Environmental Impact of Products (EIPRO): European Life Cycle Study Validates TreeHugger Instincts


A new product life cycle study report has just been repleased in support of the EU Integrated Product Policy, identifying which products, out of 283 product groups analyzed, have the greatest environmental impacts. The study shows that food and drink, cars and products for housing are particularly relevant for the environment. Thanks to the Crosslands Institute for a summary of key findings: "Foods and drinks cause 20% to 30% of the environmental impacts of private consumption; The contribution of passenger transport to the total environmental impacts of private consumption ranges from 15% to 35% depending on the impact category; and, Buildings, furniture, appliances, and energy for space heating and water together account for 20% to 35% of the impacts of all products for most categories." The report "will be used to identify ways that the lifecycle impacts can be reduced for individual products that show the greatest potential for improvement at the least socioeconomic cost". The European Commission owns next steps. Given the global nature of markets, the response of the US will be interesting to watch. Readers note: the full report contains few tables and no graphics. Obviously the intention was not to have a big media impact at this time.