Product Environmental Footprint

Participation in the European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint initiative

An environment-conscious society requires the supply chain to deliver products the consumer can identify as environmentally friendly.

The European Commission is evaluating ways to provide better comparative information to help consumers in their decision making. One approach is to incorporate Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies in its Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) pilot. ECI has been publishing environmental life-cycle inventory data for the main copper products since 2004.

Supported by its key member companies, ECI is taking part in two PEF pilots–one on tubes, the other on metal sheets. These 3-year pilots, which bring together industry, academia and other stakeholders, have the task to develop rules, to test them on actual products, and to evaluate different end-user communication routes. ECI is contributing its expertise into the Technical Secretariat for the pilots on Hot and Cold Water Supply Pipes and Metal Sheets for Various Applications.

While ECI supports the use of LCA to assess environmental effects, it cautions that the methodologies to identify suitable parameters on eco-toxicity, human toxicity and resource depletion for metals are not yet well-established in the scientific or regulatory community.

ECI has played an important role, with Eurometaux and Euromines, in developing indicators that reflect the characteristics of metals and fully takes into account recycling.

Read more about Life Cycle Assessment for Copper products here