When considering a company’s carbon footprint, we most often think about the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions tied to the company’s operational
energy use. While company energy use is a definite concern, it is also important to consider the emissions tied to a business’s products as well. The World Resources Institute (WRI) has recently released supplements to its Greenhouse Gas Protocol for measuring GHG emissions from corporate value chains as well as product lifecycles.
The Corporate Value Chain protocol will help companies evaluate the emissions of products that they produce, buy, and sell. Identifying emissionsfrom value chains allows companies to dive deeper into their carbon footprint, identify the highest sources of company emissions, and establish the most efficient methods for reducing emissions.
The Product Life Cycle Standard enables companies to measure the carbon footprint of a given product from resource extraction, through production, to consumption and disposal. With a better understanding of how all phases of a product’s life cycle contribute to GHG emissions, companies can be better equipped to design products with lighter environmental impacts.
Companies seeking to “green” their operations should consider carbon footprinting their products as well as their value chain. GHG emissions are often tied to inefficient uses of energy; identifying areas where energy use can be reduced and emissions can be cut often leads to cost savings. For more information regarding the new protocols, please visit the Greenhouse Gas Protocol website.