The European Commission has been working to develop and introduce a common method for quantifying the environmental impact of products. It seems increasingly likely that this PEF approach will become mandatory in some way when companies wish to make environmental claims about their products or materials.
CEPI and a large number of co-authors have produced Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for Intermediate Paper Products. As with any major methodological document produced via a committee format, there are some inconsistencies and ambiguities within the PEFCR which do not fit for producing the average PEF of a sector.
With this in mind Pro Carton, FEFCO and Eurosac, through the auspices of CITPA, commissioned RISE to evaluate the PEFCR. The aim of the work was to identify and report on challenges presented when applying the PEFCR, and to make recommendations for improving (or clarifying) the PEFCR in the future. The analysis is made primarily from the viewpoint of the trade associations responsible for producing sector-wide data and analysis, but many of the points will also be valid for individual companies wishing to produce a PEF compliant LCA study of their specific products: