Product Environmental Footprint is a measure of the absolute environmental impacts over the full life cycle of a product in a specified application. Life cycle in this context denotes all value chain stages for making and disposing of a product over its full lifespan.

At EU level, the European Commission in conjunction with the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC IES) and other European Commission services developed a harmonised methodology for the calculation of the environmental footprint of products. The project was launched in March 2011 and the final methogological guide was published in April 2013.

On 3 June 2014, the selection of proposals for the 2nd wave of Environmental Footprint pilots was concluded. Two product groups are covering product that may be using polyurethanes solutions: thermal insulation and footwear.


ISOPA Position

  • ISOPA explains and gains awareness for the environmental performance and advantages of polyurethanes. It commissions studies relating to industry and the environment and provides perspective and data to regulators and enquirers.
  • At the end of their in-service lives, polyurethanes can be recycled mechanically or chemically and by feedstock recycling. Alternatively, their intrinsic energy value can be recovered by combustion in advanced installations. ISOPA supports the recycling of polyurethanes wherever it is economically and ecologically sensible.
  • ISOPA recommends working towards compatibility between PEF and the European standards on Sustainable Comnstruction.
  • ISOPA insists the Commission should recognise that the construction industry is far more advanced in its efforts. Many product groups, including thermal insulation, are already working on specific product category rules based on the horizontal CEN standards.