Major companies sign up to universal freight emissions framework

Leading multinational companies Deutsche Post DHL Group, Hewlett-Packard (HP), DB Schenker, Kuehne+Nagel and Intel have committed to adopting a universal framework to calculate the carbon footprint of their freight and logistics supply chain.

The Global Logistics Emissions Council’s (GLEC) Framework for Logistics Emissions Methodologies combines existing methods to “consistently” calculate emissions at a global level across all modes of transport such as road, rail, sea, air and transhipment. It also carries the World Resources Institute (WRI) ‘Built on GHG Protocol’ mark which makes it compatible with global carbon accounting standards.

“This has been a major international collaborative effort, and a milestone for shippers, carriers and logistics service providers who have been have been waiting for a harmonized cross-modal calculation method,” GLEC’s director Alan Lewis – who is team member of Smart Freight Centre (SFC), a global non-profit organization that leads the initiative – said.

Filling the gaps

The framework could prove a crucial step in accelerating the low-carbon transformation in the freight and logistics sectors which generate a combined total of around 6% of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

GLEC will now focus on encouraging widespread adoption of the framework by businesses, and embedding it in green freight programmes, carbon footprint calculation tools, and other standards. Moreover, sustained efforts will be made to fill remaining gaps and expand the framework with black carbon and air pollutants.

“GLEC’s new emissions framework will help HP calculate our GHG footprint consistently across our global supply chain while improving reporting processes and business decisions,” senior director for HP Global Logistics Procurement & Partner Management’s senior director Mike Passon said. “HP is excited to partner with our carriers and other shippers to implement the GLEC Framework globally.”

‘Green solutions’

In related news, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), the United Nations specialised agency for postal services, has just launched a new online tool for analysing and reporting annual industry emissions.

The Online Solution for Carbon Analysis and Reporting (OSCAR) tool will be offered free of charge by UPU to its 192 members. The tools assists in creating comprehensive reports on GHG emissions with 20 key carbon performance indicators that enable postal services to track their progress overtime, benchmark their performance against industry averages, and ultimately to reduce and offset their emissions.

“The UPU is very pleased to be able to offer this service – initially to Posts – to help them better understand their environmental impact,” UPU’s deputy director general Pascal Clivaz said. “The UPU’s vision for the tool is to help Posts increase their efficiency, decrease their natural resource consumption and encourage them to invest in green solutions.”

The new tool aligns with the UNFCCC’s Climate Neutral Now initiative, designed to encourage individuals, companies and governments to measure their climate footprint, reduce emissions where possible, and offset the remainder through a UN-certified website.

edie Sustainable Supply Chain Conference

Realising the reputational, efficiency and economic benefits of a truly sustainable supply chain has become a core objective for multinational firms and ambitious SMEs alike. 

But while the paybacks are clear to see, the process of identifying material issues within supply chains; formulating an ethical and responsible CSR strategy, and communicating that strategy both internally and externally is a complex and challenging endeavour.

Now in its fifth year, the edie Sustainable Supply Chain Conference will discuss all of these issues and more, taking place on 6 July in London. Find out more about the Conference and register to attend here.

George Ogleby

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