Product Environmental Footprint (PEF)

Measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products

The Environmental Footprint methods aim to help companies to calculate their environmental performance based on reliable, verifiable, and comparable information, and for other actors (public administrations, NGOs, business partners, for example) to have access to such information. It will incentivise industry to manufacture products that have a better environmental performance.

The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) is a multi-criteria measure of the environmental performance of a good or service throughout its life cycle. The objective of PEF information is to seek a reduction of the environmental impact of goods and services taking into consideration end-to-end Supply Chain activities.

To achieve this, the European Commission’s Environmental footprint methods are used, for modelling and quantifying the environmental impacts of the flows of material/energy and the emissions and waste streams associated with a product throughout its life cycle. These methods cover 16 environmental impacts, including climate change, and impacts related to water, air, resources, land use and toxicity. The general methods are complemented with product- or organisation- specific calculation rules enabling comparison of environmental performances between similar products and companies active in similar sectors.

Whereas the fundamental principles of these methods are based on the Life Cycle Assessment, most of the changes introduced are of a methodological nature in the following three main areas: modelling requirements, data and data quality requirements and life cycle impact assessment. It also enshrines the development of category and sector rules, and therefore provide a sound basis for further policy development and implementation.

A company wishing to market its product as environmentally friendly on the market of several Member States faces a range of choices of methods and initiatives. Without a reliable, state of the art, life cycle assessment, companies are not able to make the right decision to improve their environmental performance. This results in costs for companies, lack of clarity for consumers and potentially a missed opportunity to promote truly sustainable products that are respectful of the environment.

This offering is part of the wide DNV sustainability services portfolio that includes Life Cycle Assessment and Product Environmental Footprinting services. In addition, DNV offers a unique Digital Product Passport service to its customers, which enables them to meet the requirements for digital availability of compliance information, as well as additional communication and post-market traceability services.

Reach out to our team of experts to see how we can support in your overall EU Green Deal strategy and compliance needs.