A solid foundation to further accelerate freight decarbonization: Smart Freight Centre releases updated GLEC Framework, Version 3.0

Amsterdam, 21 September 2023 – An updated method to calculate the carbon footprint of the global logistics supply chain, in full alignment with the new ISO 14083 standard, was released today by Smart Freight Centre.

GLEC graphic

The calculation and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and reductions has been at the heart of Smart Freight Centre (SFC) since its Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC), established in 2014, started to develop the GLEC Framework.  This industry guideline was the first globally recognized methodology to calculate logistics GHG emissions and offer multinationals and their suppliers a harmonized, efficient and transparent way to calculate and report logistics emissions.​

Now, nearly ten years later, in a new logistics industry landscape with more climate urgency than ever, the GLEC Framework has been updated in step with external developments, of which the new ISO 14083 standard is one.

In collaboration with the German Institute for Certification (DIN), and members of an ISO working group, including industry, government, research and standards agencies, SFC was instrumental in setting up the process for a new ISO 14083 standard.. This marks a new phase of global standardization. The GLEC Framework was a core element used to develop the content for the new standard.

The new ISO14083 standard was built on the principles of the GLEC Framework. By aligning with the GLEC Framework, ISO 14083 facilitates the adoption of consistent processes by governments, international organizations, and investors, which have already been embraced by the industry.

Freight transportation and logistics activities contributed to 8‒10% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions according to the International Transport Forum (ITF) Outlook Report 2021. With the use of more accurate data, the ITF recently highlighted the increased impact of freight and logistics, which currently represents 28% of global emissions (ITF Report 2023). Global trade is still expected to grow – the time to act is now and actions must be based on a solid data foundation. The GLEC Framework supports companies to calculate and report emissions from all transport modes consistently across their supply chains. The results are used by companies to identify emission hot spots for improvement, but also by customers, investors and governments who benefit from the increased transparency and comparability of logistics climate impacts.

Untitled (1200 × 630 px) (1200 × 100 px) (1200 × 50 px) (1200 × 40 px)

“Predicted increases in transport activity and associated emissions mean that accelerating freight transport decarbonization is key to helping keep the 1.5°C global temperature goal within reach. Cementing the alignment between ISO 14083 and the new GLEC Framework is critical to ensuring full alignment of carbon footprint calculations, from a sector that is coming under a lot of scrutiny and pressure to decarbonize.”

Alan Lewis
Co-author and Technical Director at Smart Freight Centre

''The GLEC Framework provides a clear blueprint for all transport modes to follow. It sets the principles for SBTi’s Transport Sector Guidance and is proof that the industry is up to the challenge to tackle the biggest problem the world has ever seen - climate change. While more will need to be done as we progress, I am looking forward to this methodology driving countless companies to set ambitious climate goals, and delivering tangible emission reductions in line with science.”

Alberto Carrillo Pineda
Chief Technical Officer of the SBTi

“The GLEC Framework is a testament that carbon accounting methodologies can align companies across sectors and geographies to advance decarbonization – it provides a successful roadmap that other sectors can follow.”

Suzanne Greene
Global Purchasing Environmental Sustainability Director at DOW

“The GLEC Framework version 3.0 supports companies to calculate their logistics emissions in compliance with the ISO 14083 by translating it into practical and comprehensive business requirements, making use of real-world examples.”

Kathrin Schuller
Program Manager of GLEC at Smart Freight Centre
Untitled (1200 × 630 px) (1200 × 100 px) (1200 × 50 px) (1200 × 40 px)

More than 150 leading multinationals have committed to implementing the GLEC Framework through joining the SFC community. It is recommended by Greenhouse Gas Protocol, CDP, Science-Based Targets initiative, several green freight programs, calculation tools and industry associations, as well as the UN-led Global Green Freight Action Plan.

The GLEC Framework for Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reporting, version 3.0 is available to download via the download button below.

thumbnail_GLEC FRAMEWORK v3 Download2