The ‘UK Assessment of Footprinting Methods’ study ended in March 2015. It was commissioned by Defra to see what environmental footprinting methodologies were being used by UK businesses, in the context of the European Commission’s ongoing Environmental Footprint Pilots initiative. The reports have now been published.
The research shows that almost 60% of companies use at least one method of attempting to assess the lifecycle of their product. Mostly their rationale for so doing is to identify inefficiencies in their supply chain which may be adding to their costs. However, businesses also cited other reasons such as brand image and reputation.
The reports conclude that there is limited evidence that a single harmonised method of lifecycle assessment would lead to additional resource efficiency savings. But businesses saw a harmonised approach as likely to encourage take-up, improve choices and drive down costs.
Defra will take these reports into consideration when responding to the findings from the EU pilot schemes. The first round of pilots is due to report towards the end of 2016.