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Eco-score methodology

To provide accurate and up-to-date information on the environmental impact of your products we rely on the European PEF method and the best available data, ensuring that we are always ahead of demand and that you can stay ahead of the game.

PEFtrust®, PEF Compliant Platform

From Product to PEF score and From PEF score to Eco-score, we explain you the method.


PEFtrust®* is a SaaS platform developed by L’Empreinte for Apparel, Footwear and Fashion Accessories brands.


Fashion products eco-score calculated with the PEF method

Here is one example of an Eco-score label that can accompany your fashion, sports or homewear products to prove your environmental commitments and reassure consumers


Our mission is to give fashion manufacturers the keys to consistently measure and compare the footprint of their products.

In order to provide them with an objective and quality analysis of their product’s life cycle, we use the only method recognized and recommended by the European Commission :

  • The PEF (Product Environmental Footprint) :
    our PEF methodological reference frameworks are the PEFCR T-shirt and the PEFCR Apparel&Footwear V1.3.
  • The EF 3.1 database
    our environmental data exclusively come from this database.
  • The Environemntal Footprint EF (Mid-Point indicator) 3.0 assessment method :
    to evaluation the 16 impacts we use this method.


The PEF is a accurate and comprehensive framework that allows us to process data related to the activity and the environment at product level. This results in a single PEF score which measures the global environmental cost of any consumer product and which will then be transformed into an standardized eco-score:



Activity data
(with brands and distributors)
xEnvironmental data
(EF, Ecoinvent…)



  • The lower the PEF score, the lower the environmental impact of the product.

PEFTrust® is certified by AFNOR Certification and the critical review of PEFTrust’s tool was carried out by the Pôle Eco-conception based on the version of 23/12/2022 of the methodological framework.

Comprehensive Product LCA

LCA implies a better traceability of products and data as well as an increased exchange of information with suppliers.  

That’s why, PEF, the EU-standardized method makes it possible to evaluate the life cycle of each product in its entirety : from the extraction of raw materials to its end of life thanks to the “cradle to grave” method :

This includes the production of fabrics, assembly, storage in warehouses, sale online or in shops and use (washing machine, dryer, ironing, etc.).  

Please note that this should not be confused with the “cradle-to-gate” method, which does not provide a EU-compliant environmental score because this analysis stops at the factory gate and does not take into account distribution, use and end of life.  

The 7 stages of the product life cycle evaluated by the PEF method : 


Product Life Cycle from Cradle-to-grave

The “cradle-to-grave” method is a complete product life cycle analysis (LCA) method, which takes into account all stages: from the sourcing of materials to the end of life. This diagram represents all the stages.

The PEF score

The PEF method provides a reliable, objective and reproducible score.  

This score allows :  

✅ Consumers to compare the environmental footprint of products from the same category (example: two cotton T-shirts) or from different categories. 

✅ Brands to benchmark, understand and improve their products collection after collection thanks to eco-design. 

The assessment of an environmental impact is quantified through the measurement of environmental impact indicators. The PEF monitors 16 impacts which can be divided into 3 categories :

Human Health

  • Climate change
  • Ozone Deletion
  • Ionizing radiation
  • Ozone formation
  • Fine particles
  • Non-Cancer Human toxicity
  • Human Toxicity Cancer

Natural Ressources

  • Land Use
  • Miniral Depletion
  • Ressource Depletion, Fossil Fuel
  • Freshwater Scarcity


  • Acifification
  • Terrestrial Eutrophication
  • Freshwater Toxicity
  • Marine Eutrophication
  • Eutrophication Freshwater

16 Impacts = 1 score

The Representative Products

Then, to interpret this PEF score, it is necessary to set one or more reference products per category. These products are 13 in number. These reference products are modeled according to the information described in PEFCR Apparel&Footwear 3.1 and supplemented by PEFtrust assumptions when necessary. The evaluated products are compared to these reference products.


