The Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) informed the European Commission on 13 November of its intention to take over the PEFCR (Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules) prepared under a larger EU pilot on environmental footprints.
“The PEFCR project promised to deliver a clear, simplified and workable method for environmental footprinting that our value chain could effectively use and rely upon. After more than four year’s work, the European Commission body in charge of the project is far from this objective. CEPI will now take the necessary measures to conclude the project and design a tool that is meaningful for business and workable for SMEs,” says Sylvain Lhôte, Director General at CEPI.
Initiated in 2013, the Intermediate Paper Pilot was meant to deliver a methodology for environmental footprinting of intermediate paper in a clear and workable format for all users. It was considered, at that time, that the workability of future PEF rules was imperative for the paper value chain, particularly SMEs. Led by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre, however, the project has since been turned into an overly academic tool and the process continuously delayed.
The industry recognises the value of establishing a reference tool for communicating the environmental performance of paper products to customers and consumers. The industry has therefore decided to take back the lead from the European Commission and revise the PEFCR. In order to do so, CEPI has outlined a number of key steps in a letter sent to the Commission’s environment department here. The process would lead to developing free software for calculating the environmental footprint of intermediate paper, which could be extended by the printing and paper converting associations to a tool for final paper products. CEPI believes these steps are achievable over the 2018 – 2019 period.
CEPI is the pan-European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry. Through its 18 national associations CEPI gathers 495 companies operating more than 900 pulp and paper mills across Europe producing paper, pulp, cardboard, tissue and other bio-based products. CEPI represents 22% of world production, €81 billion of annual turnover to the European economy and directly employs over 175,000 people.