Taxonomies: EU Taxonomy, EU lists of environmental and energy efficient products and ecolabeling standards
The structural element on the left of Figure 1 is the sustainability content. These are technical criteria, tools and labels to identify sustainable activities, products, services or processes. When companies disclose the percentage of sustainable activities, they might refer to the EU Taxonomy but also to other sustainability standards for products or processes. The left-hand side of Figure 1 contains the two main ecolabeling standards ISO and ISEAL, the EU “list of cleaner and resource efficient products” (and the EU “list of energy efficient products”, as examples).
Nomenclature: economic classifications
The first structural element on the right-hand side of Figure 1 is the economic classification system. This is nothing else than a coherent numeric coding system to make automated exchange of data possible. An important part of it is the international system of economic classifications.
Investors and banks currently only use NACE codes or similar (ISIC, NAICS, GICS, etc.). NACE codes (up to 4-digit) are describing the activities of a company, but not the products or services.
Information on groups of products and services, coded via PRODCOM (8- to 10-digit) are collected by EU member states for production statistical purposes, but not yet made available for financial institutions.
Nomenclature: environmental classifications
On the right-hand side of the Nomenclature in Figure 1 there are also two environmental classifications: CEPA and CReMA and 7 environmental product classes. They are just classifications, thus codes, not criteria.
These additional environmental identifiers for economic activity are a necessary element in the Nomenclature in Figure 1 because product codes alone do not always distinguish between sustainable and non-sustainable products.
These environmental classifications are also part of the data requirements of the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts (SEEA) that EU member states use for their environmental-economic accounts.