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How can my score be improved with better data?
How can my score be improved with better data?
Koen de Beer avatar
Written by Koen de Beer
Updated over a week ago


A perfect life cycle analysis consists of millions data points that are collected. Since this is impossible, assumptions are being made. The most important assumptions is the average energy a process takes to change the state, form or location of a product and second the type of mix of energy that is used to perform this task (oil, gas, electricity, solar power, bio-energy etc.).

A good step to improve your score is to beat the average assumption. To be cautious and avoid greenwashing, assumptions about missing environmental data are always higher than is actually estimated. Therefore, by providing the relevant and specific data, you can often enhance your score significantly. An easy first step to improve your score is to collect specific information from your supplier.

Accepted types of evidence

There are several types of evidence that can be collected from your value chain that can be used to lower your product score in Pickler.

  1. LCA or EPD

  2. Input data (e.g. mass balance, bill of materials, energy consumption)

  3. The energy mix used by your supplier

  4. Closed loop and recycling schemes

  5. Other

1. LCA & EPD

The quality in EPDs and LCA varies a lot. Generally speaking a good LCA or EPD, is objective and well described that anyone else without prior knowledge, gets the same results by following the described steps taken. And that the used assumptions are in line with latest common consensus in science (references).

In order to ensure the data quality in Pickler we make sure that evidence are written according the following industry standards; ISO 14040, 14044, EN15804 and the LCA-handbook of the ILCD.

If you would like to add your specific material make sure it meets one of the following standards;

✔ LCA published in a peer reviewed paper

✔ EPD published at IBU, Environdec or EPD-Norway

✔ Doctoral dissertations

✔ University graduation and internship reports, only after a careful check

Not acceptable are:

❌ Data from the National Environmental Database

❌ Unverified publications

❌ LCAs that companies have carried out by an LCA expert/agency

Please note; LCAs that contain only output data become outdated more quickly and need to be reviewed more often.

2. Input data

Since LCA and EPD are not widely available, it is also possible to provide input data of your supplier. The following input data can be requested at your supplier;

✔ Mass balance

✔ Bill of material

✔ Percentage recycled material used, prefereable signed off by an accountant

✔ Energy consumption by the used production processes in KwH/KG

✔ Percentage of waste generated by the production process, prefereable signed off by the company's accountant

Please note: not all suppliers are willing to share their recipe. If this is the case, Pickler can act as a trusted partner for your supplier and help him without disclosing confidential information.

3. Energy mix data

As default, the energy mix that is used to create most of the materials in Pickler are based on general industry electricity grid mix. This means that the footprint of the previous year of the grid mix is used in the following configuration; 33% EU, 33% China and 33% VS.

For production processes, e.g. transforming plastic pallets into flexible films, we take the average energy grid mix of the country and region of the production location. When the production location is unknown then the gridmix of China is taken as a default. Therefore knowing the location of your supplier helps to lower your score.

✔ Production location

❌ Location of distributor

In case your supplier uses solar panels for the production proces, he is able to lower his score below the average grid mix. The evidence that can be used is;

✔ Electricity bill with attribution to the production process
✔ Energy (gas) bill with attribution to the production process

❌ 100% solar power

It can also be possible that your supplier buys renewable energy. There are many different certificates but only a few that are accepted. Please read more about certificates of origin here.

4. Closed loop and recycling schemes

Evidence on where your packaging ends up, is currently very hard to justify. Please read more about how we deal with this topic here. But there is evidence that can be used to lower your end of life score. The following evidence can be used:

✔ produced/sold and returned statement (for reuseables and products with deposit), prefereable signed off by the company's accountant

✔ percentage of products recycled on product level; e.g. Polytag

❌ Claims about recyclability

5. Exceptions

Exceptions can be:

  1. Average data from European federations due to high representativeness and/or the non-existence of better data (such as FEFCO and Plastic Europe).

  2. A common material or process for which there is no LCA that meets the requirements, for which an estimate with a penalty value has been made.

For more information please contact us via the chat.

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