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Final report PT-PILOT on Performance Targets

Rapport
Författare Sofie Willems
Dirk Le Roy
Carlos Montalvo
Mario Willems
Dan Strömberg
Förlag University of Gothenburg
Förlagsort Göteborg
Publiceringsår 2006
Publicerad vid Institutionen för växt- och miljövetenskaper
Göteborgs miljövetenskapliga centrum, GMV
Språk en
Ämnesord Performance targets, voluntray agreements, top runner, windows, cement, tyres, manure, textile
Ämneskategorier Miljöteknik, Teknik och social förändring

Sammanfattning

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Introduction The Environmental Technologies Action Plan (ETAP) aims to promote eco-innovation and the broad use of environmental technologies across Europe. One of the more specific priority actions under the ETAP is to improve market conditions for the introduction and wider use of environmental technologies, and therefore establish environmental performance targets (EPT) for key products, processes and services. Performance targets consist of 3 key elements: they are measurable objectives of environmental performance, with a time target, to achieve a market share. The EPT instrument must be voluntary, and thus motivated and driven by a supporting policy framework. A key element of the EPT instrument is that the EPTs have the commitment of the relevant stakeholders / frontrunners. The task of the team of experts was to develop further the concept of an EPT scheme and framework, and the instruments necessary to make them a success. Appropriate institutional, financial and legal settings for the establishment of an EPT scheme were established through a small number of elaborated options, highlighting the specific features of EPT as a stand-alone concept or integrated in other instruments. Links with existing initiatives and conditions for the success of the scheme were identified. The team built on the Japanese top runner program and on previous and on-going studies and experiences of other similar EU initiatives such as Integrated Product Policy (IPP), the Eco-label scheme, the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), Green Public Procurement (GPP), Environmental Product Declarations (EPD), the Directive on eco-design of energy-using products (EuP), and the IPPC Directive. Findings The issues that are driving progress of cleaner technologies and pushing the EPT dynamics in sectors and companies are of vital importance to the development of the scheme. The market uptake can be enhanced by focussing either on the consumer through communication or price setting, on B2B through standard setting, or on processes through certification. The development of the EPT scheme and the policy framework can be inspired on the top runner program in Japan. The program is characterised by its differentiated and realistic standard setting so that more or less all the manufacturers can meet them. Periodic revision of the targets makes it a dynamic system allowing continuous enhancement of environmental performance. An important difference with the EPT concept is that its goal achievement requirement (in terms of weighted average) is mandatory, and there is a monitoring through a reporting obligation. The drivers that pushed the top runner program were, besides its mandatory-participatory basis, the information to the consumers by a label, an award system, incorporation in green public procurement and fiscal measures. Several challenges exist for broadening the Japanese experience to the goals of the ETAP EPT in Europe, particularly related to competitiveness, the stringency of the target (incremental or radical) and the enforcement of the designed targets. Taking into account the structure of the top runner program, the elements that made it a success and the challenges it faces, a model and framework of an EPT scheme can be set up. This framework must make EPT effective as a voluntary policy instrument, and has 3 key elements: information supply, the EPT scheme itself, and the drivers for its implementation. 1. The first element, information supply, is the basis on which the EPT scheme will be built, and will determine its objectiveness. In order to be objective, it must be based on a life cycle approach and standardised measurement methods and information supply via EPD. EPDs are an essential tool to communicate the environmental performance of a product based on standardised LCA calculations and rank this performance against the EPT. 2. The EPT scheme should be coherent with existing initiatives and regulations and find a complementary position. An independent EPT scheme is the most flexible tool to define the three key elements of the EPT, being the environmental parameters and their objectives, the time line and the market share objective. It is essential for the scheme to work that the EPTs have the commitment of the relevant stakeholders and frontrunners. 