from principles to methodologies

Pascal Gréverath, Nestlé, Chairman CIAA Environment Committee
European Economic and Social Committee
Public Hearing – SCP & SIP Action Plan
10 December 2008
Our roadmap on sustainable production and consumption:
Delivering continuous environmental improvement across the food chain
We, food producers, deliver real sustainability improvements
together with our business partners
– We work with farmers on sustainable agricultural practices worldwide
– We are acting as bio-refineries, transforming agricultural raw materials into a
series of products and by-products, thereby preventing waste
– We reduce waste going to landfill by recovering embedded resources
– We cut GHG emissions in our factories by increasing energy-efficiency and using
more renewable energy sources (including bio-gas from our own residues)
– We reduce water consumption per tonne of production
– We optimise packaging solutions by cutting material and weight
– We set up and finance successful packaging recovery schemes across the EU
– We improve transport efficiency together with supply chain partners
– We communicate with consumers on all relevant product characteristics
Take a closer look at:
The two elements of sustainable food consumption
HOW we consume: Direct environmental impacts
• Transport (e.g. shopping by car)
• Food storage (refrigeration)
• Food preparation (cooking, dishwashing, etc)
• Waste generation and disposal / recovery
Education and support: Help consumers to cut energy and
water use, reduce food waste and sort used packaging for
WHAT we consume: Indirect environmental impacts
• Through consumers´ purchasing decisions
Reliable environmental product information
Getting environmental product information right
Voluntary environmental information to consumers can be an
effective tool to support sustainable consumption if it is:
scientifically reliable
based on uniform environmental assessment methodologies
across the EU in line with international standards
covering the most significant impacts along the life-cycle
relevant and understandable for the consumer
avoiding disproportionate financial or administrative burden
safeguarding innovation and the Internal Market
using the most appropriate communication tools
Status quo:
Practicable methodologies to assess environmental
performance of food are still missing
– Today: no uniformly applied product assessment methodology for
food, apart from conducting standardised LCAs, which are too
complex and too expensive for daily industrial practice
– High diversity of food and drinks, different environmental impacts
at different stages of the life-cycle (e.g. sugar vs. milk)
– Specificities in terms of health and nutrition must be considered
– Proliferation of competing schemes developed by various actors in
different countries within the EU (public authorities, retailers,
– Different schemes assessing different impacts with different
methodologies (carbon footprint, food miles, CO2 content of
packaging, recyclability, air-freight, etc)
Flourishing Member State activities on „green“ information
– UK: Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas
emissions of goods and services (PAS 2050:2008) published by BSI.
– France: Legal requirement to have environmental indications on
products as of 2011; General principles for an environmental
communication on mass market products (BP X30-323) published by
AFNOR; Methodological guides per product category, including food
and drinks.
– Belgium: The authorities of the Region of Brussels are assessing the
feasibility of a carbon footprint label for food.
– Sweden: Climate labelling scheme for food has been launched with
Government support.
– Germany: Project on CO2 labelling involving WWF Deutschland, ÖkoInstitut, Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung und Thema1.
– …
Retail example UK:
TESCO – towards carbon labels on all products
– Announcement in 2007 to put
carbon footprint labels on all
products (70,000 in total)
– Labels based on BSI methodology
(“PAS 2050”)
– In addition, air-freight labels on
products flown in
Retail example - France:
Casino´s environmental label
Trafic light system
based on 3 indicators:
1. CO2 content of packaging
2. Recyclability (with and
without waste separation)
3. Transport distance (km)
Retail example - France: E.Leclerc
Price in € + Price in CO2
As of April 2008:
• Scope: all food products
• CO2 footprint only
• Along the entire life-cycle
• Average French value per product category
• Ignoring efforts made by manufacturers or
consumers to improve performance
Environment Council asks Commission to work on
carbon footprint methodologies
• Environment Council Conclusions on SCP / SIP Action Plan
(adopted on 4 December 2008)
(10) INVITES the European Commission to study the introduction of
the carbon footprint of products in the existing EU environmental
labelling instruments such as the Eco-label and energy labelling; also
INVITES the Commission, taking into account Member States'
experience, to start working as soon as possible on common voluntary
methodologies facilitating the future establishment of carbon audits for
organisations and the calculation of the carbon footprint of products;
Sustainable consumption?
