European Aluminium, supported by Eurometaux, successfully finalised its Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) Category rules for metal sheets in 2018. PEF is the major European Commission initiative for harmonising Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodologies and related datasets within Europe. Thanks to our advocacy, the so-called ‘circular footprint formula’ evolved to an allocation rule that supports the ‘end of life recycling approach’ essential for recycling aluminium much more effectively. These category rules are now publicly available for any aluminium sheet producer that wants to assess the environmental footprint of its products.
In 2019, PEF enters its ‘transition phase’, which mainly aims to assess its ability and adequacy in policy settings. Currently, European Aluminium considers the direct use of PEF for policy purposes as premature, instead of supporting a more robust and fully-harmonised assessment framework. We will continue to monitor this topic and support further refinements of the methodology and data.
Also in 2018, we published our Environmental Profile Report, which provides accurate and reliable European data on the environmental performance of aluminium production and transformation. The launch of the report and our outreach was very successful, achieving more than 1,100 visitors on the webpage, reaching more than 38,500 Twitter impressions as well as 6,000 views of the video developed for the report, making it the second-most viewed video on the European Aluminium Youtube Channel.
In addition, our datasets are in the process of being integrated into major Lifecycle Analysis (LCA) databases, such as Eco-invent or Gabi. In 2019, a new project to update the refining datasets was initiated with the members of the recycling division.