Scale of the environmental impact calculation method: Pefmethod

Here is an example of the PEF scale with an idea of the position of the reference products according to the categories

The functional unit (quantifies the function of the reflected system, this provides a reference to which the inputs and outputs are related, ensures the comparability of the results of an LCA) of these 13 representative products is described in the following table:

The functional units of the 13 reference products of the PEF method

This table explains the units of measurement of the reference products of the PEF method of calculating environmental impact

The reference products are not set in stone but are subject to change according to the continuous progress of available data.

The composition and average weight chosen for the 10 representative product categories of clothing are described below:


Reference Products for the PEF Method
Reference Products 2 for the PEF Method

Reference Products for the PEF Method


The composition and average weight chosen for the 3 representative product categories of footwear are described below:


Reference Products for the PEF Method 4


The durability of the products is also taken into account, for this an average number of days worn is defined according to the representative products:

  • T-shirts: 45 days
  • Shirts & Blouses: 40 days
  • Sweaters & Midlayers: 85 days
  • Jackets & Coat: 100 days
  • Pants & Shorts: 70 days
  • Dresses, skirts and jumpsuits: 70 days
  • Leggings, stockings, tights & socks: 55 days
  • Underwear: 60 days
  • Swimsuits: 30 days
  • Apparel accessories: 100 days
  • Open-toed shoes: 50 days
  • Closed toed- shoes: 100 days
  • Boots: 100 days

The Eco-score

To obtain the Eco-score, we compare the PEF score of the evaluated product with that of the reference product associated with it.

We reduce the PEF score of the products on a scale from 0 to 100%, the value 50%, i.e. the C score is considered as the reference value. From this scale, we use a scale of letters A, B, C, D and E, with A being the best score and E the worst.

  • The A score is assigned for products with a score between 0 and 20%;
  • The B score is assigned for products with a score between 20 and 40%;
  • The C score is assigned for products with a score between 40 and 60%;
  • The D score is assigned for products with a score between 60 and 80%;
  • The E-score is assigned for products with a score between 80 and 100%;


Fashion Products Eco-score

This frieze shows how the product is compared with its reference product in the PEF method to establish an eco-score

The Only Method Recognized By The European Commission

The PEF is a scientific and serious method on which more than 3000 European actors are working since 2013. Scientists, NGOs and industrialists have joined forces to create a state of the art method recognized worldwide.

This diagram shows us the 4 main steps to go from the Product to the PEF score (environmental score) and from the PEF score to the standardized Eco-score to be used in the environmental display :


From Product to Eco-score

This diagram shows us the 4 main steps to go from the Product to the PEF score (environmental score) and from the PEF score to the standardized Eco-score to be used in the environmental display


  1. Grenelle of the environment1 & 2 :
    Raising consumer awareness of the environmental impacts of consumer products

  2. National experimentation CGDD
    (General Commission for Sustainable Development)

  3. Single Market for Green Products Initiative
    Launch of the PEF (Product Environmental Footprint)

  4. Energy transition law
    Obliges manufacturers and distributors to make available to consumers the technical data used to communicate the environmental performance of their products

  5. PEFCR Footwear
    PEFCR Tshirt
    PEFCR Leather
    OEFCR Retail

  6. FREC (Circular Economy Roadmap)
    Encourage eco-design, deploy voluntary environmental labelling of products and services in the five pilot sectors (furniture, textiles, hotels, electronic products and food products) and extend it to other sectors

  7. AGEC Law (Anti-waste law) – article 15
    – Environmental labeling system
    – 18-month environmental experiment to evaluate different methodologies and labeling methodologies
    – Environmental labeling scheme made compulsory for the textile sector as a priority

  8. PEFCR Apparel Footwear
    – Loi Climat et Résilience – Article 12
    – Environmental labeling intended to provide consumers with information on environmental impacts and compliance with social criteria
    – The textile sector has been identified as a priority for the implementation of an environmental labelling scheme
    – Impacts to be taken into account: greenhouse emissions, damage to biodiversity, water consumption and natural resources
    – First environmental labelling for textile and food products in 2023

  9. January, 1st, Implementation of the law : Climat et Résilience

Our goal is to make the PEF method accessible to all, beginners or experts, through an easy-to-use scalable Saas platform.