New Standard for Product Carbon Footprinting Launched in the United States

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The launch of the GHG Protocol Product Standard will bring product carbon footprinting closer to the mainstream and will reduce the cost of certification says Aura Principal.

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The release of this standard is really important as it moves voluntary initiatives in the carbon measurement, reduction and offsetting space closer to the mainstream.

Food and beverage carbon footprinting consultancy Aura Sustainability is in the process of tweaking its product carbon footprinting tools and models to be compliant with a new standard for product carbon measurement that has been released by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development in the United States.

The standard which is formally known as the GHG Protocol Product Lifecycle and Accounting Standard was released last week, after over 2 years of development and road testing with some of the largest and most recognisable brand owners in the USA such as Levi Strauss, Proctor and Gamble and Pepsi.

This standard follows the re-release of the UK based carbon standard, PAS 2050, in late September and both of these standards will feed into the full ISO standard for product carbon accounting which is due for release late next year.

Roger Kerrison, Principal Consultant at Aura commented:

“The release of this standard is really important as it moves voluntary initiatives in the carbon measurement, reduction and offsetting space closer to the mainstream. In the last few years we have started to see big multinationals requesting carbon savings from their supply chains – for corporate social responsibility reasons, but also in attempts to reduce bottom line costs. It cannot be overstated the importance to the rest of the world when the world’s largest proponent of consumerism develops a product lifecycle standard and starts encouraging its use.”

It is also hoped the standard will provide more competition in the carbon space as it has not been developed by a certification body, or a carbon programme. Kerrison continued:

“To date we have seen a very closed market and this has meant that costs to achieve third party certification have been very high and there has been little collaboration across the board. This standard will help open the market up and encourage competition. This will be great for the environment as companies will actually be able to afford to start considering external communication initiatives such as carbon labelling. A more collaborative approach could really provide impetus for change in the way products are made, packaged, transported and used.”

Aura owns and operates the barefootTM suite of tools and models for life cycle measurement of carbon and is in the process of making a few tweaks to these to enable compliance with the new standard. barefootTM has previously taken a number of products through PAS 2050 certification with the Carbon Trust and Aura is seeking early adopters in the food and beverage industry who might want to collaborate to road test the GHG Protocol Product certification.

More information on Aura and the new standard can be found at:


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