The final conference on the first phase of the EU Environmental Footprint took place in Brussels, Belgium from 23-25 April 2018. European Commissioner for the Environment Karmenu Vella opened the conference, commenting that: “Our footprint on this planet… [is] our reality, it’s our responsibility, and our society needs to take ownership of its consequences. I think people are ready to do that. In our surveys, nine out of ten citizens say that protecting the environment is important to them personally. These people are willing to make real choices that reflect their values… and it’s our job to help them. We need to find ways of making it happen.”
This conference was the culmination of several years of work on Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and Organisational Environmental Footprint (OEF). Participants discussed opportunities as well as challenges to scaling up PEF and OEF efforts to date in order to inform sustainability decisions. A surve of the conference audience indicated that just over half the audience supported developing policy that would make environmental footprinting mandatory for companies making green claims.