EC will welcome ESTC PEF input

The European Commissions has responded positively to the ESTC proposal to help draft the Product Environmental Footprint regulation on synthetic turf.

An ESTC delegation presented the proposal to the EU in mid-September.

“Convincing the EC that drafting a Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) regulation for synthetic turf is essential and is a big achievement as we were competing for this recognition with several other industries. In most cases, the turnover and number of products these industries represented were higher than those we tabled. Nevertheless, we managed to convince the EU of the importance of synthetic turf by pointing out the positive contributions it makes to society,” says ESTC Director General Stefan Diderich.

The recognition is only the first step. “With our proposal accepted, we now have to establish a taskforce that will spearhead the drafting of the document. We also have to secure the funding for this project. Therefore, we call on our members and the industry to reconsider their involvement in the industry by jumping at this opportunity to actively make things happen.”

Changing attitude
Without taking anything from the delegation who presented the proposal, the ESTC is also sensing a changing attitude. “Our vocal response in the debate about PAHs or microplastics, as well as our proactive approach towards institutions like the EU, FIFA, FIH or World Rugby, haven’t gone unnoticed. FIFA has already embraced the ESTC as being the representative for the synthetic turf industry and the positive response from the EU shows that they too see and understand our significance.”

People and companies keen to get involved in the drafting of the document can visit the ESTC stand during the upcoming FSB event. This event will take place from 5 November to 8 November at the Koelnmesse in Cologne, Germany. The ESTC stand will be located in Hall 10.2, A24.

“We will also host a teleconference early next year to update our members. Obviously, the PEF will also be on the agenda for our conference in Nice on 1 and 2 April 2020.”

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ESTC delegation delivers PEF presentation

The ESTC delivered a presentation to the European Commission this morning to convince the commission to make the synthetic turf industry part of their panel that will develop a harmonised environmental footprint methodology.

The European Union wants to develop a harmonised environmental footprint methodology that should help to determine the environmental footprint of products. Harmonising the measuring criteria will help with the correct labelling of products and should close the door on so-called ‘green-washing’ practices whereby claims or logos are being used without having been validated by a qualified and independent authority. Most of these claims are about the environmental impact or friendliness of a product.

“The ESTC is in a perfect position to explain the shortcomings of current programmes and the need for a Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology. However, the number of seats at the table is limited and the synthetic turf industry is one of many industries that want to be in on it,” explained ESTC Director General, Stefan Diderich, upon his return. “As we recently decided to actively pursue a closer relationship with institutions like the EU, today’s presentation was the first but they will definitely see us more often in the future,” he adds.

“We explained why this process is important to our industry and why we feel we could make a meaningful contribution. Our presentation was received well but we will only hear in mid-October whether our proposal has been accepted.”



ESTC answers EU call for PEF-study

The ESTC has submitted a proposal to assist the European Union in establishing the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) for synthetic turf.

The proposal follows a call from the EU to develop a harmonised environmental footprinting methodology that can accommodate a broad suite of relevant environmental performance criteria for a variety of products and industries (EU Single Market Act II – 2012).

Harmonising the measuring criteria will help the correct labelling of products and should close the door on so-called ‘green-washing’ practices whereby claims or logos are being used randomly without having the validity verified by a qualified and independent authority. Most of these claims are about the environmental impact or friendliness of a product.

“The nature of our product and industry means that we want to be involved in drafting these criteria. The synthetic turf industry has already been working for years to develop more sustainable products and systems. Collectively firms have invested billions to this achieve this and many of them have already succeeded. All that is missing is an official framework to further guide or recognise these improvements and achievements, thereby protecting these efforts from unscrupulous companies making similar but unwarranted claims,” says ESTC Director General, Stefan Diderich.

The proposal has been drafted together with the European Carpet and Rug Association (ECRA).

“As we anticipate other industries also being eager to participate in the drafting of a Product Environmental Footprint, we have decided to join hands with ECRA in case the EU has to make a selection. The combined impact of our industries should warrant the EU including us in the drafting process.”