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Developing Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for shampoos - The basis for comparable Life Cycle Assessments: Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules for Shampoos

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Developing Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) for shampoos - The basis for comparable Life Cycle Assessments: Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules for Shampoos

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In 2013, the European Commission launched the Environmental Footprint Rules pilot phase. This initiative aims at setting specific rules for life cycle assessment (LCA: raw material sourcing, production, logistics, use‐ and disposal phase) studies within one product category, so called product environmental footprint category rules (PEFCR), as well as for organisations, so called organisational environmental footprint sector rules (OEFSR). Such specific rules for measuring environmental performance throughout the life cycle should facilitate the comparability between LCA studies, and provide principles for communicating the environmental performance, such as transparency, reliability, completeness, and clarity. Cosmetics Europe, the association representing the cosmetics industry in the EU, completed a voluntary study into the development of PEFCR for shampoo, generally following the guidelines and methodology developed by the European Commission for its own pilot projects. The study assessed the feasibility and relevance of establishing PEFCR for shampoo. Specifically, the study defines a large number of modelling assumptions and default values relevant for shampoo (e.g. for the functional unit, the system boundaries, default transport distances, rinsing water volumes, temperature differences, life cycle inventory data sources etc) that can be modified as appropriate, according to specificities of individual products, manufacturing companies and countries. The results of the study may be used to support internal decision‐making (e.g. to identify ‘hotspots’ with high environmental impact and opportunities for improvement) or to meet information requests from commercial partners, consumers, media or authorities on product environmental characteristics. In addition, the shampoo study also highlighted many of the challenges and limitations of the current PEF methodology, namely its complexity and resource intensiveness. It highlighted two areas where improvements are much needed: (1) data quality and availability, and (2) impact assessment methodologies and robustness. Many of the learnings are applicable to other rinse‐off cosmetic products such as shower gels, liquid soaps, bath products and hair conditioners. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved
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Life Cycle & Sustainability
Developing Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules
(PEFCR) for Shampoos: The Basis for Comparable Life Cycle
Assessments
Laura Golsteijn,
y
Lindsay Lessard,
z
Jean-Florent Campion,
§
Alexandre Capelli,
k
Virginie D'Enfert,
#
Henry King,
yy
Joachim Kremer,
zz
Michael Krugman,
§§
H
el
ene Orliac,
kk
Severine Roullet Furnemont,
##
Werner Schuh,
zz
Mark Stalmans,
yyy
Natasha Williams O'Hanlon,
zzz
and Manuela Coroama*
§§§
y
PR
e Sustainability, Amersfoort, The Netherlands
z
Quantis, Lausanne, Switzerland
§
L'Or
eal, Asni
eres sur Seine, France
k
LVMH, Paris, France
#
Febea, Paris, France
yy
Unilever, Cedex, France
zz
Henkel, D
usseldorf, Germany
§§
Est
ee Lauder, Melville, New York, USA
kk
Chanel, Cedex, France
##
Pierre Fabre, Castres, France
yyy
Procter & Gamble, Strombeek-Bever, Belgium
zzz
Oriame Cosmetics, Bray, Ireland
§§§
Cosmetics Europe, Brussels, Belgium
ABSTRACT
In 2013, the European Commission launched the Environmental Footprint Rules pilot phase. This initiative aims at setting specific
rules for life cycle assessment (LCA: raw material sourcing, production, logistics, use, and disposal phase) studies within 1 product
category, called product environmental footprint category rules (PEFCR), and for organizations, called organizational environmental
footprint sector rules (OEFSR). Such specific rules for measuring environmental performance throughout the life cycle should
facilitate the comparability between LCA studies and provide principles for communicating environmental performance, such as
transparency, reliability, completeness, and clarity. Cosmetics Europe, the association representing the cosmetics industry in the
European Union, completed a voluntary study into the development of PEFCR for shampoo, generally following the guidelines and
methodology developed by the European Commission for its own pilot projects. The study assessed the feasibility and relevance of
establishing PEFCR for shampoo. Specifically, the study defines a large number of modeling assumptions and default values relevant
for shampoo (e.g., for the functional unit, the system boundaries, default transport distances, rinsing water volumes, temperature
differences, life cycle inventory data sources) that can be modified as appropriate, according to the specificities of individual
products, manufacturing companies, and countries. The results of the study may be used to support internal decision making (e.g., to
identify “hotspots” with high environmental impact and opportunities for improvement) or to meet information requests from
commercial partners, consumers, media, or authorities on product environmental characteristics. In addition, the shampoo study
also highlighted many of the challenges and limitations of the current product environmental footprint (PEF) methodology, namely
its complexity and resource intensiveness. It highlighted 2 areas where improvements are much needed: (1) data quality and
availability, and (2) impact assessment methodologies and robustness. Many of the findings are applicable to other rinse-off
cosmetic products, such as shower gels, liquid soaps, bath products, and hair conditioners. Integr Environ Assess Manag
2018;00:000–000.
C2018 The Authors. Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
on behalf of Society of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry (SETAC)
Keywords: Standardization Life cycle assessment Cosmetics Environmental footprint Impact assessment
INTRODUCTION
Environmental footprint initiative
There is an endless availability of “green labels,” which
may result in confusion for consumers and costs for
companies that wish to market their products as environ-
mentally friendly in multiple European countries. Therefore,
This article includes online-only Supplemental Data.
* Address correspondence to MCoroama@cosmeticseurope.eu
Published 5 June 2018 on wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/ieam.
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and
distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited,
the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptationsare made.
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management — Volume 9999, Number 9999—pp. 1–11
Received: 16 October 2018
|
Returned for Revision: 27 March 2018
|
Accepted: 25 May 2018 1
Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018:1–11
C2018 The AuthorsDOI: 10.1002/ieam.4064
in 2013, the European Commission published a recommen-
dation on the use of a common methodology to measure and
communicate theenvironmental performance of products and
organizations (EC 2013). The basis of this common methodol-
ogy is life cycle assessment (LCA). LCA addresses the
environmental aspects and potential environmental impacts
(e.g., use of resources and the environmental consequences of
releases) throughout a product’s life cycle, from raw material
acquisition through production, use, end-of-life treatment,
recycling, and final disposal (i.e., cradle to grave) (ISO 2006).
