Sixty corporations are now measuring the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of their products and supply chains by testing a new global framework that is part of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative, reports World Resources Institute.
Companies participating in the test drive represent 17 countries and more than 20 sectors, including Coca-Cola, Ford Motor, Kraft Foods, Lenovo and Levi Strauss.
Developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the two new GHG Protocol standards, the Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard (PDF) and the Scope 3 (Corporate Value Chain) Accounting and Reporting Standard (PDF), provide methods to account for emissions associated with individual products across their life-cycles and of corporations across their value chains.
WRI says although many companies measure the emissions from their own operations and electricity use, the Scope 3 Standard will for the first time allow companies to look at the impact of their corporate value chains, including outsourced activities, supplier manufacturing, and the use of the products they sell. Road testers of the Product Standard will measure the climate change impact of products ranging from magazines, food and jeans to computers, wind turbines and steel.
The testing process is expected to provide real-world feedback to ensure the standards can be implemented by companies and organizations in a variety of sectors, sizes, and geographic areas around the world. The final standards are scheduled to be published in December 2010.
According to Pablo Päster, Senior Environmental Program Manager at Hara Software, Scope 3 emissions allows a company to identify up- and down-stream cost-saving opportunities and also helps the company decrease its risk exposure due to future spikes in the price of fossil fuels.
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University said in a 2008 report that two-thirds of U.S. industries would overlook 75 percent of GHG emissions if they neglect reporting on tier three emissions.