EU Footprint Matters

CDSB was appointed by the European Commission's DG Environment to participate in the peer review of a pilot phase aiming to deliver a single market for green products and organisations.

Overview

The Environmental Footprint Pilot Phase is an important undertaking as it is likely to determine an extent of harmonisation of disparate schemes across Europe with implications for national and international trade. Most importantly, it will influence the decoupling of natural resource use and environmental impacts from current use patterns.

A Life Cycle Approach forms the underpinning methodology to account for a broad range of environmental impact categories as it connects materials extraction, logistics, manufacturing, resource use and end-of-life with the impacts of both products and organisations.

On 3rd of November, CDSB Technical Manager, Désirée Lucchese moderated a panel discussion “Initiatives for Organisations, What Does a Life Cycle Approach Bring?” at the Mid-Term Conference on the Environmental Footprint Pilot Phase in Brussels:

Context

In April 2013, the European Commission launched a three-year testing period to develop product- and sector-specific rules through a multi-stakeholder process under the Single Market for Green Products initiative.  

This initiative aims to help companies and consumers navigate the maze of green products and methods and the adopted actions include:

  • Establishing two methods to measure environmental performance throughout the lifecycle, the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF);
  • Recommending the use of these methods to Member States, companies, private organisations and the financial community through a Commission Recommendation;
  • Providing principles for communicating environmental performance, such as transparency, reliability, completeness, comparability and clarity; and
  • Supporting international efforts towards more coordination in methodological development and data availability.

These actions contribute to the implementation of the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe, particularly with regards to Sustainable Consumption and Production. 

The peer review

The peer review process will be running until June 2017 and will evaluate the methods of all pilots in terms of their effectiveness and their feasibility to be applied across a single market. CDSB is proud to be participating in this highly collaborative, multi-stakeholder process.

Image source: markus spiske/flickr