Trials of voluntary product and supply chain reporting standards completed

Voluntary greenhouse gas reporting standards being developed for supply chains and products have survived global road testing

Voluntary greenhouse gas reporting standards being developed for supply chains and products have survived global road testing (ENDS Report 418, p 24).

The two standards (called ‘GHG protocols’) were created by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and will be published in spring 2011 after a final round of consultation.

The first, a product life-cycle standard, was tested by 42 companies including 3M, General Electric, JohnsonDiversey and PepsiCo. Most were able to complete their assessments within the six-month trial period but there were requests for worked examples and more guidance on assessing services, according to a report on the trial.1

The second standard, for supply chains, fared less well.2  Many of the 35 companies testing it struggled to collect satisfactory data from their suppliers in the time available.

Some decided to rely on secondary data instead and most were concerned about data quality as there was nothing they could do to verify suppliers’ figures. This trial included Ikea, Pfizer, Kraft Foods and Veolia Water.

There is growing interest in measuring and reporting the emissions associated with companies’ supply chains, but no standard international methodology for doing so. Standards for products also vary considerably.

Meanwhile a new methodology for measuring carbon savings from information and communications technologies (ICT) has been released by the Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI), a consortium of ICT firms.3

The initiative follows GeSI’s Smart 2020 report, published in 2008, which suggests the ICT sector will save five times as much CO2 as it produces by 2020 (ENDS Report 407, pp 32-35).

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