Development of the framework for the European environmental footprint database

Grønn skog

NORSUS has, together with consortium partners Pré Sustainability, Life Itself Labs, AIST and TCO2, won the tender for developing the framework for the Environmental Footprint (EF) database. During the last years, NORSUS has gained valuable experience in LCA data sharing through the development of its LCA data sharing platform NorEnviro, and is proud to apply this on the development of the EF database.

In 2013, the European Commission adopted a vision to create a single market for green products. Based on a recommendation from 2021, the “Environmental Footprint methods” should be used to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations. The recommendation is the result of the work that has been carried out since 2013 to develop the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) framework, which consist of harmonized methods to calculate the environmental footprints and sector-specific rules (Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules, PEFCR).

Different policies that need methods for quantifying environmental indicators are increasingly relying on the EF methods, such as the proposal for the Ecodesign for Sustainable Product Regulation, Farm to Fork Strategy (F2F), the Taxonomy Regulation, the proposal for the revised Batteries Regulation, EU Ecolabel and Green Public Procurement (GPP), etc.

A prerequisite for developing PEFCRs/OEFSRs and implementing PEF/OEF studies is the availability of high quality and regularly updated life cycle inventory (LCI) datasets. To ensure that only company-/supplier-specific information leads to different environmental performance of similar products, it is crucial that all processes in the value chain make use of the same background datasets, hence there is a need for an EF database.

During the first phase of the project, multiple frameworks for the EF database will be discussed and presented. This includes among others different operational models for generation, verification, acceptance, maintenance and access of EF data. Based on feedback from the European Commission, one model will be analysed in detail during the second phase of the project. This will result in a detailed description and definition of rules and procedures.

The project will be carried out during 2023 and is led by Pré Sustainability. In addition to overall quality assurance of the project, NORSUS is responsible for defining different models for maintaining the EF database.