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. This time, LCA specialist Rick van der Linden talks about the role of LCA specialists.
Two types of growers
When I started talking to growers about their 'footprint' as a Life Cycle Analyst (LCA) seven years ago, some of them looked at me with their mounth open. Now, years later, things are different. Sustainability and CO2 footprint are now clearly on the agenda. I distinguish two categories; a group of growers who are naturally interested in sustainability. And a group that follows developments because their customers demand it.
The role of LCA-specialists
The new calculation rules for FloriPEFCR are quite complex. The European Commission has been working on this for some time, which makes sense of course. Such rules must be strict and well thought out. You don't want people to "stretch" the rules. We, the LCA specialists of Greenhouse Sustainability, are a kind of accountants who can explain and fill in the new rules for the growers. It is always a matter of finding a way that is both good and workable. Because you don't want a grower to be busy supplying all kinds of data full-time. We have made a major professionalization move in that area; a lot of data is quite easy to generate. At least as important is finding the right balance between accuracy on the one hand, and speed and affordability on the other.
Concrete actions through footprint
The first growers we introduced to calculating their footprint often responded positively. They say find it interesting. But what is especially striking is that they benefit more from it than they initially thought, or so I am told. They actually use the results to reduce their footprint. For example, by adjusting certain transport movements. Others will work with their energy system or focus on more efficient cultivation methods. In short, I see a lot of concrete actions at the companies we were involved with. And that is also what you want to achieve, of course, that something happens and that your report does not end up unused in a drawer. After all, you have many ways to become more sustainable and that is not just with 'less, less, less!' You can also become more sustainable by working more efficiently and better.
In the fourth blog of this blog series about the FloriPEFCR, Rick discusses benchmarking based on a Product Environmental Footprint.