Europe Union

Product Environmental Footprint

Product Environmental Footprint
Monitoring and control over product environmental footprint along the supply chain. The Product Environmental Footprint Decision Support Tool (PEF-DST) is a module of the information system that provides complex support for all processes and operations in the field of milk transport logistics. Its main goal is to provide the dairy industry with best-in-class tools for reducing logistics costs and supporting effective fleet management. It supports the monitoring of the milk collection process from a network of geographically dispersed suppliers.


AFarCloud is an EU project with a budget of EUR 16.6 million and 59 participants from 14 countries. AFarCloud will provide a distributed platform for autonomous farming that will allow the integration and cooperation of agriculture Cyber Physical Systems in real-time in order to increase efficiency, productivity, animal health, food quality and reduce farm labour costs.
Experience we shared.
Enterprise Integration
Data Analytics


The main goal of the PEF-DST is to support the end-user in monitoring the PEF of two Diary Supply Chain (DSC) stages: milk production and milk transportation. The DSC data is analyzed in order to assess the quality of the supply chain operation in terms of sustainability.


PEF-DST presents the following information:

  • aggregated PEF of the factory the number is the indicator for the user on the overall PEF performance along the supply chain,
  • a graphical presentation of aggregated PEF of the factory and its components (in this case: Aggregated Transport PEF, Farm PEF and Average PEF per route)
  • the graphical presentation of Aggregated Factory PEFliter should allow for simplified overview and extended view with detailed data and components of analyzed Factory PEF,
  • historical data – the user needs to be allowed to review historical data to improve future inference and business decisions. PEF reductions will be the goal.
  • transport PEF for each hauler and Farm PEF for each milk supplier – environmental issues should be one of the components of decision making when choosing business partners. Each party in the supply chain should aim to minimize PEF of its own activities.
  • input data edit option for each transport provider – possibility to edit input data to show what changes in Aggregated PEF occur when CO2 emission norm changes or the provider modifies routes and limits the number of kilometers daily.
  • input form – some of the data needs to be entered manually for the players that do not have own PEF monitoring tools. PEF of each farm may be calculated from the chosen parameters provided once by each supplier. Data sets may be updated.
  • archiving of data sets – modification of data sets (manual or real) influence the performance on PEF. It is useful to have a possibility to leave a comment if a data set modification results from a known event or external factors (e.g. weather conditions, new investments, road failures, etc.)
  • emission norms – the following versions of PEF Mode may be connected to databases that will update automatically the standardized data as they are modified by the authorities. Now, however, those values should be updated manually.

The goal is to give the user a bigger picture – PEF is not just a number. The possibility to modify the data manually and see the prediction of expected PEF values is essential from the perspective of the sense of agency. First attempts of PEF implementation into business routine require to relate to users’ sentiments and the image of a cycle where each party along the supply chain plays a significant role. The user should feel the change is possible.


PEF is based on Life Cycle Assessment methodology, defined by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center. Its purpose is to provide a standard for entities within the EU to measure environmental performance. Every product category can be defined by a distinctive set of rules that are to be applied.

PEF-DST monitors the footprint as a multi-factor measure of the impact of dairy farms or transportation on the environment. It is calculated using a set of factors that impact the milk production and transport ecosystem. Monitoring PEF in PEF-DST allows us to identify trade-offs and make better strategic decisions.

The EU commission has provided Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules (PEFCRs) as specific guidance for PEF studies, at the level of a specific product category, for calculating and reporting products’ life cycle environmental impacts [1]. PEFCRs shift the focus of the PEF study towards these aspects and parameters that matter the most and hence contribute to increased relevance, reproducibility, and consistency of the results by reducing costs.

Delivered value.

The aim of the PEF-DST is to present the PEF results for farmers and milk transportation. The PEF-DST provides an end-user interface with clean, consistent and personalized dashboards. The tool also provides customized enterprise reporting capabilities for the DSC participants.


Review Quote
It is important to take into consideration all the environmental impacts of products in a balanced way. In the case of some product groups, GHG emissions are not the most significant environmental aspect, therefore other environmental impacts need to be taken into account as well to provide balanced information for consumers on the environmental performance of products.
European Commission

Used Technologies.

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