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Estimating and Reporting the Comparative Emissions Impacts of Products

A neutral framework for estimating and disclosing positive and negative GHG impacts of products

There is considerable interest among companies in claiming that their products can help avoid greenhouse gas emissions compared to other products in the marketplace. While it’s true that the use of some products can help to avoid GHG emissions, accurately measuring a product’s impact—whether positive or negative—can be challenging.

This paper outlines a neutral framework for estimating and disclosing both positive and negative impacts of products and provides recommendations for companies to improve the credibility and consistency of their claims.

What is the purpose of this paper?

Using a review of current practices in comparative assessments, this paper identifies major accounting issues, evaluates the credibility of existing practices, and outlines general principles and good practices to guide future accounting efforts. These recommendations are not intended to serve as exhaustive or detailed guidance. The scope of the analysis and recommendations is global, covering all geographic regions and sectors.

Who should read this paper?

This paper is primarily intended for companies interested in estimating and reporting the comparative greenhouse gas (GHG) impacts of their products. It should also be used by industry associations as a basis for developing sector-specific accounting and reporting guidance. Additionally, investors, environmental groups, policymakers, and academics can use this paper to learn about best practices for estimating and disclosing comparative GHG impacts.

 

Product Standard
The Product Standard can be used to understand the full life cycle emissions of a product and focus efforts on the greatest GHG reduction opportunities. This is the first step towards more sustainable products.
Policy and Action Standard
The GHG Protocol Policy and Action Standard provides a standardized approach for estimating the greenhouse gas effect of policies and actions.

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