The initiative from the European Commission aimed at setting
specific rules for LCA studies within 1 product category, called
product environmental footprint category rules (PEFCR), and
for organizations, called organizational environmental foot-
print sector rules (OEFSR). Such specific rules for measuring
environmental performance throughout the life cycle should
facilitate the comparability between LCA studies and provide
principles for communicating the environmental performance,
such as transparency, reliability, completeness, and clarity.
Through this official communication, the Commission also
launched a 3-year Environmental Footprint Rules pilot phase
(EC 2013). Twenty-six product groups and sectors from a wide
variety of industries were selected to participate. Among them
were apparel and footwear, beverages, chemistry-based final
products, construction products, electrical products and
electronics, food products (including products not for human
consumption), and materials and intermediate products.
Common challenges included, among other things, the state
of the art for C modeling (interaction between different
indicators for climate change), granularity (width of scope per
product category or sector), the use stage (expected use by
the end user), or how to determine “hotspots” (i.e., the most
relevant life cycle stages, processes, and elementary flows).
Category rules for shampoos
Cosmetics Europe is the European association representing
the cosmetics industry in the European Union. For more than 50
years, Cosmetics Europe has been the authoritative voice of the
cosmetics and personal care industry in Europe. Its members
include cosmetics and personal care manufacturers and associ-
ations representing the industry at the national level across
Europe. In total, they represent more than 4000 companies.
The branch association is very aware that the entire
cosmetics supply chain, from the initial sourcing of raw
materials through to consumer use and disposal, can have an
effect on the environment (Figure1). Therefore, they work hard
to identify how to support the development of an innovative,
sustainable, competitive, and respected industry in Europe
that best serves consumers and society. Their efforts focus at
providing information and guidance to cosmetic manufac-
turers and to assist them in their efforts toward the sustainable
production and consumption of cosmetic products.
In 2013, Cosmetics Europe applied to be part of the
European Commission’s Environmental Footprint pilot phase
with a pilot on shampoo. The reasons for choosing this
product category were 2-fold: (1) because it is such a widely
used product and (2) because of the experience, life cycle
inventory database, and knowledge developed so far
(AFNOR 2014). Even though they were not among the
selected product groups and sectors, Cosmetics Europe and
its members wanted to follow and contribute to the “single
market for green products” (EC 2016). Therefore, in parallel
with the official pilot phase, they voluntarily decided to
proceed internally with the development of category rules for
shampoos in a “shadow” product environmental footprint
(PEF) study. They followed as closely as possible the guidance
from the European Commission and collaborated on this with
the International Association for Soaps, Detergents, and
Maintenance Products (AISE), whose experts were involved in
and leading the pilot on household detergents (AISE 2014).
Ultimately, Cosmetics Europe aims at providing its mem-
bers with comprehensive and high-quality guidelines for
assessing the environmental impact of shampoos. The current
article describes the development process for specific rules for
performing environmental LCAs on shampoos, including
experiences and findings. As a result, it reflects the
recommended structure for establishing PEFCR for shampoo.
METHODOLOGY
Stepwise approach
The development of PEFCR started with the establishment of
a technical secretariat (TS), which was composed of experts from
9 member companies and associations, an external consultant,
and TS manager from Cosmetics Europe. Furthermore,
Cosmetics Europe liaised with AISE, the leader of the pilot on
household detergents, to ensure alignment and consistency
between approaches, as much as possible. PEF guidance
version 5.1 was followed (EC 2015), and the same steps were
taken as the official pilots (Figure 2), except for the development
of a benchmark with performance classes (see Discussion).
Definition of product category. The scope of the PEFCR was
shampoo for different types of hair, such as fine hair or greasy
hair. Four different functions were identified for this product
group: (1) hair cleansing (including a minimum of hair care
efficacy), (2) hair conditioning, (3) antidandruff activity, and (4)
protection of sensitive target groups (children or other
people with a sensitive scalp).
The combination of these functions results in the delivery of
different benefits and needs to the consumer. These benefits
or functions form the basis for the definition of 5 subcate-
gories for the product shampoo: (1) hair cleansing, (2) hair
cleansing and hair conditioning (2-in-1 product), (3) hair
cleansing and antidandruff activity, (4) hair cleansing, hair
conditioning, and antidandruff activity, and (5) hair cleansing
and protection of sensitive target groups (children or other
people with a sensitive scalp). It is important to note that the
environmental footprint should only be compared between
products from the same subcategory and/or with the
representative product for hair cleansing that has been
defined for the product category shampoo.
Definition of representative product. The representative
product is chosen to represent all products covered by the
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PEFCR. It serves as the basis for the PEF screening. In line with
the PEF guidance, a virtual representative product was
chosen. This is a nonexisting product based on a combination
of existing technologies. In the current study, the virtual
representative product was constructed slightly different
than in the guidance (see “Continuous EF Developments” in
the Discussion). The choice of a virtual representative
product, over a real product sold on the European Union
market, substantially reduces the risk that technologies with
relatively small market shares are neglected.
Although there were 5 subcategories of shampoo defined,
for the sake of simplicity only 1 representative product was
defined (see also suggestions for further research in Table 2).
Formulation composition of the representative product was
defined by a standard formulation based on typical
ingredients and functions (Table 1). A representative
ingredient for each function was selected with a typical
composition based on market volume. Relevant sources of
information were L’Oreal internal data and consensus and
studies by Mottram et al. (2000), Arif (2010), Making
Cosmetics Inc. (2016), Escamilla et al. (2012), and Kaps
et al. (2012). For additional functions, additional ingredients
must be added, e.g., zinc pyrithione or salicylic acid for
antidandruff function. Packaging product composition was
defined by selecting the most widely used material on the
market for the bottle and cap, i.e., polyethylene and
polypropylene, respectively.
