Hortifootprint Category Rules : Towards a PEFCR for horticultural products

Helmes, Roel; Ponsioen, Tommie; Blonk, Hans; Vieira, Marisa; Goglio, Pietro; Linden, Rick van der; Gual Rojas, Paulina; Kan, Daniël; Verweij-Novikova, Irina


The demand of consumers and retailers for sustainably produced horticultural products is increasing. Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), or environmental footprint analysis, is a widely acknowledged methodology to assess, benchmark and monitor the environmental impact. Therefore, all supply chain partners are increasingly asking for footprint calculations of horticultural products. Because no harmonised methodology is available, the footprint calculations based on various methodological choices make those difficult to interpret. The project is carried out in the framework of a Public-Private Partnership project called ‘Methodology for environmental footprint’. This report delivers the set of methodological rules for calculating the environmental footprint of horticultural products and is primarily meant for professionals with moderate knowledge of LCA. The development of the methodology follows as much as possible the most recent Guidance for developing Product Environmental Category Rules (PEFCR) published by the European Commission. This Hortifootprint Category Rules guidance suggests a ‘flexible’ approach, giving practitioners flexibility to 1) define the system boundaries of the study to be performed and 2) select the secondary data to be used as background to model the different life cycle stages in scope. Although this flexibility makes HFCR suitable for a broader set of use cases, it has as a drawback that it only allows for comparisons within the same study, provided that the same background data and scope definition are chosen.