Driving Sustainable Change: Our Role in the PEF Initiative

  • Policy and Legislation
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Jeremy Lardeau
June 21, 2024

As we strive to create a more sustainable and equitable consumer goods industry, our involvement in developing the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) Category Rules (PEFCR) for apparel and footwear is pivotal.

The European Commission has engaged Cascale to convene a multi-stakeholder Technical Secretariat (TS) to set a standardized methodology for product environmental impact assessment.

This initiative underscores our commitment to fostering industry collaboration and ensuring that sustainability claims are reliable and verifiable. By facilitating the development of the PEFCR, we are supporting the EU in establishing a common language for calculating environmental footprints, which is essential for combating greenwashing and promoting transparency.

The cost of participation as a voting member in the TS, set at 40,000 EUR a year over five years, reflects the comprehensive scope and extended timeline of this critical project. This fee was determined collectively to support the development of the PEFCR, with a minor contribution from the EU Commission during the COVID crisis.

Addressing concerns about bias in the PEF methodology, it’s important to note that the data used is managed by the EU Commission and recognized data providers, ensuring that it is scientifically grounded and unbiased. The PEF methodology itself does not favor any particular material but aims to provide a reliable foundation for sustainability assessments.

All organizations interested in joining the TS were accepted, ensuring an inclusive and comprehensive approach to developing the PEFCR. Our role is to facilitate this collaborative effort, bringing together diverse perspectives to drive meaningful change in our industry.

It’s crucial to highlight that the PEF is an initiative driven by the democratically elected European Parliament, not by the industry or Cascale. From a technical perspective, the methodology is overseen by the Joint Research Center of the EU, which guarantees that the approach is fair, unbiased, and science-based.

We remain dedicated to our mission of leading the industry toward sustainable practices, and our support for the PEF initiative is a significant step in that direction. Together, we can create a consumer goods industry that gives more than it takes – to the planet and its people.

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