New Greenhouse Gas Standards Address Value Chains and Products
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol has launched two new standards designed to empower businesses to better measure, manage and report their greenhouse gas emissions. Developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) and Product Life Cycle Standards will enable companies to save money, reduce risks and gain competitive advantages.
“These standards are a breakthrough for business. For the first time, companies will be able to measure and manage the full scope of emissions in their value chain and products, so they can take advantage of new opportunities as they reduce greenhouse gases,” said Manish Bapna, interim president, WRI. “Backed by the credibility of the GHG Protocol, the new standards will help move businesses and reporting programs to one harmonized global reporting framework.”
The new standards were created in response to businesses that want to better understand and measure their climate impacts beyond their own operations. Companies that use the standards will be able to create better products and improve efficiency throughout the value chain.
"The new standards provide companies with a comprehensive view of the emissions produced when making a product and across the value chain. They will help companies make better business decisions and stimulate innovation of products and production methods,” said Björn Stigson, president, WBCSD. “In today’s world, it is necessary to understand and measure the costs for production, labor and transportation of products, which become visible and actionable through emissions.”
The Corporate Value Chain Standard reveals opportunities for companies to make more sustainable decisions about their activities and the products they produce, buy and sell. Large and small companies can look strategically at greenhouse gas emissions across their value chain, showing them where to focus limited resources to have the biggest impacts.
“The new Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Value Chain Standard provides a much needed harmonized global methodology for businesses to measure corporate value chain and product greenhouse gas emissions,” said Kelly Semrau, senior vice president of global corporate affairs, communication and sustainability for cleaning products company S.C. Johnson. “Our road test of the new Scope 3 standard provides us with key data to drive our strategic business decisions regarding greenhouse gas reductions. We encourage other businesses to similarly employ this effective method to measure, and subsequently address, greenhouse gas emissions from the entire value chain.”
The Product Life Cycle Standard enables companies to measure the greenhouse gas emissions of an individual product. Covering materials, manufacturing, use and disposal, the product standard will help companies improve and design new products, and provide insights for more informed consumer choices.
“The new GHG Protocol Product Standard gives us a globally consistent approach to measure and manage our product emissions that will help us innovate and improve our products over time,” said Kevin Anton, vice president and chief sustainability officer, Alcoa. “This knowledge may bring us savings in both carbon and cost, but it is also exciting to think what this might mean for the future of customer education and purchasing. In a world where knowledge is power, the GHG Protocol Product Standard gives us and our customers the information needed to make informed decisions.”
Already, these new standards are gaining widespread traction:
- The Consumer Goods Forum, representing more than 400 consumer goods companies and retailers with a combined 3 trillion dollars in sales, has recommended the new standards be used by members that choose to measure and report scope 3 and product greenhouse gas emissions.
- The Sustainability Consortium has adopted the Product Life Cycle Standard as the GHG methodology used in its tools to promote product sustainability.
- The Global e-Sustainability Initiative, a consortium of leading ICT companies and other experts, is using the product standard as the basis for developing sector guidance for ICT products and services.
The Corporate Value Chain and Product Life Cycle Standards were developed with input from business leaders, NGOs, academics, and policymakers. More than 2,300 participants from 55 countries contributed to the process, and 60 companies road tested the new standards.
“The standards were developed through a global, multi-stakeholder process making them both credible and user-friendly,” said Pankaj Bhatia, director, GHG protocol, WRI. “Building on current best practice and extensive input from businesses, governments, and other partners, these standards will be beneficial to businesses and other stakeholders in developing strategies to reduce emissions around the globe.”
The new standards are available at: www.ghgprotocol.org.
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol is a global collaboration led by WBCSD and WRI. It provides the foundation for sustainable climate strategies and more efficient, resilient and profitable organizations. GHG Protocol standards are the most widely used accounting tools to measure, manage and report on greenhouse gas emissions. www.ghgprotocol.org
The World Resources Institute is a global environmental think tank that goes beyond research to put ideas into action. WRI works with governments, companies, and civil society to build solutions to urgent environmental challenges. www.wri.org
The WBCSD is a CEO-led, global coalition of some 200 companies advocating for progress on sustainable development. Its mission is to be a catalyst for innovation and sustainable growth in a world where resources are increasingly limited. The Council provides a platform for companies to share experiences and best practices on sustainable development issues and advocate for their implementation, working with governments, nongovernmental and intergovernmental organizations. www.wbcsd.org