Most people will remember 23 June 2016 as the day that the Brits voted for Brexit and less as the day that we FINALLY had a global way of consistently calculating logistics emissions.
Yet, the GLEC (Global Logistics Emissions Council) Framework for Logistics Emissions Methodologies is quite an achievement, thanks to the help of many companies, associations, programs and experts. For the first time, data for different modes and companies becomes comparable.
You will also be glad to know, that we are moving forward faster with rolling out the GLEC Framework than Theresa May is moving from words to deeds! So what has happened since this famous day?
To start with, eight bold companies are now working with Smart Freight Centre to implement the GLEC Framework into their logistics supply chain and pave the way for others: HP, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Intel, DB Schenker, DP-DHL, Geodis, Kuehne+Nagel and SNCF Logistics.
What does this mean in practice? First, they carried out a gap analysis: how does their current method for calculating GHG emissions compare with the GLEC Framework? Next, we are doing test calculations to see how applying the GLEC Framework can improve data quality and put these to good use: public reporting, identifying “hot spots” for emission reductions, setting targets, optimizing supply chains, and selecting the best carriers. In parallel, we look at how requirements to report based on the GLEC Framework can be included in calculation tools, contracts between supply chain partners, and data verification procedures.
A new project, the “Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reduction Network” or LEARN, funded by the European Commission, will help companies with logistics emissions accounting and reporting through guidance, training, testing, supportive policies and research, and a label to reward companies. SFC is one of the project partners and is coordinating this project.
How do we then reach the hundreds of cargo owners (shippers) and millions of carriers worldwide? You may have heard of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which has companies with a combined net-worth of 31 trillion dollars, report on GHG emissions to inform decision-makers and investors. Their company guidance (on page 96 to be exact) lists the GLEC Framework as the only method for logistics emissions accounting! It is also being integrated into green freight programs, such as SmartWay in the US and Canada, Lean and Green Europe and Green Freight Asia, and calculation tools, such as EcoTransIT and TK Blue, reaching hundreds of companies. The UN-backed ‘Global Green Freight Action Plan’ lists the GLEC Framework as a key milestone and ISO’s International Workshop Agreement on this topic refers to GLEC as the best way to make progress on this issue. SFC will be supporting the Science Based Target Initiative to develop an emission target setting methodology for logistics.
Governments have similar data needs to establish baselines and reduce emissions as promised under the Paris Climate Agreement. Imagine the mess if they calculate emissions in a different way than companies do. We’re thus staying in close touch with national governments and standardization bodies whom they rely on, such as ISO and CEN.
Development banks are watching this space too – The World Bank committed to increase climate related lending from 28% in 2015 to 35% in 2035. SFC will work with European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to develop a calculation tool conforming with GLEC for calculating emissions from freight projects (e.g. logistics centers and freight corridors), and with World Bank on how the GLEC Framework can be applied in developing countries, starting with Thailand and Vietnam.
The GLEC Framework is here to stay and fast becoming the global standard. Join leading companies and make logistics emissions accounting work for you too!
24 January 2017
Sophie Punte, Executive Director SFC
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