PEF screening. Following the definition of the representative
product, a life cycle model of this representative product was
developed. With this, we performed an LCA, the PEF
screening study. It resulted in information about the most
relevant impact categories, life cycle stages, processes, and
elementary flows. Particularly the latter 2 aided in the
Figure 1. Possible ways to reduce the environmental footprint of a cosmetic can be found throughout the entire supply chain (Cosmetics Europe 2016).
Figure 2. Schematic overview of the steps taken in the PEFCR development
process.
Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules for Shampoos—Integr Environ Assess Manag 9999, 2018 3
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identification of the processes that require primary data
collection.
First draft PEFCR. The TS and the external consultant used
the results from the PEF screening to draft a first PEFCR for
shampoos. Together with the PEF screening, the draft PEFCR
was then submitted for an internal stakeholder consultation.
Stakeholder consultation (internal). The first round of stake-
holder consultations was held internally; 14 member
companies and 4 national associations were involved.
Second draft PEFCR. The comments from the stakeholder
consultation were used to improve the PEFCR.
Stakeholder consultation (internal). The second draft PEFCR
was again sent around for internal stakeholder consultation.
This time, stakeholders from 16 member companies and 26
national associations were involved. The PEFCR report was
further improved with the feedback received. This draft
PEFCR was the guiding document to carry out the PEFCR
supporting studies.
PEFCR supporting studies. Three supporting studies were
performed to test the improved draft PEFCR: (1) Gliss Kur
Total Repair Shampoo from Henkel, (2) Shampooing
antipelliculaire Eucalyptus et Citron—Ultra Doux de Garnier
from L’Or
eal, and (3) Shampoo for Delicate Hair from Pierre
Fabre.
Stakeholder consultation (external). The draft PEFCR was
then sent around for an external stakeholder consultation.
Thirteen external stakeholders were invited, and feedback
was received from BASF, the European Federation of
Cosmetic Ingredient Suppliers, and the French Environment
& Energy Management Agency (ADEME). A number of
valuable comments were considered for inclusion in the final
PEFCR. Examples include the scope of the PEFCR, the choice
of ingredients, and the use of secondary data.
Final PEFCR. The technical specifications of the final PEFCR
can be found in the article by Lessard et al. (2016) and are
summarized in the Results section, in Figure 4, and in the
Supplemental Data.
Research scope
PEFCR scope. The PEFCR provides guidance for shampoos
only (see “Definition of Product Category”). Although other
personal care products, such as shower gels, may have similar
functions, these are not considered within the scope of this
PEFCR.
Functional unit. The basis for an LCA is the functional unit (FU),
i.e., the quantification of the function of the product. In the
present research, the FU was defined as “A hair wash carried out
in Europe (EU 28), on average length hair.” The accompanying
reference flow, i.e., the amount of product needed to fulfill this
FU, was set to 10.46 g of shampoo (Hall et al. 2011). When
applying the PEFCR to a shampoo that has functions in addition
Table 1. Ingredients of the representative product
Function Ingredient CAS DID-list no. Concentration (wt%)
Anionic surfactant Sodium laureth sulfate 68891-38-3 8 13.00
Amphoteric surfactant Cocamidopropyl betaine 61789-40-0 61 8.00
Nonionic surfactant Cocamide MEA
a
68140-00-1 50 1.25
Viscosity controlling agent Propylene glycol 57-55-6 174 1.00
Preservative Sodium benzoate 532-32-1 95 0.30
pH adjustor Chlorhydric acid 7647-01-0 0.80
Fragrance alpha-Hexyl cinnamaldehyde 101-86-0 142 0.10
beta-Pinene 127-91-3 0.05
Dihydromyrcenol 2436-90-0 0.25
Hexyl salicylate 115-95-7 0.075
Patchouli oil 84238-39-1 0.025
Additional functions
b
Dimethicone 63148-62-9 110 1.00
Additional functions
b
Polyquaternium-10 68610-92-4 0.40
Appearance
c
Glycol distearate 627-83-8 185 0.50
Solvent Water 73.25
a
MEA ¼monoethanolamine.
b
For example, hair conditioning agent, hypoirritancy agent.
c
Pearlescent and opacifying agent.
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to hair cleansing (e.g., antidandruff, sensitive scalp), this must be
specified in the FU as well and cross referenced to the 5
subcategories of shampoo identified previously (see “Definition
of Product Category”).
System boundaries. All stages of the life cycle of shampoo
were included in the PEFCR development (Figure 4).
Upstream processes included those related to the produc-
tion of ingredients (e.g., extraction of resources, preprocess-
ing, and transportation) and the production of packaging
(e.g., production of raw materials, manufacturing, transpor-
tation). Manufacturing included among other things energy
and water use, packaging of the shampoo, and the treatment
of waste and wastewater. Downstream processes included
those related to distribution and storage (e.g., energy and
heat for warehouses, transportation), use (e.g., water and
energy use for shower), end-of-life for packaging (e.g.,
transport to treatment facilities, recycling, incineration, and
landfilling), and end-of-life for product (e.g., wastewater
treatment).
Input data. Specific data for the PEF screening and the
supporting studies were collected within the member companies
of the TS, supplemented with data from literature (Provo et al.
2013). Background data were mainly taken from the ecoinvent
database version 2.2 for the PEF screening and version 3.2 for the
supporting studies (Frischknecht et al. 2005; Wernet et al. 2016).
Note that the use of ecoinvent data is not in line with the PEF
guidance, as these data are not available free of charge.
The PEF guidance states that a PEFCR should specify the
data quality requirements for both specific and background
data. When calculating an environmental footprint (EF), there
will be situations in which a choice must be made between
using specific or background data. The PEF guidance aims at
focusing where it really matters. Therefore, the data quality
requirements depend on the relevance per process and the
access a company applying the PEFCR has to the process.