3. It is essential that the EPT scheme is supported by a number of drivers, instruments that will stimulate the market take up of the products or techniques with better environmental performance. Those drivers will determine to a large degree whether the scheme is successful or not, as was the case in the top runner program in Japan. Considering all aspects of the EPT scheme and the synergies with other existing voluntary instruments in a European dimension, opportunities exist for inclusion of the EPT in the Eco-label scheme, in the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme EMAS or in standardisation. Inclusion of EPT in the Eco-label scheme would benefit of the performance level that is already built into the eco-labelling system. A second voluntary instrument where EPT could build upon is the EMAS. However, contrary to the direct integration possibility in the Eco-label scheme, first a standard setting of Key Performance Indicators will be required, similar to the criteria that have been set for the Eco-label. A third opportunity is inclusion of the EPTs in the development of technical standards through the alignment of the level of the criteria. Conclusions The stakeholder consultations showed that the environmental performance of each sector or product is depending on different variables and it is thus mostly a complex system in which a few main parameters must be sought which can drive environmental performance. The EPT scheme must be built on objective information based on a LCA approach but should try to simplify the number of parameters where ever possible. The case studies also showed major differences in the task of setting EPTs for products and processes. However, more intense stakeholder workshops and involvement of the frontrunners is necessary to come to a good EPT. More detailed benchmark studies must be set up. The main drivers on European level that can significantly influence the success of the EPT scheme are information to the consumer through a label based on a grading system, Green Public Procurement, an award systems and promotion campaigns. Other possibilities are fiscal incentives, regulatory flexibility or a mandatory system. The EPT scheme should be based on the top performers. They need to be identified and engaged to help define the parameters to calculate the environmental performance. The measurement and calculation methods must be standardised. In a next step the existing products or techniques on the market must be benchmarked, and based on this knowledge of the current market situation combined with the technological potential (Best Available Techniques), the EPT can be defined in terms of overall environmental performance level to obtain in a certain time. The drivers must be identified which will push the shift towards better performance. During this process the sector must be gradually involved and an agreement must be made on sector or company level. Besides the stand-alone approach a number of opportunities exist to integrate the EPT in existing initiatives. If the product is already eco-labelled, the opportunity exists to include the EPT in the eco-label scheme. Inclusion in ecolabel can be realised in two ways. The first option is that the eco-label criteria for a certain product group are immediately the environmental objective for the Performance Target, and what needs to be discussed with the industry is the time perspective in order to reach a commonly agreed market share for which these criteria are met. A second option is to make the eco-label dynamic and to develop new environmental objectives by redefining the eco-label criteria levels that need to be reached. A clear vision must exist on the direction that needs to be taken, and targets must be re-evaluated periodically and set more and more ambitious by setting criteria that are stricter (based on the frontrunner performance) and by defining a dynamic higher level for each parameter. A driving mechanism to reward the products reaching the higher levels of performance could be through labelling with a higher level “Eco-label +”. A second possibility is to integrate EPTs in the existing EMAS scheme. However, contrary to the more direct integration possibility in the eco-label, EMAS does not offer a current set of criteria that evidence the environmental performance. Therefore, first a standard setting of key performance indicators will be required. Then the performance of EMAS participants can be ranked against the EPT (based on the frontrunner performance). A driving mechanism to reward the companies reaching the higher levels of performance could be through certification by a higher EMAS “standard of excellence”. Recommendations For every choice made on the structure of the EPT scheme, there are some general recommendations that can to be made to make it feasible. Considering the 3 elements the EPTs consist of (the level of the environmental criteria itself, the time target and the market share), it is best to fix two of them in order to focus the discussion with the stakeholders to go forward. Fixing the time target and market share, a minimum environmental performance is to be defined and for that, first the environmental technical parameters must be fixed. The quantified objective for the parameters should not be lower than the actual performance of the 10% of the products with the best performance on those criteria. Further, having direct channels to individual producers may help in obtaining opinions that are not influenced by the interests of the whole industry and the strong lobbying power of industry associations. Since it is essential to have the commitment of the stakeholders, it is however advisable that the development of the EPTs is in close participation with the industry. There must be a periodic revision of the EPT in order to make them dynamic and to assure that they constantly mach innovation and societal changes. This intensive stakeholder participation in the setting and revision of the EPT demands significant investments in time from government and industry. Therefore, it is advisable to start with mass products with high environmental impact, and with products that have one predominant environmental performance criterion. This prioritisation of less complex products with a higher environmental impact will leverage the effectiveness of the objective of the scheme, which is an overall improved environmental performance.

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