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Environmental assessment methodology - Working Group 1


The partners of the food and drink chain gathered in the European Food SCP Round Table are committed to helping consumers and other partners along the food chain to make informed choices by providing them with accurate and understandable information on relevant product characteristics, including environmental performance. Effective environmental information requires scientifically reliable and consistent environmental assessment methodologies to be applied along the food chain. There is at present no commonly applied methodology to assess and communicate environmental information along the food chain, including to consumers, in a practical and reliable way.

On 20 November 2013 the European Food SCP Round Table adopted the ENVIFOOD Protocol (1.0). The ENVIFOOD Protocol is a scientifically reliable, practical and harmonised methodology for the environmental assessment of food and drink products. It represents an intermediate step between ISO standards, the European Commission’s Product Environmental Footprint and product-specific rules. It is not a stand-alone document or a product category rule for food and drinks.



This version incorporates feedback from a public consultation, which was held from 21st November 2012 – 31st March 2013. It also takes into account results from voluntary pilot testing, which took place from 1st February – 31st August 2013. It was also the result of two scientific workshops hosted by the European Commission Joint Research Centre in Ispra and a detailed analysis of relevant methodologies and data for food and drink products. The workshop summaries, ‘Towards the ENVIFOOD Protocol: Deriving Scientifically-Sound Rules from Existing Methodological Alternatives’ and ‘Outcomes of the second workshop of the Food Sustainable Consumption and Production Round Table Working Group 1: deriving scientifically sound rules for a sector-specific environmental assessment methodology’, are available for download.

Further Information:

The following supporting documents provide further information and background to the ENVIFOOD Protocol:
  • Role of the Round Table in the governance of the pilot test of the European Commission Product Environmental Footprint methodology for food, feed and drink products
  • Scoping document on the Governance of the ENVIFOOD Protocol and related technical activities of the Round Table WG1, WG2 and WG4
  • Working paper: Data: needs, the role of the ENVIFOOD Protocol and Round Table governance
  • Working paper: Product Category Rules: needs, the role of the ENVIFOOD Protocol and Round Table governance
  • The Working Group 1 Road Map outlines the process for developing the ENVIFOOD Protocol to support the assessment of the environmental performance in line with the Round Table’s Guiding Principles.
  • The European Food SCP Round Table adopted 10 Guiding Principles on the voluntary environmental assessment and communication of food and drink products to underpin the development of the ENVIFOOD Protocol.
  • Report on the public consultation and pilot test of the ENVIFOOD Protocol, published following a Working Group 1 Workshop on the follow-up of the ENVIFOOD Protocol public consultation and pilot testing, held in  February 2014.
  • The Food SCP Round Table organised a Working Group 1 Workshop on ‘Environmental Footprinting, Biodiversity and Water Footprinting’ at FAO's premises in Rome on 22 April. Please click here to download the PowerPoint Presentations.