Data access for logistics emissions accounting and reporting

Improving access to reliable data from logistics suppliers

More than 100 multinationals are now using the GLEC Framework to calculate and report logistics emissions across the multi-modal supply chain. However, less than 20% of 2,600 surveyed companies that report to CDP disclose emissions arising from own or outsourced freight transportation and logistics.

A key reason is that many shippers and LSPs have difficulties getting access to reliable data from their suppliers (carriers). Many carriers lack resources to collect this data, often because their fuel and transport management systems don’t track all the required parameters or their IT systems aren’t connected. Imagine if the IT systems of different stakeholders were better connected and included the right parameters to support emission calculation software so that data collection, exchange and emissions calculation could be carried out in a more seamless way. If this would be supplemented with a common and neutral data exchange protocol, sharing the necessary data between carriers, LSPs, shippers and other users would be much easier.

The Data Access for Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reporting (“Data Access”) project aims to support shippers, LSPs and carriers by improving data access, exchange and IT integration. The project started in January 2021 and is carried out as a project under the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) that is managed by Smart Freight Centre.

What has this project delivered?

Phase 1: Exchange of IT systems and logistics GHG emission data.
The review presented the current inclusion status of the parameters needed to calculate logistics GHG emissions in the main IT systems used by the project partners: fuel management systems (FMS), transport management systems (TMS), and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems. The Insights’ paper identified 5 key insights and challenges to exchange data across the supply chain. A copy can be found here.

Phase 2: Development Logistics Emissions Data Exchange Guidelines and associated data exchange protocol.

These guidelines, together with the data exchange protocol (Data Model), define what information should be exchanged and in what format for all use cases regarding emissions accounting. It provides suggestions on how to gain trust and setup the required assurance processes. The protocol defines what parameters should be gathered by the different actors in the supply chain and shared between different IT systems (FMS, TMS, ERP, etc.), to subsequently calculate emissions in conformance with the GLEC Framework.

The protocol outlines the steps to implement these guidelines while considering the needs of shippers, LSPs, carriers and IT solution providers. Thereby delivering a neutral approach to exchange data that meets different market needs. It supports the data exchange between carriers and their customers individually, as arranged through logistics procurement contracts. In addition, the protocol could also be used to facilitate the direct data transfer in a network of interoperable logistics platforms at other levels, e.g. green freight programs, commercial data management systems and national energy and emission reporting systems (e.g. EU Energy Directive). To summarize, the guidance can be used as a starting point when companies set up their systems for exchange of information for the declaration of GHG emissions.

Phase 3: Test cases of the Data Model and a revised Guidance.
The case studies stress-tested the Data Model by using it in different contexts and proved its applicability in the industry. In addition, through the last phase of this project, the model got exposed to varying stakeholders via online and hybrid workshops and feedback was collected for the improvement of its technical specifications. As a result, there is a new improved Guidance published alongside a revised data model to support organizations with updating their data structures for emissions calculation and reporting in logistics.

Benefits for companies and other organizations

  • Guidelines on logistics GHG variables integration in IT systems that work for you as a carrier, shipper or IT solutions provider
  • As a carrier, LSP or shipper: increase access to reliable data needed to calculate and report your logistics emissions, which help inform decisions that reduce fuel use and emissions
  • As an IT solutions provider: make GHG emissions transparency a unique value proposition to your customers
  • Support data collection required by governments, investors and others to disclose auditable emissions

Do you still wish to contribute?

If your organization is interested in testing or adopting the output of this project, here is a list of how you can still contribute. We welcome all stakeholders from logistics such as Shippers, Carriers, IT providers and others.

  • Share your experiences with IT systems and how they support or hinder the collection for sharing of data needed to calculate logistics emissions, and give improvement suggestions

  • Help shape the data exchange protocol to make this work for your organization and the sector as a whole

  • Develop a test case on logistics GHG integration into your IT systems, working with your customer/supplier and IT solution provider and with input from Smart Freight Centre and GLEC experts.

Project timeframe

  • Phase 2 (completed): A draft guideline and data model, in collaboration with the established working group were published. The aim was that this would act as a springboard to be tested and further improved. These interim results are no longer available for download.
  • Phase 3 (completed): Promote the initial Guideline and protocol to broader stakeholders in parallel with testing. The testing was documented and once complete, presented in the form of learnings as part of the new Guidance document. With this approach, the new Guidance will better drive the adoption of variables related to GHG emissions from logistics. Organizations through the implementation of the data protocol can reach easier access, exchange and reporting of logistics emissions data.
A working group of interested GLEC Partners was established to jointly co-develop and guide this project.

How can you get involved?

If you are interested in piloting the product of these guidelines, or to find out more information about this project, please get in contact with us:

Violetta Matzoros:
Gabriela Rubio Domingo:
Glec Logo 2015 Lr Small
Are you ready to report and reduce your logistics emissions?