Scope of material stage

Details of what we take in to account when calculating the footprint of the material stage

Tess Heeremans avatar
Written by Tess Heeremans
Updated over a week ago

Methodology for calculating materials footprints

The footprint for materials in this stage is calculated by the amount of the used material times the footprint of the material. The eco-costs of the materials in the packaging product are summed up based on their weight factor (weight material in product (kg) / total weight product (kg)).

The footprint of virgin materials includes the logistics and extraction processes till the gate of the refining facility that turns the raw material into usable material. However, the packaging products may include recycled or other types of materials that require some adaptions in the calculation, which will be explained below.

Virgin materials

No extra rules are applied

Recycled materials

The benefit of recycling is accounted for in the material supply stage. For example, when a product consists of 50% recycled material, the eco-costs of the raw material stage are 0.5 times the eco-costs of the virgin material plus 0.5 times the eco-costs of the recycled material. The eco-costs of the recycled material depend on the type of materials.

Materials coming from waste streams

Since the system applies the so-called “cut-off” at the waste stockpile, the footprint of waste materials that are used to create a new product is set to 0. This means that there is no carry-over of eco-burden from the old product to the new, recycled, product (following the guidelines of EN 15804).


The responsibility of the input quality for the materials in the product, is on the supplier.

The packaging supplier must comply with the following rules:

  • >98% of the used material is provided (including filler, glue, coating, and ink)

  • Supplier agrees that the packaging does not contain any harmful substances according to the latest European legislation.

  • Supporting evidence to show that the actual footprint is lower, needs to be proven with documentation that is accredited by an independent third party (e.g. FSC documentation).

  • If raw material contains amounts of titanium white or zinc white this will be stated by the supplier.

Data origin and credibility

Generic data of the supplier is used when the supplier is not able to provide an EPD/LCA.

Note: the footprints of EPD's/LCA are not always lower.

For generic data verifiable data sources are used and contain the most used packaging materials. This generic data are based on verified LCA's and are in compliance with ISO 14040, ISO 14044, EN 15804, and the LCA handbook of the ILCD.

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