PEF Data Platform

Environmental Footprint Data

Feb 2nd, 2024

In April 2013, following the Sustainable Consumption and Production Action Plan (2008), the European Commission published a communication titled “Building the Single Market for Green Products – Facilitating Better Information on the Environmental Performance of Products and Organizations.” The aim was to harmonize existing measures to reduce industry costs, reduce confusion among consumers about environmental information, and increase product comparability. Specifically, the Commission released the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) Guide and the Organizational Environmental Footprint (OEF) Guide under the premise of the “Single Market for Green Products Initiative.” Since then, the PEF and OEF project, coordinated by the European Commission, aims to develop standard methods to measure and communicate product and organization's life cycle environmental performance.

The project, running from 2013, has seen two phases to date, the pilot phase (2013-2018) and the transition phase (2019-2024).

During the pilot phase of the project (2013-2018), the PEF/OEF methods were tested by 27 different industry sectors, and about 20 Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs) and Organisation Environmental Footprint Sectoral Rules (OEFSRs) were developed. To apply these sets of rules for the calculation of the PEF/OEF profile of a product/organization, the processes used require both primary (company-specific) and secondary (background) data. Whilst the primary data are to be produced by the organization applying the PEFCR/OEFSR (or one of their suppliers as specified in the PEFCR/OEFSR), the secondary datasets are to be available to the final user through free dedicated nodes.

More information on the final PEFCRs of the pilot phase, here.

Currently, the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) project is in its transition phase (2019-2024). During this phase, before policies regarding environmental footprinting are adopted, the implementation of sets of rules established (PEFCRs) is monitored, the rules are expanded, and the background data developed are updated and expanded. 

Data Creation

Pilot Phase: EF2.0 Chemicals Part 1

During the pilot phase of the Environmental Footprint project (2017-2021), the ecoinvent association provided Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) aggregated processes for the Chemicals sector with their respective Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) results. Additionally, the association worked on the data conversion and addition to the UNEP GLAD system.

The data and LCIA results are provided through the dedicated ecoinvent LCDN node and can be downloaded on the ecoinvent node under the data stock EF2.0. More information about the structure and the methodology of the data is provided through a list of datasets along with their metadata and a sectorial report that is available.

Data Use

The use of the EF2.0 Chemicals data required the acceptance of the EF2.0 data EULA. Users who did not accept the terms and conditions of this EULA were not allowed to use the EF2.0 Chemicals data. Users need to agree to the following Privacy Policy

Access and Use

Please be advised that the use of this data is no longer permitted. The data is accessible on the ecoinvent LCDN node. The data has been superseded, see section on EF3.0 data. Users shall refer to the latest version of the data.

Transition Phase: EF3.1 Chemicals Part 1

During the transition phase of the project, the ecoinvent association updated the pilot (EF2.0) Chemicals data to be EF3.0 compliant. The data is updated with the EF3.1 nomenclature, the EF3.1 core data and adapted to the Guide for EF compliant datasets version 2.0 (JRC, 2020). 

Transition Phase: EF3.1 Agrofood, Apparel 1, Apparel 2, Apparel 3, Chemicals Part 2, Others, Plastics, and Renewable materials

During this phase, the ecoinvent Association further leads a consortium formed by PRé Sustainability and Blonk Consultants. The consortium, along with trusted partners, provided datasets for 1’269 processes in various sectors, including plastics, renewable materials, agrofood, textiles, chemicals, and others. 

 

ecoinvent is proud to collaborate on this project with several of our long-term, trusted partners, including, among others, Atlantic Consulting, ACV Brasil, Centro de Análisis de Ciclo de Vida y Diseño Sustentable S.A. de C.V., Cepi Aisbl, PT Life Cycle Indonesia, The Green House Consultants CC, Quantis Sàrl, Metsims Eğitim ve Dan. Hiz. Ltd. Şti., ENSAIT, Agroscope,  Envirometrica Ltd, ESCI-UPF, FICCI, Dr Subramanian Senthilkannan Muthu, Dr Angel Avadi.

The data related to all sectors apart from renewable materials and agrofood is published on the ecoinvent LCDN node, data stocks: EF3_1_Chemicals Part 2, EF3_1_Plastics, EF3_1_Apparel 1, EF3_1_Apparel 2, EF3_1_Apparel 3, and EF3_1_Others. The remaining data is available on the Blonk LCDN node, data stocks: EF3_1_Agrofood and EF3_1_Renewable materials.

Data Use: EF3.1 

The use of the datasets is restricted to the implementation of a PEF/OEF study in compliance with a PEFCR/OEFSR developed in the framework established by the Commission or in compliance with the requirements of an EU policy. The use of the datasets is granted in accordance with the terms and conditions of the End User Agreements (Chemicals Part 1 & Agrofood, Apparel 1, Apparel 2, Apparel 3, Chemicals Part 2, Others, Plastics, and Renewable Materials). The rights of use for the EF3.1 data are granted till 31st December 2025. Users who do not accept the terms and conditions of this EULA are not allowed to use the data.

Note: within the transition phase, ecoinvent and partners created data compliant with the EF3.0 nomenclature and method. The EF3.0 data has been updated according to the EF3.1 package released by the European Commission. The new EF3.1 package involves updating/fixing characterization factors in the impact categories of Climate Change, Acidification, Ecotoxicity freshwater, Photochemical ozone formation, Human Toxicity cancer, and Human Toxicity non-cancer. The life cycle inventories of the process datasets are NOT affected by these updates, but only the LCIA results for the 6 mentioned impact categories have been recalculated. 

Advisory Role

The ecoinvent Association is an expert member of the Environmental Footprint Technical Advisory Board.

The Technical Advisory Board (TAB) provides technical advice and expertise to the Commission. The issues to be discussed might include but are not limited to, analysis of the content of newly developed PEFCRs/OEFSRs, consistency of approaches among different PEFCRs/OEFSRs, and new methodological developments seen necessary within the EF context. The Technical Advisory Board consists of LCA/EF experts.

More information about the group, its members and meetings here

Data Working Groups

The transition phase of the PEF project will use the JRC reports on the PEF method and on the OEF method as their methodological basis. These methods include updates from developments and the lessons learned during the pilot phase (2013-2018). 

Two working groups are looking into further methodological updates: 

  • Agricultural modeling working group (AWG). 
  • Data Working Group (DWG) 

The goal of the EF Data Working Group (DWG) is to enhance the coordination and communication with data developers and LCA software providers on (i) the development of the Environmental Footprint (EF) reference package and (ii) on data generation in the EF framework. The scope of the working group is to create a collaborative framework for future developments around EF needs only. Based on the outcomes of the deliverables of the DWG, the European Commission will consider adapting and improving the guide for EF-compliant datasets, the EF-related software (released by the European Commission), and the EF reference package.

Relevant Documents and Files 

EF2.0 Data EULA

EF2.0 Data Sectorial Report

Privacy Policy

EF3.1 Chemicals Part1 Data EULA

EF3.1 Agrofood, Apparel 1, Apparel 2, Apparel 3, Chemicals Part 2, Others, Plastics, and Renewable Materials Data EULA