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Product Standard

The Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard can be used to understand the full life cycle emissions of a product and focus efforts on the greatest GHG reduction opportunities.

For easy reading on your computer, notebook, tablet, or handheld device, click above to download the electronic version of the Product Standard. This version provides hyperlinks between the standards text, tables and images. Please note that the page numbers vary slightly between the original and electronic versions. When citing specific page numbers, please note when you are referring to the electronic version text.

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Product Standard Background

The Product Life Cycle and Corporate Value Chain standards have been created through a broad, inclusive, multi-stakeholder process. Over a three year period:

  • 2,300 participants were involved from 55 countries;
  • 112 members formed technical working groups to draft the standards, and;
  • 38 companies from various industries road tested the standards in 2010.

The standards provide a methodology that can be used to account for and report emissions from companies of all sectors, globally. They are accompanied by user-friendly guidance and tools developed by the GHG Protocol.

What is the Product Life Cycle? 

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.

Using the standard, companies can measure the greenhouse gases associated with the full life cycle of products including raw materials, manufacturing, transportation, storage, use and disposal. The results can create competitive advantage by enabling better product design, increasing efficiencies, reducing costs, and removing risks.

The standard will also help companies respond to customer demand for environmental information and make it easier to communicate the environmental aspects of products.

Can the Product Standard be used to compare products?

In the future, industries will be able to build off the Product Standard to develop industry specific product rules to give them the ability to compare products. For now, the main benefits are to identify hot spots in a product life cycle and efficiently concentrate resources. The Product Standard provides some guidance on how companies with a goal for comparison can use and/ or develop product rules in conjunction with the standard. Product rules offer more specification for a given product category than the general standard can provide. 

What is the main difference between the GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard and GHG Protocol Product Standard?

The Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard accounts for emissions at the corporate level, while the Product Standard accounts for emissions at the individual product level. The Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard helps companies identify GHG reduction opportunities, track performance, and engage suppliers at a corporate level, while the Product Standard helps a company meet the same objectives at a product level. Together with the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard, the three standards provide a comprehensive approach to value chain GHG measurement and management. 

Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard
The Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard allows companies to assess their entire value chain emissions impact and identify where to focus reduction activities.

Product Life Cycle Online Course

This convenient online course teaches students to measure the emissions of a product over its whole life cycle.

Supporting Documents

Amendments and Corrections
Tools and Resources
Background

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