A common system to measure the environmental footprint of leatherWith an international conference UNIC officially presented PEFCR, the new tool available to tanneries to quantify the environmental impact of their products
Today all sector operators involved in sustainability projects talk about PEFCR, which stands for Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules – most often simply called PEF – or the set of necessary rules (16 to be exact) to calculate the environmental footprint according to a consensual methodology approved at European level.
This was discussed in detail on last 26 September in Milan, within Lineapelle, during the International Conference entitled “Environmental footprint of European products: a new challenge for the leather and fashion industry”, organised by UNIC, Cotance and CNR in collaboration with the European Commission. The aim of the event was to present the goals achieved by the leather area, illustrating its future prospects also in terms of certification.
As is well known, the PEF tool arises from the need to establish a unique European method for assessing the environmental impact of a product, offering users a standardised system to quantify and reduce it.
Andreas Kindermann, president of Cotance (the European federation that brings together tanning associations) opened the Conference and expressed his satisfaction at the conclusion of a job that required years of commitment by European tanners, such as reported in detail also by the Secretary of Cotance, Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano who was at the forefront in defending the positions of tanneries about the meat industry in relation to the allocation of the environmental impact of raw leather compared to the animal.
To explain how we have come to harmonize the European scene where previously there were different regulations from country to country, intervened Michele Galatola of the Directorate General Environment (DG-ENV) of the European Commission who described the long methodological work that led to the definition of the common measurement rules: “After a great technical and scientific effort, today we have an easy-to-use tool for the user”, said Galatola.
But how do you use PEFCR? “We have already started tests with the tanneries to get soon a product certification”, announced Sabrina Frontini, manager of ICEC. The conference ended with a discussion table between brand exponents, tannery experts, suppliers of chemicals and machinery. Everybody highlighted the importance of this new measurement tool and also the job opportunities that open up in all sectors.