Measuring and reporting on water, energy, and other resource inputs is becoming increasingly essential for companies in order to help them realize hidden business opportunities and to protect against avoidable risks.
GLOBE-Net, October 19, 2011- Earlier this month two important standards were released that have the potential to revolutionize how businesses measure, manage, and report their greenhouse gas emissions, and to shape the decisions they make about their activities and the products they produce, buy and sell.
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 released on October 4th 2011 will enable companies to save money, reduce risks, and gain competitive advantages.
The WRI said the standards will allow companies to measure and manage the full scope of emissions in their value chain and products for the first time, while helping to move businesses and reporting programs to one harmonized global reporting framework.
Greenhouse Gas Protocol
The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is the most widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage greenhouse gas emissions.
It provides the accounting framework for nearly every GHG standard and program in the world - from the International Standards Organization to The Climate Registry - as well as hundreds of GHG inventories prepared by individual companies.
It also offers developing countries an internationally accepted management tool to help their businesses to compete in the global marketplace and their governments to make informed decisions about climate change.
Corporate Value Chain Standard
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 GHG emissions across their value chain, showing them where to focus limited resources to have the biggest impacts.
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.
Both are the result of a decade-long partnership between the institute and the business council. They were developed with input from business leaders, NGOs, academics, and policy-makers. More than 2,300 participants from 55 countries contributed to the process. As well, 60 companies road tested the new standards before they were released.
Much uncertainty remains around the future of global carbon markets and the regulatory regimes that ultimately will govern the management of harmful GHG emissions. But despite these uncertainties, governments and corporations alike are moving forward with strategies and initiatives for climate change adaptation and carbon management strategies to be better positioned to deal with future risks.
Many forward looking companies are moving ahead with their own carbon reduction strategies despite uncertainties in the larger global policy landscape. They are applying innovative approaches to reduce greenhouse gas emissions across their entire supply chains.
The imperative for change and transparency is increasingly apparent for businesses, large and small. The emerging conscientious consumer is fuelling new demands for sustainable products and services. This in turn is requiring manufacturers, supplier, and retailers alike to work together in developing forward - thinking solutions to solve complicated and interrelated end-to-end challenges.
In the process of becoming more sustainable and transparent, companies can open themselves to innovation that reduces operating costs and risks while increasing profits and shareholder value.
"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 at Alcoa, one of the world's leading manufacturers of aluminum products, who will be a speaker at the upcoming GLOBE 2012 Conference.
"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," he added.
"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 of the 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," he noted.
His views were echoed by Manish Bapna, Interim President of 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," he said.
The tools and tactics that are being applied to help cut costs, improve performance, increase transparency, and shrink the corporate energy, carbon and water footprints will be the subject of several special sessions during GLOBE 2012, taking place in Vancouver on March 14-16, 2012. Get more information on GLOBE 2012 at www.globe2012.com.
The new standards are available at: www.ghgprotocol.org