seminar within the Swedish Life Cycle Center resulted in the establishment of an expert group for PEF/OEF methodology discussions.

The group, with partners from Swedish EPA, industry, research institutes and universities, share experiences from working with EU EF methodology and it also supports the Swedish representatives in the EF Steering Committee and in the Technical Advisory Board. Implementation of these kinds of policies are complex processes, and collaboration and discussions between different industry sectors and policy-makers are needed in order to ensure methods and to accelerate sustainable production, consumption, investments and innovations. The PEF/OEF expert group serves as a forum for dialogue between different stakeholders, e.g. business and government, on a national level.

The first meetings was funded by the Swedish EPA and since 2017 the meetings are being coordinated within the project Swedish platform for the life cycle perspective.

Aim & objectives

Follow, understand and influence the Environmental Footprint guide (PEF and OEF). Exchange information and experience on the methodologies and the transition phase.

Outcomes

Presentations: European Commission workshop on weighting, the International Conference on Life Cycle Management in Bordeaux 2015, the International Conference on Life Cycle Management 2021 (online), TAB meeting in May 2021.

Arrangement of seminars: Morning seminar to give an introduction to the Environmental footprint process, Nordic Environmental footprint workshop, webinars with invited pilots

Discussions on different methodological choices in the guides and how these will affect results

Project, Environmental footprint in Sweden

Next step

Follow and influence the transition phase.

Research projects to test and evaluate the methodologies

 

Information about PEF

Product Environmental Footprint guide (latest version)

Organisation Environmental Footprint guide (latest version)

Latest news from the EU Commission

Environmental Footprint trainings

Read more from the European Commission

Implementation of the circular economy action plan

Environmental footprint background document

If you have technical questions related to the PEF and OEF methods, please write to EF_Helpdesk@thinkstep.com.

If you have questions on the overall PEF process, please write to env-environmental-footprint@ec.europa.eu.

Project organisation
Chalmers University of Technology EPD International Ericsson Essity Hygiene and Health Greendesk IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institutes Jernkontoret Kemisk Tekniska Företagen KTH Royal Institute of Technology Nouryon RISE Research Institutes of Sweden Scania SKF Stora Enso Swedish Energy Agency Swedish Environmental Protection Agency Swedish Transport Administration Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences The Swedish Forest Industries The Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning Vattenfall Volvo Cars Volvo Group
Publications