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Our updated approach to environmental impact with PEF

December 6, 2023

As you may know we find it important to understand how our growing media and other products affect the environment. For several years already, we have gained experience with the Life Cycle Analyses (LCA), and now we have adopted a new method to measure this impact, called the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF). It was developed especially for our sector by Growing Media Europe. This approach is aligned with the European Commission’s goals for using resources wisely and gives a full picture of a product’s environmental impact. 

Why the “PEF” methodology

Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) looks at the whole lifecycle of a product – from where materials come from, how they are moved around, made into products, used, to what happens at the end of their life. It does not just look at the carbon footprint; it considers 16 different environmental factors, like how much resources are used and how land is affected. This broad view helps us understand our products’ true environmental impact. 

How this helps our stakeholders

  • Making smarter choices: Knowing the environmental impacts of products helps our customers to choose more sustainable options. 
  • Standing out in the market: Focusing on products with lower environmental impacts is in line with the wishes of our customers, and our own vision. 
  • Better policies: This detailed information can help create rules and incentives that encourage more environmentally friendly practices in horticulture. 
  • Smarter resource use: This approach helps in understanding how resources are used and affected, leading to better management strategies. 

Ongoing improvement and openness

Our journey toward becoming more sustainable is always moving forward. The first results from using the PEF method have shown us areas where we can improve. For example, we have found some unexpected results in the environmental impact of raw materials like coir and bark. With other members of Growing Media Europe, we are now looking into improving these. We believe in being open about our process because it shows our commitment to getting things right and helps our stakeholders trust the information, we give them. 

What’s next

We are close to finishing our review of the environmental impact results and will soon be able to update the standard values for raw materials. The current data is the best we have right now, and we will continue to work to make it better. We encourage our stakeholders to also adopt this PEF method. For the industry we believe it will bring a better understanding about where we are now, and what improvements we should be making. 

In case of any questions please reach out to Folkert Moll.