September 6, 2019
Lyreco is supporting the efforts of the European Commission and has become the first distributor to test its own-brand products using the EU Product Environmental Footprint (EU PEF) methodology, a comparative evaluation to calculate the environmental footprint of products, taking into account each step of the product life cycle, from the manufacture of raw materials to the end of product life.
Approved by the European Commission in April 2018, this methodology will create a single label to help consumers make their purchasing decisions based not only on price, but also on the ecological impact of products.
The PEF is a multi-criteria evaluation methodology set up to calculate the environmental performance of products and services throughout their life cycle, from raw material to recycling, through packaging and distribution.
Scoring on 16 criteria such as depletion of natural resources, climate change, water consumption, eutrophication and impact on human health among others, PEF identifies elements with a high environmental impact and therefore ways to find alternatives to reduce them. PEF is a benchmarking methodology that rates the environmental performance of a product or service against an average reference product on the market.
An operational tool to encourage the establishment of a circular economy, PEF was presented by the European Commission after 5 years of work in cooperation with more than 260 manufacturers, 2000 stakeholders and 5000 participants. The intention is to introduce the methodology as a European Directive and thus make it easy to communicate with consumers on the ecological impact of product
Lyreco called it a long-awaited revolution to help guide consumers who are often confused in the “green jungle” of more than 400 existing labels.
Lyreco presented the results of the evaluation of its range of detergents and announced the roll-out of evaluations for all of its own-brand products: cartridges, writing and printing materials, paper and notebooks, etc. This represents about 40 families of products for which the distributor is committed to making available the PEF results in the medium term.
“We are convinced that the PEF is a real solution for reducing the ecological footprint of products and providing the transparency that consumers expect. Measuring is an essential step in reducing environmental impact. We are aware of the economic and industrial difficulties involved in this approach, but we must dare to question ourselves in the face of the environmental challenges that the world urgently need to address,” says Nasser Kahil, QSS Director of the Lyreco Group.
By leading by example, Lyreco also aims to use its position as the leading distributor in Europe to obtain commitments from all its suppliers, even before PEF becomes mandatory.
“We are taking initiatives regarding our transport fleet, packaging and logistics to reduce our environmental impact as much as possible but if we want to ensure our commitments, we must also act with regard to manufacturers of products. This is our responsibility as a distributor,” he concluded.
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