The Empire State Building went green to mark New York City Climate Week, an event that gathered global leaders committed to delivering the Paris Agreement. It was the perfect place for a Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) meeting.
Hosted by UPS on September 21st, the GLEC meeting brought together multinational companies and stakeholders, both GLEC members and new partners. The objective of the meeting was to share needs and experiences of the GLEC Framework implementation and to explore opportunities to embed the GLEC Framework in existing programs and initiatives.
Eszter Toth-Weedon, SFC Industry Relations Manager, presented the current status of adoption of the GLEC Framework, and additional implementation projects run by SFC, the European Commission LEARN project and the World Bank. Alan Lewis, GLEC Director, provided an update on assurance criteria for emissions calculated via GLEC Framework, a process still open for input.
Alan discussed the plan to release an updated version of the GLEC Framework in late 2018 (GLEC 2.0). Also, Alan introduced plans for a mail and parcels sector Action Group, which will complement on-going inland waterway, transhipment centre, air and default factor Action Group activities.
Suzanne Greene, GLEC Technical Adviser, introduced the recently launched Black Carbon (BC) Methodology for the Logistics Sector a supplement to the GLEC Framework. Black carbon is a potent short-term climate pollutant and human health hazard, which has a significant impact that could be addressed by transport companies in a relatively simple manner. Attendees suggested that future climate regulations should include BC to ensure that technology improvements to reduce BC are fully considered.
The GLEC meeting included presentations from three external organisations, SmartWay (US EPA), WWF and CDP:
Cheryl Bynum, National Program Manager of US EPA SmartWay gave an inspiring presentation about the importance of aligning sustainability and reporting efforts. She expressed that GLEC has done a great work on giving more transparency to the "black box" of logistics carbon accounting.
Paola Delgado Luna, Research Manager at WWF, explained the basis of the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for the transport sector. To meet sectoral decarbonization targets, companies can use the SBTi tool to understand the emissions reductions needed based on each companies’ initial carbon intensity. The role of GLEC Framework is critical to provide consistency in the GHG values being used by companies to determine their SBTis. Learn more about SBTi here.
George Hodge, Director of CDP’s North American Supply Chain Program, explained that the future focus of CDP is to significantly improve transparency in reporting and use this to drive change. CDP is developing a transport-specific questionnaire aimed at increasing the quality of transport sector reporting. Emissions savings reported through CDP has led to cost savings worth an estimated 12.4 billion USD.
To put logistics emissions into the bigger picture of 'Smart Freight’, Eszter gave an overview about how SFC has structured existing leadership practices under five behaviours to provide an “umbrella” for companies to deliver carbon emission reductions and cost savings at scale. SFC calls these behaviours Smart Freight Leadership (SFL).
Alan closed the meeting with a call to action, urging the companies to
1. Take their first steps on the journey more complete, harmonised calculation of their emissions according to the GLEC Framework.
2. Act as ambassadors for the GLEC and the Framework with their peers and suppliers.
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