CIAA calls for environmental food information to be
based on reliable and uniform methodologies
• Science-based and EU-wide approach required to ensure confidence of
consumers in the reliability of provided information
and avoid :
Accusations of “green wash”
Consumer confusion due to proliferation of schemes and labels
Unnecessary complexity, high costs for industry (SMEs)
Fragmentation of the market
• Must be developed in a multi-stakeholder process to be effective
Draft CIAA principles for the voluntary assessment of food and drink
products and environmental communication to consumers
The lead principle: Information should be accurate, verifiable, relevant, understandable
and not misleading
I. Principles for the voluntary environmental assessment of products
Principle 1:
Principle 2:
Principle 3:
Principle 4:
Assess the most significant life-cycle stage(s) from farm to fork
Assess the most significant environmental impact(s)
Maintain the environmental assessment updated
Apply recognised and uniform scientific methodologies at EU level
II. Principles for the voluntary communication of environmental information
Principle 6:
Principle 7:
Principle 8:
Principle 9:
Principle 10:
Provide factual information to support individual choice
Use the most suitable means of communication
Provide easily understandable information
Ensure clarity regarding the scope of information
Ensure transparency of information and underlying methodologies
III. Generic principles for assessment & communication
Principle 11: Grant open access to all companies (including SMEs)
Principle 12: Support innovation
Principle 13: Safeguard the Internal Market and international trade
CIAA next steps: from principles to methodologies
– Fine-tuning the principles with supply chain partners with a
view to arriving at common food chain principles on
environmental communication
– CIAA will then work on concrete methodologies to assess
how these principles can be implemented
– Assessment of the practical implications of various
approaches (cost-benefit analysis):
Financial and administrative burden
Impact on SMEs, innovation and international trade
Relevance for consumers
Contribution to environmental improvement
– Format for further work: Food Chain SCP Roundtable
Revision of the EU eco-label scheme
Initial objective of EU eco-label (preamble):
« To promote products with a reduced environmental
impact during their entire life cycle and to provide
consumers with accurate, non-deceptive and
scientifically based information on the environmental
impact of products. »
Main characteristics today:
Scope: Food, pharmaceuticals and medical devices excluded
Eco-label criteria exist for 26 products groups
Represents a very small fraction of the EU market (1 € billion/year)
Not a successful tool:
Low uptake by industry
Low awareness by consumers
Commission intends to improve this situation > revision 2008
Eco-label revision and food and drink products
1992: Eco-label scheme established: food excluded
2000: First revision: Food remains excluded
2008: Proposal for revised eco-label scheme:
Article 2 (scope)
Concerning food products as defined in Article 2 of Regulation (EC)
No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council, it shall
only apply to processed food and to the products of fishing
and aquaculture.
Article 7 (Ecolabel criteria) & Article 9 (registration for use of
the Ecolabel)
Environmental criteria for processed food shall relate only to
processing, transport or packaging phases
CIAA position on eco-label revision
EC proposal contradicts life-cycle principle.
EC proposal not based on scientific evidence. Would lead to
incomplete assessments and misleading information to consumers
EC proposal draws arbitrary distinction between food products
Specificities of food in terms of health and nutrition not taken
into account. Too simplistic communication tool for food.
CIAA calls for maintaining the exclusion of food from the scope
of the eco-label regulation
Development of reliable EU-wide methodologies for the
assessment of the environmental performance of food and drink
products; Identification of suitable communication tools taking into
account the specificities of food in terms of health and nutrition;
CIAA promotes establishment of multi-stakeholder process
(Food Chain SCP Roundtable, see next slide)
Towards a Food Chain SCP Roundtable
The whole food chain must cooperate to effectively drive SCP
Its expertise must be pooled to develop integrated solutions
Promote reliable & uniform assessment methodologies for food and drinks
Identify suitable communication tools vis-à-vis consumers
Identify and implement continuous improvement measures along the food chain
Farmers and farm related
Food and drink manufacturers
Packaging producers
Consumers & NGOs
EU and national policy makers
Scientific experts
Thank you for your attention !
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