Sustainability Assessments

Sustainable development of companies

Seedling growing from the earth.

Product Environmental Footprint (PEF)

Normec OWS creates both Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organization Environmental Footprint (OEF) reports. These are methodologies that state how to calculate the environmental impact of a product, or service, and organizational activities within the European context. The PEF and OEF methodologies are standardized, LCA-based sustainability assessments based on the ISO 14040 and 14044 standards.

Why Normec OWS?
  • Independent laboratory
  • Recognized worldwide
  • Expert in the field

The methods

The PEF and OEF methodologies are performed following the PEF and OEF guidelines published by the European Commission and, if available, specific category rules (PEFCRs) or sector rules (OEFSs). The methods were developed in order to harmonize environmental assessments of products and organizations, allowing easier comparison of results. For example, the guidelines and rules provide data requirements, define how and which impacts must be assessed, and explain how to deal with data quality and uncertainty issues.

Approach of PEF and OEF

The standardized approach of the PEF and OEF methodologies increases comparability and transparency, thereby tackling greenwashing and false sustainability claims. PEF and OEF take into account the supply chain activities, from extraction of raw materials, through production and use, to final waste management.

PEF provides a methodology for modeling the environmental impacts of the flows of material/energy and the emissions and waste streams associated with a product throughout its lifecycle.

OEF focuses on the overarching environmental impacts associated with the activities of organizations providing products/services.

The following impact categories are taken into account for our PEF and OEF studies:

  • Climate change (kg CO2 eq.)
  • Ozone depletion (kg CFC-11 eq.)
  • Human toxicity – cancer effects (CTUh)
  • Human toxicity – non-cancer effects (CTUh)
  • Particulate matter/Respiratory inorganics (disease inc.)
  • Ionizing radiation human health (kBq 235U eq.)
  • Photochemical ozone formation (kg NMVOC eq.)
  • Acidification (molc H+ eq.)
  • Terrestrial eutrophication (molc N eq.)
  • Freshwater eutrophication (kg P eq.)
  • Marine eutrophication (kg N eq.)
  • Freshwater ecotoxicity (CTUe)
  • Land use (Pt)
  • Water use (m3 world eq)
  • Resource use minerals & metals (kg Sb eq.)
  • Resource use fossils (MJ)

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All frequently asked questions
in a row

Is Normec OWS ISO 17025 accredited?

Yes, we are recognized by DIN CERTCO in line with ISO 17025. This accreditation covers all test procedures and standards with regard to compostability and biodegradation. Additionally, we are ISO 17025 accredited by BELAC for our compost analyses and also recognized by TÜV Austria. Normec OWS is also ISO 17020 accredited for inspection services and ISO 14001 approved for environmental management. View our recognitions & certificates.

Where is Normec OWS located?

Our main offices are located in Ghent, Belgium. We also have a subsidiary located in Kettering, Ohio to serve the needs of our American customers.

How long does testing take?

Testing duration depends on the specific type of test and the product itself. This can range from a couple of weeks for material characteristics testing, to months or even years for biodegradation testing. As these are microbial processes, we cannot predict the exact duration beforehand.