A functioning ‘functional unit’

For LCA-based tools and category rules, there is a central idea of a “functional unit”. How this will function in the ongoing work with EU’s PEFCR (Product Environmental Footprint Category Rules), is based on the number of days of “usability”.

A “functional unit” is most often described for paint. It is not the liter of paint that has an environmental impact to be reconned with, it is, however, a painted wall one year that is the “functional unit”. With a “good” paint as opposed to a “less good” paint you can paint less often and therefore you need less. The functional unit, is what the paint is supposed to do, keep the walls protected and good looking for a certain period of time. This is at the very core of a life cycle assessment. It defines what the environmental footprint is. So far so good. Let’s then move on to apparel.

Or rather, we would like to share a link to the op-ed that Ingun Grimstad Klepp and I co-authored for EcoTextile News, which you can read here.