Power management company Eaton is participating in the pilot phase of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) assessment for Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) under the European Commission's new 'Single Market for Green Products' Initiative. The PEF is one of two approaches proposed under the initiative for establishing EU-wide measures of environmental performance for both products and organisations. Eaton is one of a consortium of volunteer stakeholders involved in the three-year testing period of the PEF for UPSs, which began on 4th November 2013, and will help to determine and test EU-wide Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs), compliance and verification systems, and communication methods.
Today, companies wanting to highlight the environmental performance of their products across more than one EU member state face numerous obstacles. They have to choose from a wide range of methods and initiatives promoted by local governments and private initiatives, which can vary from country to country, and can subsequently find themselves paying multiple costs for providing environmental information. They can also face mistrust from consumers who are confused by the different information that makes products difficult to compare.
Cyrille Brisson, Vice President of Eaton's EMEA Power Quality Division, comments: "According to a recent Eurobarometer report, only 6 per cent of EU citizens trust producers' claims about their products' environmental performance completely. Considering that the global market for low carbon environmental goods and services was estimated at €4.2 trillion in 2012, with EU companies' market share at 21 per cent, the proposals being tested under the Single Market for Green Products Initiative have huge potential for helping to ensure a sustainable economy by offering transparency and clarity. At Eaton we are really pleased to see the UPS industry recognised and selected for this project and our involvement in the testing stages will be an important feature of our on-going commitment to green initiatives and environmentally-friendly products."
The Initiative supports international efforts towards more coordination in methodological development and data availability. The Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF) methods have been prepared by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre. They are life cycle assessment (LCA) based methods, thus they can cover environmental impacts and point to improvement opportunities from the extraction of raw materials to the disposal of a product (or a product portfolio in case of organisations). Eaton's credentials for involvement in the pilot phase of the PEF method are further enhanced by the fact that it has recently commissioned a detailed life cycle assessment of its own 93PM UPS range, details of which are available at www.eaton.eu/powerquality .
For more information about the Single Market for Green Products initiative and the Product Environmental Footprint assessment, visit: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/smgp/