Innovation European industry working towards sustainability

Innovation European industry working towards sustainability

Project LIFE GreenShoes4All, co-funded by the European Commission, will implement and promote a method to measure the environmental performance of each shoe and a green label. The project also seeks to propose and disseminate innovative green shoes ecodesign and recycling strategies

We live in a fast-paced business and social environment. The Internet and the popularity of social networks have connected million of people across the globe and have brought to everyone’s minds concepts and ideas that were disseminated quickly but not always in the most effective way. A new focus on sustainability and being sustainable has raised awareness on many concepts and aspects of our daily lives. There has been a proliferation of eco labels, green products and sustainable methods, which are in many instances mere statements and fail to be proven right or true. A majority of consumers says they wish to go greener and protect the planet and so they demand eco products and a lower footprint of the industry manufacturing their products which causes pressure on manufacturers. With an aim to respond to consumers wishes these can easily get confused. What is green? What is eco? How can we ensure a product is sustainable for the planet, the people living in it and the animals and nature?

With this in mind a new European project LIFE GreenShoes4All, led by the Portuguese Footwear Technology Centre (CTCP), the European Footwear Confederation (CEC) and other project partners will exploit a methodology that is expected to help footwear companies to be more efficient in the way they use the available resources and to reduce the discarded materials and the waste produced.

What is the project?

The project aims to implement, demonstrate and disseminate a Footwear Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) methodology and to develop efficient eco-design, recycling and manufacturing solutions, in order to obtain performing shoes with a lower PEF. In particular, LIFE GreenShoes4All intends to achieve a Single Market for Green Products by promoting the great added value of the innovative PEF Category Rules (PEFCRs) methodology. The project is also intended to test and demonstrate new recycling routes in the EU footwear value chain and to establish and compare, through demonstrative experimentations, innovative eco-design concepts and eco processes for shoes manufacturing.


  1.  Implement a Footwear Environmental Footprint Category Rules (FEFCRs) methodology;
  2.  Establish innovative eco-design concepts and eco-processes for shoes manufacturing with great transfer potential to other sectors (i.e. leather goods, clothes, etc.);
  3. Test new recycling routes in the EU footwear value chain to reduce raw materials needed and wastes discarded;
  4. Contribute to building a Single Market for Green Products by demonstrating the great added value of the footwear PEFCRs methodology for producers, retailers and consumers;
  5.  Allow beneficiaries to acquire experience and knowledge resulting in new services and products to market.

Expected Outcomes

  1. Application of FEFCRs’ demonstration pilot to different footwear styles produced in the EU;
  2. Reports on PEFCRs’ applicability to selected shoe styles and recommendations to reduce the environmental footprint;
  3. Development of innovative sustainable green shoes and components, as well as Eco-design, recycling and manufacturing methodologies for low Footwear Environmental Footprint (FEF) & sustainable footwear;
  4. A strategy to ensure sustainability, replicability and transferability of the project to other sectors.

The project initiated in October 2018 and will run for a period of 4 years. In 2020 new EU stakeholders will be onboard of the project by applying to the draft methodology and the eco-design approaches. Later this will be at the service of the entire footwear industry.



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