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 will this project deliver?

Phase 1 (completed). Status review: 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, define what information should be exchanged and in what format for each use case. 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. First, 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. A copy can be found here.

Phase 3. Test case studies involving a shipper, carrier and IT solution provider (ongoing). These case studies will present practical applications of the guidelines and the protocol, showcasing and identifying how best to integrate the protocol into IT systems as well as the organization of data exchange between carriers and shippers. Part of this phase is to also identify areas where the protocol can be improved and best tailored to match industry needs. The revised protocol is planned to be published in December 2022.
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Why should you join this project?

Companies, IT providers and other organizations can participate as follows

  • 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
  • Give input into guidelines on the use of IT systems to collect data for logistics emissions calculation and share these internally and externally
  • 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 SFC and GLEC experts

Benefits for companies and other organizations

  • Influence guidelines on logistics GHG integration in IT systems that work for you as a carrier, shipper or IT solutions provider
  • Influence data exchange protocols and their uptake by industry, policy makers and other relevant stakeholders as a common, neutral approach
  • Through application 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
  • Through application as an IT solutions provider: make GHG emissions transparency a unique value proposition to your customers
  • Anticipate requirements by governments, investors and others to disclose auditable emissions

The project is carried out together with GLEC partners and is co-funded by the Trafigura Foundation. SFC welcomes other funders and partners to support this project.

Project timeframe

  • Phase 1 (completed): The current status of GHG integration into carrier and shipper IT systems and improvement opportunities are assessed, together with GLEC partners and IT system providers, particularly those used by GLEC companies. The results have been published in an Insights paper: Exchange of logistics GHG emission data - The status quo, challenges, future necessities, and potentials across the supply chain.
  • Phase 2 (Completed): Develop a draft of the guidelines and protocol, in collaboration with the established working group. The results have been published in a guidance document, Data exchange of GHG Logistics Emissions, Guidance.
  • Phase 3 (April-Dec 2022): Promote the initial Guideline and protocol to broader stakeholders in parallel with testing. The testing will be documented and once complete, presented in the form of use-cases as part of the new Guidance document. With this approach, the new Guidance will better support organisations through the implementation of the data protocol and enable easier access, exchange and reporting of logistics emissions data.
A working group of interested GLEC Partners is established to jointly co-develop and guide this project.

How can you get involved?

If you are interested in participating in the working group to support the development or implementation of these guidelines, or to find out more information about this project, please get in contact with us:

Violetta Matzoros:
Gabriela Rubio Domingo:
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Are you ready to report and reduce your logistics emissions?