EU PEF – Granularity of scope

This project contributes to the European Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) category rules, by providing a procedural guideline, with examples, on how to correctly define the scope for the product categories, beyond the mere statistical product classification

The client

Nordic Council of Ministers

Our role

Project is performed by 2.-0 LCA consultants. Project start November 2016. Project completed April 2017.

Background and purpose

The Nordic Environmental Footprint group (NEF) under the Nordic Council of Ministers was asked by the EU Commission to contribute to the work on how to define the correct scope for future Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs), supporting the EU project to develop a harmonized LCA based methodology for assessment of environmental impact of products and services.

The purpose of the project was to provide a procedural description to identify the relevant granularity of product groups, through the definition of functional units that express the obligatory product properties on the market segment where the products are sold. This identification is best done in close cooperation with industry and other market players within the different product groups. Existing (performance) standards for the different product groups were used reference for the definition of the obligatory product properties. Furthermore, existing data from market surveys, including data on cross-price-elasticity, primarily obtained through cooperating industries, were applied to identify and document the relevant product substitutions, and thereby to justify the market delimitation for each product group and their functional units.

A general practical description of (guideline for) the procedural approach was made based on the description in the Danish consensus-project, but with an aim of improving practical usability and readability. Three examples were provided, one being the example of an office chair from the Danish consensus-project, and at least one within the food industry.

The project resulted in a report: ‘Short procedural guideline to identify the functional unit for a product environmental footprint and to delimit the scope of product categories‘.