Applicability of the European Environmental Footprint (EF) methodology in Southern Mediterranean countries—learnings and recommendations for enabling EF-compliant studies in regions outside of Europe
- 36 Downloads
The European Commission is thinking about policy options for the European Environmental Footprint (EF) method and aims for a broad support. The SwitchMed initiative is a programme with the overall objective to facilitate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production in the Southern Mediterranean region. One of the objectives of this initiative, carried out in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco, and Tunisia, is to facilitate access of companies from this region to the outcomes of the EF Rules pilot phase.
The project was composed of three consecutive phases: (I) awareness raising; (II) local pilots; and (III) dissemination events. The awareness raising and technical workshop activities were meant to expose national stakeholders to the potential impact of the EF system for the national economies. Next, nine environmental footprint studies for selected product categories (so-called PEF pilot studies) were performed to create local capacity and expertise. These were leather and intermediate paper product for Egypt; two studies on wine and one on intermediate paper product in Lebanon; olive oil for Morocco; and pasta, olive oil, and dairy for Tunisia. The learnings from the pilot studies were shared in national dissemination events and used to formulate recommendations for enabling EF-compliant studies in regions outside of Europe.
Results and discussion
There was high attendance to the awareness events in each country. The pilot studies showed many similarities with the European screening studies, but also important differences in the identification of most relevant impact categories, life cycle stages, and processes (‘hotspots analyses’), e.g. related to the local scarcity of water. Based on their pilot study, the local experts made concrete suggestions for shifting towards more sustainable consumption and production. One of the biggest successes of this project is that a couple of these recommendations have already been taken into account by the companies.
Conclusions and recommendations
Developing databases with local inventory data for regions outside of Europe;
Enlarging access to EF-compliant data by extension of the free access and by facilitation of the availability of conversion tools;
Taking the local availability of data into account when setting data quality requirements;
Adapting the rules for data collection and quality to allow for more precise adaptations;
Including in the PEFCR development, supporting studies for products manufactured outside the EU and/or in a geography with unusual conditions; and
Updating existing rules specific for certain product categories regularly.
KeywordsAwareness raising Dissemination Environmental Footprint (EF) Hotspots analyses Local capacity building Mediterranean export products Single market for green products
We would also like to express our special thanks to Mark Goedkoop for his valuable contributions to the awareness raising activities and dissemination events, and for his feedback to earlier versions of this manuscript. To all UNIDO staff members involved in this project, particularly Vladimir Anastasov and Roberta De Palma, Mohammed Elewa, Nada Sabra, Alaedine Tidjani, and Rachid Nafti. Furthermore, we wish to acknowledge the companies participating in the pilot studies: Piel Color Group (leather in Egypt), El Bardi Group (intermediate paper product in Egypt), Mimosa (intermediate paper product in Lebanon), HF S.A.L. and Ksara (Lebanese wine), Les Domaines Agricoles (Moroccan olive oil), Huilerie Loued (Tunisian olive oil), Warda (Tunisian pasta), and Soril (Tunisian dairy). Next, we wish to thank the local LCA experts performing the pilot studies: Dalia Nakhla, Mary Mahrous, Naji Tannous, Walid Harb, Makram Bachawati, Youssef Chaoui, Noureddine Hajjaji, and Ahmed Herzi. And at last, we would like to thank Daniël Kan for his important contribution to finishing the pilot study in Morocco. This article benefited from the constructive remarks of three critical reviewers.
Financial contributions from the SwitchMed Program are gratefully acknowledged. Funded by the European Union, the SwitchMed Programme is implemented by the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), in partnership with the UN Environment’s Economy Division, the UN Environment Mediterranean Action Plan and its Regional Activity Centre for Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP/RAC). The initiative is carried out in close coordination with the Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement (DG NEAR).
- Bachawati M (2018) Product environmental footprint category rules: Chardonnay wine Château Ksara, Lebanon – Final ReportGoogle Scholar
- European Commission (EC) (2013) Commission recommendation on the use of common methods to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations (2013/179/EU)Google Scholar
- European Commission (EC) (2016) Single Market for Green Products Initiative [Internet]. [Cited 2017 July 17]. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/smgp/
- European Commission (EC) (2017) PEFCR guidance document, guidance for the development of product environmental footprint category rules (PEFCRs), version 6.3, December 2017Google Scholar
- Fazio S, Zampori L, De Schryver A, and Kusche O (2019) Guide for EF compliant data sets, final draft (version 1.1) Publications Office of the EU, Luxembourg. [Cited 2019 July 10]. Available from: https://eplca.jrc.ec.europa.eu/permalink/Guide_EF_DATA.pdf
- Guiton M, Benetto E (2018) Special session on product environmental footprint. In: Benetto E, Gericke K, Guiton M (eds) Designing sustainable technologies, products and policies. Springer, ChamGoogle Scholar
- Hajjaji N, Herzi A (2018a) Complete PEF study report for olive oil of the company Huilerie Loued, Tunisia – Final ReportGoogle Scholar
- Hajjaji N, Herzi A (2018b) Complete PEF study report for dry pasta of the company Warda, Tunisia – Final ReportGoogle Scholar
- Hajjaji N, Herzi A (2018c) Complete PEF study report for dairy of the company Soril, Tunisia – Final ReportGoogle Scholar
- Harb W (2018) Product environment footprint category rules (PEFCR) case study – production of wine: Coteaux Les Ceders by Couvent Rouge, HF S.A.L., Lebanon – Final ReportGoogle Scholar
- International Organization for Standardization (ISO) (2006) Environmental management - life cycle assessment - principles and framework. Geneva, Switzerland: ISO 14040:2006Google Scholar
- Kan D, Golsteijn L (2018) Product environmental footprint (PEF) of olive oil production at Les Domaines Agrioles, Morocco – Final ReportGoogle Scholar
- Nakhla D (2018) Implementation of product environmental footprint study in Piel Color Company, Egypt – final reportGoogle Scholar
- Mahrous M (2018) Applying product environmental footprint category rules for intermediate paper products on Al-Bardi Paper Mills – final reportGoogle Scholar
- PRé Sustainability (2019) Community-driven life cycle information (CDLCI) [internet]. [Cited 2019 July 8]. Available from: https://www.pre-sustainability.com/about-pre/sustainability-initiatives/
- Tannous N (2018) Product environment footprint – intermediate paper product “recycled craft testliner jumbo rolls brown top” Mimosa company, Lebanon – Final ReportGoogle Scholar
- United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) (2019) The REAL project [Internet]. [Cited 2019 July 8]. Available from: https://www.unenvironment.org/explore-topics/resource-efficiency/what-we-do/life-cycle-initiative/real-project