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Product Environmental Footprint : French developments

13 avril 2012 (mis à jour le 9 avril 2014) - Développement durable

Product Environmental Footprint: French developments

Experimentation for the Environmental Display on Products



Why a display of the environmental footprint of products ?

Household consumption of goods and services represents a major challenge in reducing our impact on the environment, in terms of combating the greenhouse effect and moving towards a more energy and resource efficient economy. The development and display of an environmental footprint aims to result in the gradual availability to consumers of the information on the carbon footprint and other environmental impacts of their purchases. The dual purpose is to include an environmental component in consumer purchasing choices and to provide the entire production and distribution chain with new indicators to promote and intensify their efforts to better eco-design products. - Leaflet about the French display scheme
- French developments in the food sector
- Consumers faced with environmental labelling

The French experimentation

As provided by the Grenelle II law, in 2011-2012 France conducted a national experimentation on consumer product environmental information. The trial covered the quantification of environmental impacts and the communication of environmental footprints to the consumer. More than 160 companies participated. All sectors were represented, with about one third from the food and beverage area. Several foreign companies – from Chile, Colombia, Sweden... – were part of the selection as well as French branches of multinationals.

- French developments on product environmental footprint display (PDF - 6606 Ko)
- Some concrete examples
- Documentation of the French experimentation
- Questionnaire for participating pioneering companies (PDF - 255 Ko)

Evaluation of the experimentation and follow-up

The Ministry has analysed the feedback from the companies (responses to the official questionnaire, self reports, phone interviews), from NGOs, from the Economy Ministry and other actors. A governmental report has been sent to the Parliament in October 2013 : you can find it (in French) there.

The governmental report now constitutes the roadmap for the continuation of our activities, notably : continue the development and consolidation of the technical tools (database, PCR, calculators), actively participate in the EU “PEF” pilot phase, work on communication and consumption aspects. Other actions will be decided soon.

 - Report on company feedback from the French national environmental labelling pilot - Summary of the report drawn up by Ernst & Young (PDF - 152 Ko)
- Report on company feedback from the French national environmental labelling pilot (in French)

For further information or cooperation contact us

The French standardisation work

In the meantime, since 2008, the ADEME-AFNOR stakeholder platform has been developing a general environmental footprinting methodology (BPX 30-323) and product category rules (PCRs) – twenty-three PCRs to date. These documents are available in French and English on the AFNOR’s website. Moreover, ADEME has also produced lecture guides (in French and English) for the BPX 30-323 and for nine PCRs. ADEME is also constructing a public generic product life cycle database, as well as calculators.
ADEME Database « Impacts » ® : (FR/EN)
ADEME (and partners) project Agri-Balyse on food product life cycle data : (FR/EN)

Around the world

- International forum on carbon/environmental footprinting
- Focus on european developments, by the European Commission
- A European initiative on food products, by industry and JRC
- Overview of the initiatives around the world, by The economist