23 May 2018

Beer PEFCR approved by the European Commission

Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR)

Earlier we announced that the Feed PEFCR (the first PEFCR) has been approved by the European Commission.
On 20 April 2018 the Beer PEFCR was also given the green light, following four years hard work by all the partners to develop a single European standard for the beer sector. It is now possible to calculate the environmental footprint of beer in a clear and consistent way.

Beer PEFCR approval a major step forward

The PEFCR for beer was officially approved by the European Commission in Brussels on 20 April 2018. During the development of this standard the beer industry was supported by Blonk Consultants and Bocconi University. The Brewers of Europe (industry federation) chaired the process. For the PEFCR we performed a life cycle assessment (LCA) of ‘European beer’ and, with various brewers, we carried out a number of case studies and developed datasets and the model. Finally, we co-authored the definitive PEFCR for beer.

Crucial measure of sustainable beer production

The Beer PEFCR is an important building block that will help brewers determine the sustainability of their products. It gives them tools to calculate the environmental footprints of their products, based on the LCA method. We believe this marks a major step forward in calculating the environmental footprint of beer and making agro-food value chains more sustainable.

Technical Secretariat

Many parties were involved in the development of the PEFCR. The Technical Secretariat, headed by The Brewers of Europe, consisted of the following organisations: AB-Inbev, Carslberg Group, HEINEKEN, European Aluminium, The European Container Glass Federation, and Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER).

What is the PEF?

European standard for LCA studies

In April 2013 the European Commission (EC) published a Communication to the European Parliament and the Council called ‘Building the Single Market for Green Products: Facilitating better information on the environmental performance of products and organisations’. It introduces two methods for measuring and communicating environmental performance throughout the life cycle: one for organisations, the Organisational Environmental Footprint (OEF), and one for products, the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method.

Framework of general requirements and principles

The proposed PEF method is a framework of general requirements and principles. This means that the main methodological choices in LCA studies can be standardised. It will then in principle not make any difference who carries out these studies; if all the methodological rules are followed and all requirements met, the results will be virtually the same.

The PEFCRs will standardise the use of primary data and background data and ensure the data are as reliable as possible and that any missing data are drawn from the same background database. In addition, system boundaries, allocation rules and the method for calculating environmental impacts will be harmonised.

PEF Pilot Projects

In 2014 PEF pilot projects for 21 product groups were started to prepare more specific technical guidance in PEFCRs. Some of these pilot projects have been discontinued. It is expected that in coming months several other PEFCRs will be approved by the EC.

More information

get in touch

Jasper Scholten
Director Consultancy

If you want to know more about PEF and how PEF can be used in your organization get in touch with Jasper.