Standardised method for calculating environmental footprint provides opportunities
February 28, 2022
Regulation & certification
Which producer or which product is better for the environment? That is a question of increasing concern to retailers and consumers in Europe. At this time, an EU-approved standardised method for calculating the environmental footprint is still lacking. The arrival of the FloriPEFCR (Flori Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules) will change all this.
Following on from the ‘HortiFootprint Category Rules’ report, which was presented in 2020, a consortium of companies, including Wageningen University & Research and Royal FloraHolland, is now working on European calculation rules for calculating the environmental footprint of floriculture products: the FloriPEFCR.
What is the FloriPEFCR?
The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) is a method based on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and contains clear standard calculation rules for 16 impact categories when calculating the environmental footprint. Specific calculation rules have been worked out for each product category, such as the environmental impact of production on the climate, land use and depletion of resources. This method takes the environmental impacts of a product unit into account, from the extraction of raw materials to the end of the product’s life cycle. The PEF is expected to be the reference method that the European Commission is going to use.
Aim of the FloriPEFCR
The aim of the FloriPEFCR is to provide the basis for verified and reliable sustainability claims and to prevent greenwashing by companies It will lead to reliable results, comparable findings and a level playing field. Comparability is only possible if the results are based on the same calculation rules. Therefore, comparing apples with apples and not with pears. The FloriPEFCR makes a fair systematic comparison between different cut flowers and between different pot plants possible.
Score visible upon purchase
The envisaged project result is a comprehensive EU-approved FloriPEFCR for cut flowers and pot plants, the publication of which is expected at the beginning of 2023. The development of a standard method will help the floriculture industry to give concrete form to current efforts in the field of sustainability. It will help companies to gain insight, within their supply chain, into the environmental impact and to determine how they can improve this. When a FloriPEFCR score per product is finally determined, this will also provide the opportunity to make this visible to consumers in a simple way during the purchasing process, for example on the label, as sustainability is a difficult and abstract concept for consumers. It is therefore necessary to indicate the level of sustainability of products, otherwise it is hard for consumers to consciously opt for a sustainable product over an unsustainable product.
Opportunities for you with FloriPEFCR
Calculating the environmental footprint begins with collecting data. It is about, among other things, the use of parent material, substrate, crop protection, energy and also the distribution to the customer. The results are a starting point in order to gain insight into the current environmental footprint of your product. It not only leads to greater awareness, but also shows which opportunities for improvement exist. It is also possible to save money by making processes more sustainable. Your own ‘climate score’ also offers you the opportunity to distinguish yourself more individually.