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FINAT launches product carbon footprint and lifecycle analysis initiative

Label Solutions Packaging Solutions

FINAT, the European label association, has revealed a new initiative designed to give guidance to the label industry on the growing market demand for product carbon footprint data. The initiative is part of the organisation’s ‘Four Pillar’ programme designed to increase its agility in the areas of community networking, knowledge, collaboration and industry advocacy.

In view of environmental concerns among citizens, consumers, producers and legislators, the impact of environmental social and governance criteria on business behaviour is growing. There is a growing demand for objective criteria to measure the environmental impact of labels and packaging products and processes, and to provide data to customers and stakeholders.

But there are challenges in obtaining and providing the appropriate data and in comparing alternative solutions. Data for which they need input from their suppliers since they can only provide data about their own sphere of influence (scope 1 and 2) whereas also ‘scope 3’ data are needed from further up the value chain.

FINAT has therefore initiated a project to provide clarity and give guidance to the label community on the subject of product carbon footprint (PCF) and lifecycle analysis (LCA). As a first step, the organisation has launched a brochure and video to explain the basics of PCF and LCA, the distinction between the two and the fact that this needs an entire value chain approach.

The two next steps for 2023 to 2024 are a survey of existing calculation methods currently being used in the labels and packaging production chain (for release in the first quarter of 2024), and a guidance document towards harmonising the PCF/LCA approach along the label value chain. This will be in the form of a whitepaper and presentation at the next FINAT Technical Seminar to be held from 20 to 22 November 2024 in Barcelona.

The project falls under the scope of the new workstream ‘collaboration’ that is co-chaired by board members Alex Knott (Dow) and Uwe Düsterwald (BASF). Alex Knott commented, ‘In the course of the past year, FINAT has been approached by several label converters and national label associations to support them in addressing demands from label customers to provide data about the environmental impact of their labels and packaging. However, there is a lot of misunderstanding about the different methodologies and definitions, so as a first step we decided to prepare an illustrated document and animated video to explain the basics of product carbon footprint (PCF, which focuses on the aggregated emissions during the process), and lifecycle analysis (LCA, which is much broader than just emissions). As a second step, during the next 12 months, a team of volunteers from FINAT and national label associations will focus on providing clarity about the different calculation methodologies at play in the labels and packaging chain. As a third and final step in this project, at our technical seminar next year we will present a whitepaper aiming to align the approaches along the value chain. In doing so, we will build on earlier work done several years ago when we released our first LCA guidance document.’

FINAT president Philippe Voet said, ‘The past few years, coming out of Covid 19, the FINAT board, committees and staff have made a tremendous effort to redesign our strategy and structure in order to address the challenges facing our industry going forward. Alongside our typical strengths of community networking and the sharing of knowledge and information, we have made a significant investment in strengthening our role as collaboration platform and as voice of the label industry in the regulatory arena. We look forward to presenting and discussing our first deliverables with members and potential members.’


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