The SOFEA Transnational Steering Committee was established during the Frankfurt conference in September 2013 to prepare the creation of SOFEA and define the conditions for implementing the system. The initiative officially started in Frankfurt, 27th of January 2014.
A new leader was appointed to manage the SOFEA organization to operationalize all activities related to the project idea. The objectives were to harmonize the environmental evaluation for office products, meet distributors, set environmental & social requirements and add existing industry standards & PEF learnings.
Together with the industry and an independent Scientific Committee, the assessment methodology was created. investments were made for the assurance that the methodology would be workable for different product groups. At the same time the first pilot groups were kicked off to create the rules and criteria for various product groups.
After hiring the IT-service provider in 2016, the first pilot groups; writing instruments, notepads & books and filing, started to translate the product scorecard into an online questionnaire. in 2017, the online platform was designed to start testing the system with representative product data.
In January 2018, the online platform was officially made available to the (pilot) companies for the completion of the first real product assessment and to be validated by an external service provider. In addition, the product rating A-E and the design of products logos were formalized.