With consumers and stakeholders placing an increased focus on environment, the European Commission released the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) as a single metric to measure, display and benchmark the environmental performance of products. To increase consistency of PEF studies, the European Commission works on Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs) with technical guidance for specific product category. Product Environmental Footprint is often too complex for Small and Medium Enterprises and the European Commission has identified some key actions: provide initial tools that support SMEs and make sure that PEFCRs represent a simplification in the application of PEF.

Life-RENDER aims to demonstrate under real conditions the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of an innovative tool enabling the realization of PEF and PEFCR-compliant studies by SMEs from the Food and Drink sector and the identification of focused environmental measures. The project will promote the implementation of the Environmental Footprint Methodology at European level as key tool to assess and to communicate life cycle environmental performance to business consumers and stakeholders.

» Life RENDER Experimentation

At the end of the experimentation process, 11 French, Spanish, Portuguese and Greek Dairy Companies have tested the RENDER tool with the execution of 42 Product Environmental Footprint studies of representative dairy products, covering the 5 subcategories stated in the Dairy PEFCR. Based on the PEF results obtaained, two dairy companies have implemented nine measures to lower the environmental footprint of dairy products. Up to a 20% and 27% reduction in water consumotion and waste water generation has been achieved respectively while a 11% reduction in energy consumption and a 39% solid waste reduction was reached. The experience of dairy companies with the Dairy PEFCR and the RENDER tool were collected to feed the Policy Recommendation Paper to provide an extended feedback on the implementation of PEF studies by SMEs. The main conclusiones can be found in the Feedback document of Life RENDER on the Dairy PEFCR that can be downloaded in the Publication Section.

» About RENDER Tool

Life RENDER, conducted by 7 partners from Spain, France and Portugal, started in 2017 with the aim of promoting the implementation of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) Methodology at European level as key tool to assess and to communicate life cycle environmental performance to business consumers and stakeholders. For this purpose, Life RENDER developed and demonstrated in 11 French, Spanish,Portuguese and Greek Dairy Companies a Web Application integrating the PEF and Dairy Category Rules. With RENDER tool the environmental performance is assessed for the overall value chain of dairy products including the default steps established by the Dairy PEFCR that are relevant for the products that the SME sells on the market: Raw milk supply, Dairy Processing, Non-dairy ingredients supply, Packaging, Distribution, Use and End of life. RENDER tool integrates the RENDER Best Available Techniques Database with 112 Best Available Techniques Sheets aimed at increasing energy efficiency, reducing water consumption, waste generation and emissions to water/air and treating wastewater in Dairy Companies. The database covers the treatment and processing, other than exclusively packaging, of raw milk, whether previously processed or unprocessed, intended for the production of dairy products.

» Layman Report of Life RENDER is available in Publications.

Check out out Layman Report summarising the work done in the last 4 years and the main achievements of our Life RENDER team.