Companies: two innovative tools for environmental product information


PEF Starter and Life Cycle Communication Tool are two new tools designed to help companies measure, evaluate and properly communicate their products' environmental footprint, with the objective of encouraging the adoption of the PEF (Product Environmental Footprint), promoted by the European Commission to "certify" the reliability of green claims -communications of the environmental attributes of products or services-  in order to avoid the so-called green washing, that is the process of conveying misleading information on their real environmental qualities.

The tools were developed as part of the project LIFE EFFIGE [1] comprising ENEA, Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (coordinator), Assofond for the foundry supply chain, FederlegnoArredo for the wood furniture industry, Consortium Agrituristico Mantovano for the agri-food sector and CAMST for the catering sector.

The PEF has already been tested by some companies that, after measuring the environmental footprint of their products, have taken steps to improve results and communication.

"The project PEFStarter was designed to introduce the PEF method  to companies, especially SMEs, in order for them to understand its objectives, opportunities and procedures, in the belief that this could contribute to the transition towards a sustainable economic system", Paola Sposato, researcher of the ENEA Sustainability of Productive and Territorial Systems Department, pointed out. The tool, available in both Italian and English and freely accessible at, is divided into three sections: the first introduces the concept of corporate environmental policy, with particular reference to environmental product communication and life cycle approach; the second shows the opportunities provided by the PEF for businesses; the third describes the main steps to develop a PEF study, that is how to collect data, process environmental impacts, use and communicate results. Overall, the tool offers a personalized information path on the main aspects of the PEF method, with a downloadable summary report and additional insights and information.

The Life Cycle Communication Tool, developed by the Management Institute of the Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna, allows you to 'translate' the results provided by the indicators (design, production, use and disposal) used to calculate the environmental footprint of products throughout their life-cycle, in a language comprehensible by non-experts. For instance, a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions saved can be converted into a number of “Milan-Rome bus trips” avoided, with relevant supporting documentation.

The tool can be downloaded at (, in the section “Tools”.

"We believe that in the current context of the European Green Deal, the interest of companies in the environmental improvement and communication of their products is bound to grow. We hope the tools developed can help an increasing number of companies follow this path ”, concluded Patrizia Buttol, researcher of the ENEA Sustainability of Productive and Territorial Systems Department.

For more information please contact:

Patrizia Buttol, ENEA - Sustainability of Productive and Territorial Systems Department -;

Paola Sposato, ENEA - Sustainability of Productive and Territorial Systems Department -

Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna Press Office Email:


[1] Environmental Footprint for Improving and Growing Eco-efficiency. The project is funded by the European Commission

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