In general, the PEFCR developed in the current research
recommended the use of primary sources for specific data,
whereas generic sources may be used for background data.
When available, semispecific data should be replaced by
Table 2. Overview of our recommendations for further work on the footprinting of cosmetics
PEFCR aspect Limitation Recommendation
Product definition The PEFCR includes one representative product for 5
subcategories of shampoos. Differences between
subcategories are the addition of specific ingredients
or a change in concentrations.
It would be very difficult to find a representative product
for every subcategory. In the PEFCR development
process, supporting studies were performed for
products from 3 subcategories. It is recommended to
address all 5 subcategories.
Data availability The availability of inventory data for many chemicals and
packaging materials is very limited.
We recommend the development of a database of
primary data, considering sourcing locations and
manufacturing processes.
The current PEFCR lists a secondary data set composed
of ecoinvent processes, which are not free of charge.
There is a general lack of quantifiable information on
domestic water heating, shower types, and water
usage by consumers.
We recommend future research on this matter.
EF methodology There is a lack of data to fully assess all biodiversity
effects.
We recommend future research on this matter.
Some impact assessment models used are questionable,
such as for land use and water consumption effect.
Later versions of the guidance document—e.g., version
6.2 compared to 5.1 used here (EC 2015)—were
adapted to reflect the state of the art regarding effect.
Additional technical issue papers were developed to
provide clear rules, and additional guidance on, e.g.,
reporting was developed.
Also, the issues related with LCAs of biobased materials
are relevant for shampoos. Particularly the treatment of
biogenic carbon storage (Pawelzik et al. 2013).
The way end-of-life allocation is performed was changed
during development of this PEFCR.
Once the EF methodology is final, it would be good to
align the current PEFCR with the final guidance
document and available technical issue papers.
Reporting, communication, and verification are not
addressed.
The normalization factors rely on European domestic
figures for 2010.
Robust and recent normalization data are needed. The
consideration of international trade in normalization
factors would allow for a more comprehensive picture
of the actual environmental effects due to EU
production and consumption processes.
Alternative, global normalization approaches may be
explored (Sala et al. 2016).
The concept of planetary boundaries, as introduced by
Rockstr
om et al. (2009), could be of great interest.
Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules for Shampoos—Integr Environ Assess Manag 9999, 2018 5
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specific. Details about the requirements for data collection
and data quality, as well as default values and guidance for
data gaps, can be found in the study by Lessard et al. (2016).
Analysis
The LCA modeling for the PEF screening and supporting
studies was performed with SimaPro version 8.3. In accor-
dance with the PEF guide, the impact assessment was done
with use of the default 15 EF impact category indicators (EC
2013), supplemented with a method described by Garnier-
Laplace et al. (2008) to assess the effects of ionizing radiation
on ecotoxicity.
RESULTS
PEFCR
Apart from some general issues, a PEFCR should address
scope, input data, interpretation, and reporting. Reporting
has not been addressed in the current PEFCR, as the EF
guidance on verification and communication was not finished
at the time of development for this PEFCR (see “Continuous
EF Developments” section in the Discussion). A summary of
the scope and guidance provided in the PEFCR is given in
Figure 4. More details on the category rules in the newly
developed PEFCR for shampoos are given in the Supple-
mental Data and in the full PEFCR report by Lessard et al.
(2016).
Hotspots analysis
The screening LCA is the basis for the PEFCR or OEFSR
development process, as it leads to the identification of the
most relevant contributions, i.e., the most relevant impact
categories, life cycle stages, and elementary flows (EC 2015).
The former 2 are relevant for external communication,
whereas the latter 2 are relevant for decision making in
data requirements. For internal decision making at the
company level, the so-called hotspots, the most relevant life
cycle stages, processes, and elementary flows, are relevant.
The hotspots might serve the purpose of “warning” an
organization about the area where they should focus their
attention to improve the environmental performance of their
product.
It was found that the most relevant impact categories for
shampoos are climate change, water resource depletion,
mineral and fossil resource depletion, and freshwater
ecotoxicity. These impact categories were selected with
use of the normalization method from the EF methodology
and confirmed by normalization factors from various studies
(De Schryver et al. 2009; Goedkoop and Spriensma 2001;
Jolliet et al. 2003; Humbert et al. 2012; Pfister et al. 2009;
Bulle et al. 2013), an approach suggested in the OEFSR for
Retail (Humbert et al. 2017). The relevance of climate change
and water resource depletion can be explained by the use of
water and energy for showering, whereas the relevance of
freshwater ecotoxicity relates to the treatment of wastewater
and the product’s end of life. The depletion of mineral and
fossil resources is a recurrent issue throughout the life cycle
and is mainly caused by the energy required in the use stage,
the distribution and storage (to be precise, the maintenance
of transport vehicles), and the production of shampoo
ingredients (namely fatty alcohol sulfate, a proxy for sodium
laureth sulfate).
The screening LCA of shampoo identified the use stage as
the most relevant life cycle stage for all impact categories,
except for freshwater ecotoxicity (Figure 3). For the latter, the
shampoo end-of-life was the most relevant life cycle stage.
Production of ingredients and distribution and storage were
also the most relevant stages for several impact categories. In
contrast, manufacturing of the shampoo, packaging produc-
tion, and packaging end-of-life were not among the most
relevant life cycle stages. The absolute values for the
characterized results of the screening study, as well as
additional results, can be found in the screening study report
(https://www.cosmeticseurope.eu/how-we-take-action/
driving-sustainable-development/). It may seem counterin-
tuitive that the use stage is also the most relevant life cycle
stage for effects on land use, more relevant than the
production of ingredients or packaging materials. The effects
on land use from energy in the use stage can be explained by
the wells for natural gas exploration and production. The
production of shampoo ingredients is also relevant, particu-
larly the fatty alcohol sulfate. The production of packaging
materials contributes very little. The largest share of this life
cycle stage is coming from cardboard for secondary
packaging, but this contribution is very small compared to
the energy in the use stage.
Regarding the identification of the most relevant pro-
cesses, the exact list and order varied from one impact
category to another. However, the most recurrent processes
included the following: electricity consumption; natural gas
consumption; light fuel oil consumption; water use; waste
water treatment related to product end of life; transport to
distribution center; transport from distribution center to point
of sale; production of primary packaging; production of
sodium laureth sulfate, a shampoo ingredient; and produc-
tion of cocamidopropyl betaine, a shampoo ingredient.
Data quality
The vast majority of cosmetic products are composed of a
fairly large number of ingredients from a variety of sources,
both feedstocks and suppliers. The screening and supporting
studies showed that there is very limited primary data for
many chemicals. Nevertheless, the PEFCR states that the
formula of the shampoo and the primary packaging data
should come from primary sources of data. Primary data
sources were also recommended for manufacturing data. For
background generic data, ecoinvent 3.2 was recommended,
but semispecific data should be replaced by specific data
when available.
DISCUSSION
The development of PEFCR for shampoos resulted in
specific guidance for LCA studies on shampoos and
important findings that may also be applicable to other
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cosmetics. Here, we will discuss the limitations of this PEFCR,
the findings from the PEFCR development process, the
applicability of results to other cosmetics, the practical
implications, and the ongoing developments related to EF.
Limitations
In general, the Environmental Footprint Rules pilot phase
has highlighted many of the challenges and limitations of the
current LCA methodology, including data availability and
required expertise. The experiences of Cosmetics Europe
while developing the shadow PEFCR illustrate similar
limitations on a smaller scale.
Input data. First, the availability of inventory data for many
chemicals and packaging materials is very limited. Generally,
the data for key ingredients are made available as industry
averages or are obtained from external databases such as
ecoinvent. An important example can be found in the wide
variety of minor ingredients such as fragrances and polymers.
As the generation of life cycle inventory data is an expensive
and time-consuming activity, it is often impossible to account
for the benefits of sustainable sourcing for ingredients (e.g.,
palm oil) and the potential benefits of certification. Yet, a
certain minimum level of detail in the inventory data can be of
crucial importance for the results of the LCA. The use of data
that are not supplier specific limits the relevance of LCA
Comparisons for similar products. The same also holds for
packaging materials. For example, petroleum-based and
biobased polyethylene terephthalate are chemically the
same but have different types of effects.
Related to that, it should also be noted that the current
PEFCR lists secondary data sets composed of ecoinvent
processes. The use of ecoinvent data is not in line with the
PEF guidance, as these data are not free of charge.
Companies applying the PEFCR for shampoos should
therefore mention the use of ecoinvent data in their
limitations section.
Thirdly, in addition to the lack of specific data, there was a
general lack of quantifiable information on domestic water
heating, shower types, and water usage by consumers. It is
important to note that the LCA model appeared sensitive to
some of the most relevant processes, such as water use
during showering. For the sake of simplicity, in the screening
and supporting studies, the use of hot water during
showering is completely attributed to the use of shampoo.
A default value of 15 liters per shower was assumed, based on
data from a hair dresser (Cellule
eco-conception UCM 2013)
and expert judgment. Obviously, the hot water may also
serve other functionalities, such as comfort and rinsing of
other cosmetics. Therefore, the environmental effect of
shampoo may be overestimated.
Impact assessment methodology. The current PEFCR is
based on an impact assessment with use of the default 15
EF impact category indicators (EC 2013), supplemented with
a method by Garnier-Laplace et al. (2008) to assess the effects
of ionizing radiation on ecotoxicity. The latter method was
part of the International Reference Life Cycle Data System
(EC-JRC 2011) and anticipated to become part of the
recommended EF method as well. However, during this
study, it was not retained in the EF method, as it was
considered too immature to be recommended. For some
activities and processes relevant for shampoo, appropriate
impact methods are lacking or poorly developed. For
example, effects on biodiversity are not assessed within the
recommended EF impact assessment method. If biodiversity
is relevant, a PEFCR should describe how biodiversity effects
will be assessed by the applicant. In that case, this is part of
the additional environmental information. Since there is a lack
of data to fully assess all biodiversity effects, the current
PEFCR recommends future research on this matter.
Some models are questionable, such as for land use and
water consumption impact. Later versions of the guidance
document—e.g., version 6.2 compared to 5.1 used here (EC
2015)—were adapted to reflect to state of the art regarding
impact assessment methodologies (see also Continuous EF
Developments).
Also relevant for shampoos are the issues related to LCAs
of biobased materials. In particular, the treatment of biogenic
carbon storage is critical for quantifying greenhouse gas
emissions of biobased materials in Comparison with petro-
chemical materials (Pawelzik et al. 2013). For the impact
assessment of carbon flows, there are 2 important guidance
documents to consider: the PEF guide (EC 2013), which
provides rules on the modeling approach for biogenic
carbon, and an additional guidance document from De
Schryver et al. (2016), which will aid in the development and
implementation of the PEFCRs and also addresses biogenic
carbon storage. The latter document was published only
shortly before finalization of the current PEFCR. Therefore, it
may be of added value next to the current PEFCR when
calculating an EF for shampoos.
A last point to comment on the impact assessment
methodology relates to the normalization, i.e., the step in
which impact results are divided by a reference situation’s
results. The methodology and so-called normalization factors
are published by the EC (Benini et al. 2014). The consider-
ation of international trade in normalization factors would
allow for a more comprehensive picture of the actual
environmental impacts due to European Union production
and consumption processes. To calculate the effects of
consumption only, the effects attributed to imported goods
should be added to, and the effects attributed to exported
goods should be deducted from, the domestic figures for the
EU-27. However, the present level of methodological
development and data availability are not sufficiently mature
to be recommended for application in EF studies. The
normalization factors published by the EC (Benini et al. 2014)
rely on European domestic figures for 2010, as these have
been identified as being the most robust for this kind of
application. However, the reference year for the normaliza-
tion data is a recurrent topic for discussion within EF contexts.
In addition, alternative, global normalization approaches
may be explored (Sala et al. 2016). Rockstr
om et al. (2009)
Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules for Shampoos—Integr Environ Assess Manag 9999, 2018 7
Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018:1–11
C2018 The AuthorsDOI: 10.1002/ieam.4064
introduced the concept of planetary boundaries to identify
the distance to the ideal reference state, and this could be of
great interest.
Findings from the PEFCR development process
Development of a PEFCR for shampoo made it crystal clear
that conducting a PEF requires specific scientific expertise,
access to relevant data related to the product or service under
investigation, and tailored software to handle and further
process the huge data set. Even though the essential elements
of a PEF calculation were already standardized by International
Organization for Standardization norms years ago (i.e., ISO
14040 and 14025, both published in 2006), the huge
complexity of calculating a PEF still requires substantial
improvement (e.g., in terms of data quality), more harmoniza-
tion, and improved standardization of methodology to ensure
that results are driven by the product under study rather than
by the methodology used or data variability. Just like the
European Commission, Cosmetics Europe is committed to
comprehensive, science-based assessment methodologies
that take into account the full life cycle of products.
To date, only a very few cosmetic companies have
sufficient internal resources and adequate in-house expertise
enabling them to conduct PEF calculations on their own.
Interested companies can, however, rely on external service
providers for most of these elements and have PEFs on their
products conducted with a minimum of their own contribu-
tions. The PEFCR for shampoos can be used for inspiration.
Applicability of results to other cosmetics
The currently developed PEFCR provides guidance for
shampoos only, even though other personal care products
may have similar functions. Yet, part of the results, and the
findings derived from the development process, may also be
applicable to other cosmetics.
For instance, the current study showed that the energy
consumed to heat the water is one of the largest
contributions to the overall impact of shampoo. Other
studies confirm the importance of water temperature in the
use stage for home care and personal care products (Koehler
and Wildbolz 2009; Golsteijn et al. 2015). So, it is very
plausible that this finding will also hold for other cosmetics
with comparable chemical composition and use conditions
(e.g., shower gels, liquid soaps, bath products) or other rinse-
off products with ingredients of different chemical character-
istics (e.g., hair conditioners).
The current study also resulted in default values for all life
cycles stages. The PEFCR documentation provides justifica-
tions for all choices made, including references to important
information sources that can be consulted for more informa-
tion. In case of limited data availability for LCAs on other
cosmetics, the values presented in the current study can be
used as proxies or the literature referred to can be consulted
for guidance otherwise.
In addition to the results and default values, the current
study also resulted in important findings regarding the effect
of the data quality, the general level of precision of PEF
calculations, and the limitations regarding application of PEF
results. The PEFCR should enable users to avoid overinter-
pretation of results, prevent wrong decisions on the basis of
PEF calculations (e.g., product “optimization” into the wrong
direction), and inadvertent abuse of the results by direct
Comparison of footprint data for grading similar products.
Other cosmetics that consider the use of PEF guidance for
their LCA can benefit from these insights.
Finally, other cosmetics could also benefit from the
potential steps to come. The vast majority of cosmetic
products are composed of a substantial list of ingredients
from a variety of sources. As indicated before (see
Limitations), there are very limited primary data for many
chemicals, and such data are expensive to generate and are
updated infrequently. The current study recommends the
development of a cost-efficient database of primary data,
considering sourcing locations and manufacturing processes.
Figure 3. Screening study characterization results for one hair wash.
Mineral, fossil, and renewable resource depletion.
E¼ecosystems; HH ¼human health.
8Integr Environ Assess Manag 9999, 2018—L Golsteijn et al.
Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018:1–11
C2018 The Authorswileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/ieam
Such development would also be beneficial for cosmetics
other than shampoos.
Practical implications
The current study showed that the use stage has a
significant contribution to the EF. This is related to the
energy that is required to heat the water. Consumer behavior
is of crucial importance, and the variation between individu-
als is large. The importance of the use stage is also the main
reason why the TS decided not to develop a benchmark and
performance classes for product Comparisons but rather to
focus on the consumers’ use. Another reason is the limited
Figure 4. Summary of the PEFCR scope and guidance.
Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules for Shampoos—Integr Environ Assess Manag 9999, 2018 9
Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018:1–11
C2018 The AuthorsDOI: 10.1002/ieam.4064
availability of primary data, which makes it very difficult to
compare similar products. It has been shown before that the
effect of personal care products on the environment would be
reduced substantially if consumers could be encouraged to apply
only correct product dosages and reduced water temperatures
(Koehler and Wildbolz 2009). Showering habits are obviously
difficult for the cosmetics companies to influence via product
design. However, the industry has worked on the formulation of
personal care products to improve rinse-off efficacy.
Although most of the environmental effect comes from
product use and disposal, the industry is taking its responsibili-
ties seriously and is acting at every life cycle stage. Individual
member companies have taken initiatives to reduce the
environmental impact of cosmetics and educate consumers.
In addition, Cosmetics Europe developed a number of
initiatives that support sustainable development. Examples
include, for instance, the phasing out of solid plastic microbeads
in wash-off personal care products or the development of best
practices for complying with the European Union regulations
regarding the access to and use of genetic resources.
In order to help consumers understand how to use shampoo
sustainably, Cosmetics Europe has developed a package
of publicly available communication materials. Part of this is
a video that explains the EF of shampoo and ways to reduce
it (https://www.cosmeticseurope.eu/videos/environmental-
footprint-shampoo-and-possible-ways-reduce-it). Figure 1 is
a still image from this video. Cosmetics Europe encourages
the free use of their communication materials.
The current study assessed the feasibility and relevance of
establishing PEFCR for shampoo. Cosmetics Europe aimed
to provide its members with comprehensive and high-quality
guidelines for assessing the environmental impact of
shampoos. By sharing their experiences and findings in a
specialized journal, Cosmetics Europe aims to enhance the
communication of their work to a larger audience. After all,
environmental footprinting studies may be used for a variety
of purposes, including in-house management and participa-
tion in voluntary or mandatory programs.
Continuous EF developments
The current research project is based on PEF guidance
version 5.1 (EC 2015). However, during the pilot phase,
ongoing discussions within the official pilots led to continuous
updates of the guidance documents and publication of
additional technical issues papers. Important changes since
version 5.1 include, for instance,the way end-of-life allocation
is performed and the recommended impact assessment
methodologies. However, updates in methodology were
not taken into account because the project duration was
much shorter than the EU Environmental Footprint PilotPhase.
To date, the official EF methodologies are not final. Guidance
on reporting and verification, as well as the possibilities to
convert a shadow PEF into an official PEF, is still to be decided.
At the time of study, a few deviations from the official
guidance were already identified. To start, the formulation of
the virtual representative product was not based on
average European Union sales-weighted characteristics
of all existing technologies. Instead, the TS constructed a
virtual representative product containing commonly used
ingredients from each functional group, as well as typical and
realistic concentrations. The motivation for this deviation is
that the overall pool of shampoo components amounts to
several hundred chemicals, and individual formulations differ
widely with regard to their qualitative and quantitative
composition. However, shampoo formulations have common
characteristics, in terms of ingredient functions: cleansing,
viscosity control, pH adjustment, hair care and conditioning,
perfuming, preservation. Therefore, the representative prod-
uct was constructed as explained.
Furthermore, regarding the guidance on background data,
the use of ecoinvent data is not in line with the PEF guidance,
as these data are not available free of charge (see also “Input
Data” section in Discussion).
In addition, the supporting studies of this “shadow” pilot
have not been verified by the Commission, whereas for
official PEF pilots the Commission will verify at least 1 of the
PEF supporting studies. Moreover, in official PEF pilots, the
final PEFCR will undergo review by an independent third-
party panel composed of a minimum of 3 members. The
shampoo PEFCR has not undergone such a review. Lastly, the
shampoo PEFCR does not provide recommendations con-
cerning reporting, disclosure, and communication.
In 2018, the official pilot phase ended with the approval of
the final documents. At that point, there are PEFCR and
OEFSR for measuring and communicating life cycle environ-
mental performance of 23 product groups and sectors. Next,
the Commission will assess the results of the pilot phase and
consider possible policy options for a follow-up.
The current paper describes the development process for
specific rules for performing environmental LCAs on sham-
poos, including difficulties encountered and recommenda-
tions for further research. It is not yet known what the future
possibilities for the legal status of this document are, but at
least it summarizes the recommended structure for establish-
ing PEFCR for shampoo, based on the experiences and
findings from Cosmetics Europe. This way, the PEFCR is an
effective first step toward comparable LCAs for shampoos.
As a result, it aids in raising public awareness of the EF of
shampoo and in outlining ways in which companies and
consumers can reduce this footprint. Our recommendations
for further work on footprinting of cosmetics are summarized
in Table 2.
AcknowledgmentThe development of this PEFCR
benefited from discussions with Dimitri Caudrelier and
Sebastien Humbert (both Quantis).
DisclaimerThe companies that performed the support-
ing studies (i.e., Henkel, L’Or
eal, and Pierre Fabre) declare
that they have no conflict of interest.
Data AccessibilityData are available upon request to
Manuela Coroama, Cosmetics Europe, mcoroama@cosme-
ticseurope.eu.
SUPPLEMENTAL DATA
Table S1. Shampoo PEFCR summary.
10 Integr Environ Assess Manag 9999, 2018—L Golsteijn et al.
Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018:1–11
C2018 The Authorswileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/ieam
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... The detailed inventory data (i.e., input data for material and energy and outputs in form of emissions and waste streams) associated with the two case studies are provided in detail in the Supporting Material File (see Parts S2 and S3). For the polyester T-shirt, these inventory data are derived from a recent publication [35]. The emissions and raw materials used in the case of shower gels were taken from the Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCR) developed for shampoos [36]. ...
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Purpose Good background data are an important requirement in LCA. Practitioners generally make use of LCI databases for such data, and the ecoinvent database is the largest transparent unit-process LCI database worldwide. Since its first release in 2003, it has been continuously updated, and version 3 was published in 2013. The release of version 3 introduced several significant methodological and technological improvements, besides a large number of new and updated datasets. The aim was to expand the content of the database, set the foundation for a truly global database, support regionalized LCIA, offer multiple system models, allow for easier integration of data from different regions, and reduce maintenance efforts. This article describes the methodological developments. Methods Modeling choices and raw data were separated in version 3, which enables the application of different sets of modeling choices, or system models, to the same raw data with little effort. This includes one system model for Consequential LCA. Flow properties were added to all exchanges in the database, giving more information on the inventory and allowing a fast calculation of mass and other balances. With version 3.1, the database is generally water-balanced, and water use and consumption can be determined. Consumption mixes called market datasets were consistently added to the database, and global background data was added, often as an extrapolation from regional data. Results and discussion In combination with hundreds of new unit processes from regions outside Europe, these changes lead to an improved modeling of global supply chains, and a more realistic distribution of impacts in regionalized LCIA. The new mixes also facilitate further regionalization due to the availability of background data for all regions. Conclusions With version 3, the ecoinvent database substantially expands the goals and scopes of LCA studies it can support. The new system models allow new, different studies to be performed. Global supply chains and market datasets significantly increase the relevance of the database outside of Europe, and regionalized LCA is supported by the data. Datasets are more transparent, include more information, and support, e.g., water balances. The developments also support easier collaboration with other database initiatives, as demonstrated by a first successful collaboration with a data project in Québec. Version 3 has set the foundation for expanding ecoinvent from a mostly regional into a truly global database and offers many new insights beyond the thousands of new and updated datasets it also introduced.
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According to ISO 14044 (ISO 2006), normalisation, in the context of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), is an optional step of Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) which allows the practitioner to express results after the characterisation step using a common reference impact. This supports the comparison between alternatives using reference numerical scores. The normalisation factors express the total impact occurring in a reference region for a certain impact category (e.g. climate change, eutrophication, etc.) within a reference year. This document provides normalisation factors (NFs) for the implementation of the EU Environmental Footprint methodology (EC - European Commission, 2013). The calculation of NFs is based on a ’EU-27 domestic inventory’ i.e. an extensive collection of emissions into air, water and soil as well as resources extracted in EU-27 with reference to 2010 (Sala et al., 2014). The International Reference Life Cycle Data System (ILCD) impact assessment methods and related characterisation factors (EC-JRC, 2011) were applied to the domestic inventory so to calculate the normalisation factors. In this report, the main methodological steps used to calculate the normalisation factors are described and discussed, and an overview is given of the improvements of current figures compared to similar studies (CML, 2013; Wegener Sleeswijk, et al., 2008; Wegener Sleeswijk and Huijbregts, 2010). Although the consideration of international trade in normalisation factors would allow for a more comprehensive picture of the actual environmental impacts due to EU production and consumption processes, this study shows, through a comparative assessment, that the present level of methodological development and data availability in modelling trade are not sufficiently mature. The main reasons are: i) significant variability in the results obtained using different methods for selecting and up-scaling products; ii) the ratio of imports to domestic products appears to be underestimated. The recommendation for normalisation factors in the Environmental Footprint context is therefore to rely on domestic figures for 2010.
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Introduction This paper provides an overview on the content of the ecoinvent database and of selected metholodogical issues applied on the life cycle inventories implemented in the ecoinvent database. Goal, Scope and Background In the year 2000, several Swiss Federal Offices and research institutes of the ETH domain agreed to a joint effort to harmonise and update life cycle inventory (LCI) data for its use in life cycle assessment (LCA). With the ecoinvent data-base and its actual data v1.1, a consistent set of more than 2’500 product and service LCIs is now available. Method Nearly all process datasets are transparently documented on the level of unit process inputs and outputs. Methodological approaches have been applied consistently throughout the entire database content and thus guarantee for a coherent set of LCI data. This is particularly true for market and trade modelling (see, for example, electricity modelling), for the treatment of multi-out-put and of recycling processes, but also for the recording and reporting of elementary flows. The differentiation of diameter size for particulate matter emissions, for instance, allows for a more comprehensive impact assessment of human health effects. Data quality is quantitatively reported in terms of standard deviations of the amounts of input and output flows. In many cases qualitative indicators are reported additionally on the level of each individual input and output. The information sources used vary from extensive statistical works to individual (point) measurements or assumptions derived from process descriptions. However, all datasets passed the same quality control procedure and all information relevant and necessary to judge the suitability of a dataset in a certain context are provided in the database. Data documentation and exchange is based on the EcoSpold data format, which complies with the technical specification ISO/TS 14048. Free access to process information via the Internet helps the user to judge the appropriateness of a dataset.Concluding Remarks The existence of the ecoinvent database proves that it is possible and feasible to build up a large interlinked system of LCI unit processes. The project work proved to be demanding in terms of co-ordination efforts required and consent identification. One main characteristic of the database is its transparency in reporting to enable individual assessment of data appropriateness and to support the plurality in methodological approaches.Outlook Further work on the ecoinvent database may comprise work on the database content (new or more detailed data-sets covering existing or new economic sectors), LCI (modelling) methodology, the structure and features of the data-base system (e.g. extension of Monte Carlo simulation to the impact assessment phase) or improvements in eco-invent data supply and data query. Furthermore, the deepening and building up of international co-operations in LCI data collection and supply is in the focus of future activities.
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Washing the hair and scalp has become a near-universal practice. The method of doing so varies depending on both geographic and economic factors.
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Concerns over non-renewable fossil fuel supply and climate change have been driving the Renaissance of bio-based materials. To substantiate environmental claims, the impacts of bio-based materials are typically quantified by applying life cycle assessment (LCA). The internationally agreed LCA standards provide generic recommendations on how to evaluate the environmental impacts of products and services but do not address details that are specifically relevant for the life cycles of bio-based materials. Here, we provide an overview of key issues and methodologies explicitly pertinent to the LCA of bio-based materials. We argue that the treatment of biogenic carbon storage is critical for quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions of bio-based materials in comparison with petrochemical materials. We acknowledge that biogenic carbon storage remains controversial but recommend accounting for it, depending on product-specific life cycles and the likely time duration of carbon storage. If carbon storage is considered, co-product allocation is nontrivial and should be chosen with care in order to: (i) ensure that carbon storage is assigned to the main product and the co-product(s) in the intended manner and (ii) avoid double counting of stored carbon in the main product and once more in the co-product(s). Land-use change, soil degradation, water use, and impacts on soil carbon stocks and biodiversity are important aspects that have recently received attention. We explain various approaches to account for these and conclude that substantial methodological progress is necessary, which is however hampered by the complex and often case- and site-specific nature of impacts. With the exception of soil degradation, we recommend preliminary approaches for including these impacts in the LCA of bio-based materials. The use of attributional versus consequential LCA approaches is particularly relevant in the context of bio-based materials. We conclude that it is more challenging to prepare accurate consequential LCA studies, especially because these should account for future developments and secondary impacts around bio-based materials which are often difficult to anticipate and quantify. Although hampered by complexity and limited data availability, the application of the proposed approaches to the extent possible would allow obtaining a more comprehensive insight into the environmental impacts of the production, use, and disposal of bio-based materials.