European Commission

Tempe, AZ – July 19th, 2012 – A joint webinar in early July was held between TSC and The European Commission. Imola Bedo, Production Coordinator for The Commission updated TSC members on their progress developing both product-level and company-level environmental footprinting methodologies. The call also explored the similarities and differences with other global initiatives like TSC and with regional initiatives such as the French Grenelle initiative.

Bedo explained that The Commission’s Environmental Footprint Methodology for products were built upon the foundation of several other methodologies, with the intention to develop their Product Environmental Category Rules (PEFCR’s) on existing work when applicable. They aim to provide detailed technical guidance for how to conduct a product environmental footprint study. “The most important policy mandate that we are currently basing our work on is the ‘Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe,’ which is a very strategic document which sets out many of the actions that we will take in order to ensure we reach our goal of a Resource Efficient Economy by 2020,” said Bedo.
In November of last year, The Sustainability Consortium and The Commission compared TSC’s methodology used in it’s seven Level 2 pilot projects with The Commission’s draft product methodology. That work showed that there were only minor differences between our two approaches. “We would like to be as close as possible to the EU methodology,” mentioned Koen Boone, Director of European Operations at The Sustainability Consortium. “The Commission has been very effective in keeping TSC up to date and to communicate from their side what we could do to keep both initiatives as aligned as possible.”

As both organizations look to 2013, one joint challenge is the efficient development of product category rules. The Commission will look to work closely with TSC and other partners to help define category rules. “We have already began to discuss this with our colleagues in The Sustainability Consortium about how to share this work and establish synergies wherever possible, as to not duplicate the work,” mentioned Bedo. She continued on to say, “Our cooperation (with TSC) is not only in sharing the PFCR’s and supporting each other’s work, but also in terms of participation in the process. We’re glad for the open, fruitful dialogue we’re having and are working towards exploiting synergies and cooperation in several areas”