Carbon Trust and Defra join forces with BSI British Standards

In partnership with Carbon Trust.

The aim of the work is to develop an agreed method for measuring embodied GHG emissions which can be applied across a wide range of product and service categories and their supply chains to enable companies to measure the GHG related impacts of their products and reduce them.

Once completed the single standard will ensure a consistent and comparable approach to supply chain measurement of embodied GHGs across markets, it will help companies understand the life-cycle climate change impacts of their products and highlight significant emissions reduction opportunities. The intention is that this is the first step in moving towards an internationally agreed standard for measuring embodied GHG emissions.

The announcement comes the day after the inaugural meeting of the project’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG), an independent body chaired by Jim Skea, Director of the Energy Research Centre and consisting of members from NGOs, government and academia. 

BSI British Standards will oversee the development of the PAS using the Carbon Trust pilot methodology as a starting point. Through the work of the TAG and a broad two stage stakeholder consultation beginning this summer, new and existing best practice work in this area will also be considered in the PAS development. This process is designed to develop a credible, usable method through an open and consultative forum.

Climate change and environment minister Ian Pearson said: “The products that businesses make, buy and sell have an impact, both on climate change and the wider environment, at all stages from raw material to when the product is no longer required. These are created by the energy and other resources used, and the resulting emissions, in areas like production, transport and use of products as well as waste from packaging and discarded products.

“More and more, businesses are looking for ways to reduce their impact on the environment. To help them achieve that we need a reliable, consistent way to measure these impacts that businesses recognise, trust and understand. This is important work and will be fundamental in our efforts to move Britain towards a low-carbon economy in the decades ahead.”

Tom Delay, chief executive of the Carbon Trust, said: “Our work to date on carbon footprinting shows that there is real appetite amongst business to tackle the indirect emissions from their supply chains and to offer clear information to consumers on the carbon impact of their products and services. In order for even more businesses to use this approach it is essential that we develop one universally accepted methodology.  We believe today’s announcement will provide confidence to business that this is an achievable and realistic goal.”

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