The Flori Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules, or FloriPEFCR, will soon become the European standard for footprint calculation in floriculture. Our specialists introduce you to this new standard in a series of blogs. In the latest blog, LCA specialist Rick van der Linden talks about Benchmarking based on a Product Environmental Footprint.
FloriPEFCR makes floriculture much more transparent. For an accurate footprint calculation, all flowers and plants will soon be placed along the same yardstick. Will this also make 'benchmarking' – systematically comparing performance and business processes – easier? And will this increase competition?
By using one and the same calculation method, results can easily be compared, i.e. the footprints. But that's only part of the story. As a Life Cycle Analyst I make sure that the calculations are in accordance with the rules. But how to compare those results with each other is another story. After all, every grower finds his product unique - 'with one more flower, with a slightly different color and with a slightly longer stem' - and that makes benchmarking difficult. We make the calculations, but do not make a value judgement. In my view, there is a role for the trade or industry associations to ensure a clear categorization.
The fact is of course that the footprint calculation in general sharpens the competition. It's going to be a race to the bottom; whoever has the lowest footprint is the winner. Hard? Yes. But it is the direction we need to go, because the main goal is to reduce our footprint.
More insight into CO2-usage
The good news is that we can use the FloriPEFCR to give growers much more insight into their CO2 consumption across the entire chain and thus also offer opportunities to improve processes. If your footprint is 'in the red' on the transport section, then you need to investigate that section further. Is it because of the boat? The plane? Or the truck? Perhaps you should look for a carrier with a more economical truck. Or supply your products in a completely different way…
In other words, FloriPEFCR will force everyone to 'rethink'. Looking at every step of the process with different eyes. A good thing, because without innovation we will get nowhere!