An increasing number of citizens, and of purchasers if we talk in terms of the market, require clearer information on the environmental impact of the products available in the market. Confirming its approach of sustainable development, in 2014 the DG Environment of the European Commission has launched a pilot project PEF – Product Environmental Footprint. It will last 3 years and it will involve major European industries operating in different segments. Among the industrial sectors involved in the pilot project, there is also Socomec which is part of the working group dealing with the UPS. We have asked Nicolas Zehnder, Environment Project Manager of the company, to tell us how the experiments are conducted and what objectives are going to be achieved.
What does the pilot project consist in and what entities are involved?
The pilot project Product Environmental Footprint has been launched by the DG Environment of the European Commission in order to define a methodology to assess environmental impacts (in terms of substances, recycling possibilities, impacts, etc.) of the products brought to the European market. The aim is to cover all the products marketed in the EU. The European Commission has received more than 100 dossiers from the industries that would like to participate in the project. The UPS industry has been selected for three main reasons: the market extension in Europe for the UPS producers involved, the diversity of UPS applications (B2B and B2C, residential / housing uses, small- and middle-sized companies, industry, data processing centers, etc.) and finally, the availability of preexisting European specifications on the UPS environmental declarations, elaborated by a joint working group that Socomec “piloted” between 2011 and 2013, involving other UPS producers and environmental experts. Upon completion of the three-year tests the European Commission will apply the results to define a European policy for calculation and declaration of environmental impacts.
What is the contribution of Socomec?
Socomec is part of a consortium of the UPS producers involved in the project. The company offers its expertise in three main aspects: the environmental one (the use of the LCA in the phase of designing, publication of a declaration of conformity with the environmental certification according to ISO 14025, the materials applied, the carbon footprint, the environmental impacts, etc.), high technological competency of the UPS products, great experience in standardization (Socomec is an active member of numerous commissions for standard and conformity assessment such as the IEC- International Electrotechnical Commission).