Developing Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules for floriculture

​Reliable insight into the environmental footprint of horticultural products provides great opportunities, such as comparable outcomes, harmonized tooling and tackling false claims. With this project, we aim to achieve harmonised rules for calculating the environmental footprint of potted plants and cut flowers in the framework of the European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint. Under the leadership of Royal FloraHolland and the involvement of the Technical Secretariat this process is expected to release the officially approved PEFCR ‘Cut Flowers and Potted Plants’ before the end of 2022.

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Presentation by Albert Haasnoot (Royal FloraHolland, lead commissioner of the PEFCR Cut Flowers and Potted Plants) at the International Association of Horticultural Producers (AIPH)  Conference “The Path to Sustainability in Ornamental Horticulture”, September 30, 2021.

1st Open Public Consultation in September 2021

Watch our video (accompanied with slides) from the webinar that we organized on August 31, 2021 or read a note about good practices during public consultations. These will guide you through the 1st Public Consultation.

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The Technical Secretariat will carefully review all the feedback received during the 1st Public Consultation (September 1 – October 1, 2021) and will prepare replies to each comment.

Why PEFCR for floriculture?

Life cycle assessment (LCA), or environmental footprint analysis, is a widely acknowledged methodology to assess, benchmark, and monitor the environmental impact. Harmonised rules for such assessments provide more comparable outcomes and allow for the development of unified and harmonized tools, labels and consumer communication. This project will deliver the set of methodological rules for calculating the environmental footprint of two product categories (Cut flowers and Potted Plants) and is primarily meant for professionals with moderate knowledge of LCA. With this development we aim to achieve harmonised rules for calculating the environmental footprint of potted plants and cut flowers for the European market, with a global applicability. As one of the frontrunning sectors, we are preparing for expected future EU legislation, by developing FloriPEFCR.

How do we deliver PEFCR for Cut flowers and Potted plants?

The development of the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for potted plants and cut flowers is a follow up of the project Hortifootprint. To deliver the European standard for calculating environmental footprint for Cut flowers and Potted plants, a thorough multi-stakeholder process is followed. The FloriPEFCR development is led by the Technical Secretariat (TS) representing the sector. The organisation included in the TS are:

Coöperatie Royal FloraHolland U.A., UnionFleurs, Floriculture Sustainable Initiative (FSI), Stichting MPS, Wageningen Economic Research, Blonk Milieu Advies B.V., PRé Sustainability BV, Natuur&Milieu and GroentenFruit Huis.

The TS Members play a critical role in shaping the process and leading the discussion. They carry out the technical work, draft the documents, start stakeholder consultations and manage the comments received. The TS engages the professionals from the floricultural industry worldwide, the well-known experts in life-cycle-assessments and the public. The drafted category rules are tested through independent supporting studies, are reviewed by external experts and are subject to two open public consultations. Finally, the end approval of the PEFCR “Cut flowers and Potted Plants” is with the European Commission.

Publications and Communication

See here the full video of the “Floriade Dialogue” that took place on Friday 1 October 2021. Roline Broekema (Wageningen University & Research Center, The Netherlands) took part in this dialogue and gave a presentation “Hortifootprint Category Rules – A full set of environmental impact categories to monitor horticultural production”.

Watch the presentation here:

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The HortiFootprint Category Rules (Helmes et al, 2020) were developed by the PPS Consortium pursuant to the Project PPS TKI TU KV1605-125. This Project is funded in part by Foundation TKI Horticulture and Starting Materials.

Regarding the HortiFootprint Category Rules the Consortium does not monitor or audit how and by which party the method is used. The Consortium bears no legal liability or responsibility for the uses of the HortiFootprint Category Rules, or for interpretations, results or inferences based on these uses.

Although this information, for the most part, is in the public domain, it contains copyrighted materials. When communicating about the method please refer to “HortiFootprint Category Rules” (Helmes et al, 2020) and use the source link

Please note the HortiFootprint method is the predecessor of the future PEFCR for Floriculture. The current HortiFootprint method is not a PEFCR (Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules) as understood by the European Commission but can be seen as a shadow PEFCR, namely being developed in accordance with the PEFCR Guideline version 6.3.