The natureplus Criteria Commission has completed its work on the basic guideline GL5020 "Climate Compatibility and Energy Efficiency" and is submitting the draft GL5020 to interested parties for consultation. With this new guideline, specific requirements are to be laid down for almost all product groups for which natureplus awards its Ecolabel, with regard to their climatic compatibility and energy efficiency during the manufacturing phase. The only exceptions are construction elements and products made up of different materials.
Life cycle assessments rated for the first time
Through the definition of requirements in this area, natureplus wishes to emphasise the relevance of its identically named quality label even more strongly than before, also with regard to climate and environmental protection, and is breaking new ground in this respect. Up to now there have only been voluntary manufacturer's declarations regarding the environmentally relevant properties of building products (EPDs), natureplus is now going one step further, making the life cycle assessments comparable and using them for benchmarking. To this end the environmental organisation simplifies the data evaluation and concentrates on a few relevant indicators.
Few relevant indicators
The Carbon Footprint for Products (CFP) in accordance with EN ISO 14067:2018 is used in GL5020 to assess climate compatibility. Energy efficiency is assessed on the basis of the use of renewable and non-renewable primary energy (PEE) used for energy purposes. A minimum share of renewable primary energy is also required. In order to document the medium-term contribution of the products to carbon storage, the greenhouse potential from the uptake and emission of biogenic carbon (GWP biogenic) is shown separately.
Recognition of existing EPDs regulated
The test must be carried out by the natureplus INSTITUTE SCE in accordance with the natureplus Implementation Regulations. External Life Cycle Assessments and Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) can be used for the product evaluation according to a recognition procedure.
Future adaptation and voluntary declaration
The requirements defined by natureplus designate a minimum level of climate compatibility and energy efficiency which, from natureplus's point of view, is currently ecologically justifiable and must be complied with in all cases. The requirements also include a critical range of 10%, within which requirements for the improvement of climate compatibility and energy efficiency can be issued. The requirements which have now been established are to be regularly reviewed and adapted to technical progress in order to clarify the objective of a medium-term reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. It is also planned to provide companies with an opportunity to show the CO2 footprint, CO2 storage and CO2 compensation of their products in a suitable form to be determined.
A consultation on the draft guideline 5020 had already taken place last year. The objections raised there have since been incorporated into the draft. In addition, the figures defined as requirements are now available for all relevant product groups. The consultation procedure will therefore be reopened: natureplus members and interested parties can submit their written comments and requests for changes by the deadline of 30th April. The criteria commission will then decide on these.
Those interested in the draft of RL5020 should contact Ilka Voß at the natureplus office at voss(at)natureplus.org.