The products of the adhesives and adhesive tapes industries, as enablers of material efficiency, durability, repairability, upgradability, recycling and CO₂ reduction, make an important contribution to achieving the goals of the European Green Deal and at the same time must show themselves to be CO₂-neutral by 2050 at the latest. During this transition, supporting environmental claims with hard data will be a necessity with upcoming European regulations. European adhesive tape manufacturers, therefore, need a uniform, recognised standard for measuring the sustainability of adhesive tapes for product designers and engineers and everyone else in the adhesive tape value chain, as well as regulatory bodies.
The Product Carbon Footprint (PCF), one of the most established methods for determining the climate impact of a product, sums up the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by a product over the various stages of its life cycle.
PCF is also becoming increasingly important within our industry for estimating the environmental impact of all types of adhesive tapes—in particular, a “cradle-to-gate” assessment of PCF based on the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach including the raw materials, manufacturing and distribution stages.
Afera and German Adhesives Association IVK are collaborating with Sphera, a specialised provider of sustainability consulting services, to develop a web-based, sector-wide tool for PCF calculation of both adhesives and adhesive tapes using a harmonised, straightforward, affordable method.
PCFs will be calculated according to ISO standard 14067:2018: Greenhouse Gases – Carbon Footprint of Products through an expansion of the Together for Sustainability (TfS) PCF Guideline to be agreed upon by and for the tapes and adhesives sectors.
The Tool is being developed for utilisation by adhesive tape manufacturers who are Afera Members.
It will be required in the (near) future! Currently PCF information is required under the Battery Regulation already. Under the ESPR (Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation), which is still under negotiation, PCF measurement will most likely be extended to other sectors, in some cases to be included in Digital Product Passports (DPPs). Nevertheless, customers are increasingly asking for PCF data.
Afera’s PCF calculation tool will become an Industry standard. It is compatible with existing Industry data and calculation methods for raw materials (e.g. the TfS methodology for chemicals) and broadly applicable to all kinds of adhesive tapes, surface protection films and analogous products. The methodology will include the impact of tape manufacturing process operations and defined system boundaries (e.g., waste, logistics, energy, etc.).
It will ensure compliance with E.U. regulations. Both the input and results will be certified, allowing businesses to meet future legal requirements as well as the demands of the supply chain. This is good for customers and authorities and ultimately makes the tape industry more credible and resilient. Afera has ensured that the Tool also complies with European Union Competition Law.
The Tool will help Afera tape manufacturer Members navigate the complexities of Scope 3 reporting and become more sustainable. The established methodology for calculation can be used to monitor a company’s own progress towards reducing environmental impact. With the availability of harmonised PCF data across the supply chain, companies will be able to track their Scope 3 emissions, aiding their efforts to reduce GHG emissions.
The calculation method can be used internally in R&D processes to develop novel products with reduced environmental impact. The Tool does not require a high level of expertise for use. It will be accessible to non-LCA experts to produce PCF values confidently.
It will be updated and expanded. Afera will have the possibility to develop a common methodology to validate data from upstream suppliers. In the future, more sustainability aspects, such as Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and Environmental Product Declaration (EPD), may be incorporated into the Tool.
Afera makes it affordable for you. The cost of calculating PCF for a tape manufacturer normally ranges from €2K to €5K for a single product. Developing a PCF calculation tool as a group is more cost-effective than doing it as individual companies.
Access to the PCF calculation tool requires contributions beyond the standard Afera Membership fee: a €5K one-time tool development fee and a ~€2.5K yearly licensing fee for unlimited access to the online platform. The costs also apply to all new users of the Tool down the line, i.e. those who join Afera in the future.
Afera adhesive tape manufacturer Members are free to choose not to participate in the development process of the Tool or utilise it, although this course of action is not advisable, as the Tool benefits all tape manufacturers.
The web-based Afera PCF calculation tool is currently in the development pipeline for launching in Q3 2024.
For more complete information about Afera’s PCF calculation tool:
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