Product Carbon Footprinting and CO2-Labeling in Europe

Dialogue Forum: Low Carbon Society #3
Brussels, May 13, 2008

More and more companies are recognizing the opportunities and challenges climate change poses to their business. They are confronted with rising expectations from stakeholders to act on climate change. They increasingly understand that taking actions on climate change may lead to efficiency gains, lower risk exposure, and that it can improve consumer recognition.

The goods and services a company provides have an inherent carbon profile, which is determined by the greenhouse gas emissions that are incurred along the entire supply chain. If measured and quantified, these emissions, on a product-by-product basis, can potentially provide a significant indicator for the carbon performance of a company. The overall emissions of a company in comparison to other companies are difficult to interpret. In contrast, emissions associated with the manufacture and provision of a certain product could become a benchmark criterion and hence allow for credible product differentiation. However, the assessment of Product Carbon Footprints (PCF) is not trivial and further steps are necessary to develop a uniform methodology for this purpose.

Additional Information: