• it establishes two methods to measure environmental performance throughout the lifecycle, the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF);
• it recommends the use of these methods to Member States, companies, private organisations and the financial community through a Commission Recommendation;
• it announces a three-year testing period to develop product- and sector-specific rules through a multi-stakeholder process;
• it provides principles for communicating environmental performance, such as transparency, reliability, completeness, comparability and clarity;
• it supports international efforts towards more coordination in methodological development and data availability.
As the above initiative is directly linked to a recent Commission Recommendation  on The use of common methods to measure and communicate the life cycle environmental performance of products and organisations (April 2013), it is expected that it will directly feed any future legislative initiatives of the European Union in the field.
ICT-products and organisations are part of this initiative while its scope is much broader. In the relevant information around the above initiative (notably p. 9 of the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council : Building the Single Market for Green Products - Facilitating better information on the environmental performance of products and organisations, April 2013), the specific role of and initiatives around the ICT-sector are taken into account. In particular, it is highlighted that aim of the new initiative is also to promote convergence between the general methods that it proposes and existing international methods in the field of ICT.
We consider it important that product- and sector-specific rules for the ICT-sector in the context of the above proposed methods are established as well as appropriate interoperability between the above methods and current international methods in the field of ICT so that any possible future legislative actions in the field are relevant to and take well into account the specific needs of the ICT-sector. The participation, therefore, of your organisation in the testing-period of the above initiative is highly encouraged. Please note here that the deadline for applications is 26th July 2013 at 17:00 CET.
The Service of the European Commission that runs the above initiative is DG ENV and all information as well answers to FAQs regarding the participation in the testing phase can be found on: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/eussd/smgp/index.htm .
European Commission, DG CONNECT, Unit: Smart Cities and Sustainability