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Investing in environment16th of March 2011
News on an environmental initiative from Anna Garbagna in Italy.
AfidampFAB, the association of Italian producers of professional cleaning equipment, machines and products, has created a protocol of rules, the Product Category Rules (PCR). This protocol, which has been submitted for certification and received approval in May 2010, allows it to establish an Environmental Product Declaration for all types of machines.
AfidampFAB’s initiative represents a fundamental step in the 'green' policy which the association initiated a long time ago and it promises important developments for the entire sector. It has been able to anticipate the market’s need to provide cleaning services without environmental impact and it has defined a virtuous path as a result of creating this protocol of rules which is the sole reference for anyone in the world who would like to certify the environmental declaration of their products.
The environmental product declaration (EPD) is one of three existing types of environmental communications - the other two are: self-declaration which is non certifiable therefore with little credibility; and Ecolabel, a label which can only be obtained by specific widely used products and is not applicable to machines.
EPD is instead a declaratory tool which allows comparison of the data in a truthful way and prevents the 'greenwashing' phenomenon. Consequently it is a statement that includes the entire product life cycle, from production to end of life, information on the production process, the product itself and also information on emissions of CO2, polluting substances, global warming gases, etc, including the possibility of recycling at the end of the working life.
Basically it clearly states all the information concerning the product, from production to sale, in order to guarantee a complete picture which allows the buyer to carry out an accurate comparison between different machines. In this respect EPD is the most comprehensive document, because it is transparent and edited on the basis of an overall analysis of the entire life cycle of every single component of the product. It is a tool rich in technical information and because of that, it is strongly oriented towards the B2B sector.
To write the EPD declaration, it is necessary to adhere to some parameters, those already stated by AfidampFAB in the PCR. The association has facilitated the procedure by preparing the main document. All companies have to do is to write the declaration, while certification must be given by a third party.
The PCR regarding machines is only one stage in AfidampFAB’s journey. The association has now started the procedure for drawing up the PCR for detergents because Ecolabel does not account for the complexity of formulae in professional products. It is also possible that equipment will be covered as well.
"Ours is an ambitious project," claims Stefania Verrienti, secretary of AfidampFAB – but we strongly believe in the need to pursue truly sustainable development. We have initiated this policy by establishing the Clean Green Afidamp Award, which this year will celebrate its third edition, and the possibility to obtain an ecological label which is clear and transparent like EPD, it seemed to be the best way to allow us to move from just good intentions to good practice."