In the course of 2021, FEDIOL commissioned VITO, a Belgian research organization in the area of cleantech and sustainable development, to create product environmental footprint (PEF) profiles of vegetable oil and protein meal products. The products covered include crude and refined oils and meals from soybeans, rapeseeds, sunflower seeds, maize germs and crude and refined oils derived from oil palm (including palm kernel) and coconut, and the refining by-products of the oils of all mentioned crops.
Next to these environmental footprint profiles, VITO also made category rules for the mentioned products (PEFCR).
The study, completed in 2022, builds on an ISO compatible life cycle assessment (LCA) of EU rapeseed and soybean crushing and rapeseed oil, soybean oil and palm oil refining carried out iná2013áby the Technical University Berlin for FEDIOL.á
Ever since the 2013 study, the European Union developed the product environmental footprint (PEF). This method has lead to increased interest in the environmental impact of products marketed in the EU thus justifying FEDIOL ambition to extend the scope of 2013 study to cover the full cycle of the main products of EU oilseed processing and refining.
With the completion of the new work, our sector is better prepared for an upcoming EU legislative initiative which would involve the use of PEF methodologies as a basis for voluntary green claims or, more generally, for sharing information on environmental performance.
FEDIOL companies now have the tools to assess the environmental hot spots of their own products. They can also use a footprint method that is harmonised across the industry to respond to customer requests on the environmental impacts of their products.