What are the Environmental Impact Categories?

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The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) method, endorsed by the European Commission, provides a standardized way to assess the environmental impacts of products. Using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), it examines the environmental impact of a product at every stage of its life cycle—from raw material production, through manufacturing, distribution, and use, to disposal (cradle to grave).

The goal of the PEF is to enable accurate and consistent communication of a product's environmental footprint to consumers. It is important to note that while the PEF methodology categorizes environmental impacts into 16 distinct categories, they do not all contribute equally to the overall environmental impact of the product (referred to as the PEF single score).

In the overview below, we explain the meaning of these impact categories, their units of measurement, and their weighted contribution to a product's overall environmental impact (PEF single score) according to the PEF methodology.

De 16 impact categorieën

Climate Change

Weighted impact: 21.06%

Water usage

Weighted impact: 8.51%

Land use

Weighted impact: 7.94%

Ionizing radiation

Weighted impact: 5.01%

Acidification

Weighted impact 6.31%

Ozone depletion

Weighted impact 6.31%

Human toxicity,
non-cancerous

Weighted impact: 2.13%

Human toxicity,
cancerous

Weighted impact: 1.84%

Ecotoxicity, freshwater

Weighted impact: 1.92%

Eutrophication, freshwater

Weighted impact: 2.80%

Eutrophication, marine environments

Weighted impact: 2.96%

Eutrophication, land

Weighted impact: 3.71%

Resource use, fossil

Weighted impact: 8.32%

Resource use,
minerals and metals

Weighted impact: 7.55%

Photochemical ozone formation

Weighted impact: 4.78%

Particulate matter emissions

Weighted impact: 8.96%

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