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GLEC Project Highlights the Importance of Improving Logistics-Related GHG Emission Calculations Through Optimizing Data Access and Exchange

Amsterdam, 26 July 2021 – Insights paper provides overview of status quo of logistics-related GHG data exchange across the supply chain and the necessary steps forward.

Over 120 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 challenge for shippers and LSPs: gathering the necessary data (in their IT systems) from their partners across the transport chain.

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. Today’s Insights paper summarizes the findings of the first project phase. By creating awareness of these insights, we seek to increase joint action and build momentum across the industry to improve the calculation and reporting of logistics emissions across the supply chain. Three key aspects need to be jointly tackled moving forward:

  1. The complexity of numerous stakeholders, that are involved in every step of freight transportation
  2. The complexity of various different IT systems that need to capture and exchange the data
  3. The complexity of the data collection itself, ensuring all necessary data is captured by each party in the right format

Through an extensive market research and numerous interviews with stakeholders, five insights on the status quo of GHG emission calculation and exchange were gathered that help to identify the necessary steps forward and highlight the need for a standardized data-exchange guidance and protocol:

  1. Each party calculates and reports GHG emissions, but the exchange of values and the use of any exchanged values is limited. This results in duplicity of calculations, differences in assumptions and input values used, and differences in reported emissions.
  2. It is not just about the granularity of reporting but about using the right emission intensity granularity. Everyone is seeking to move beyond annual reporting to enable performance monitoring and facilitate decision making; however, the accuracy of the data is to a large extent determined by the granularity of the emission intensity factor used.
  3. The majority of systems in use by freight buyers use default and modeled data and cannot cope with primary data yet. Although it is planned by all parties to move towards primary data directly from the supply chain, this is not yet implemented nor does a system exist where companies can reliably exchange these values that can cope with all modes and the sheer number of stakeholders involved in a supply chain.
  4. Clear parameters and guidance are key to standardize any kind of exchange, independent of data type or use case. Due to the absence of clear guidance, companies are not capturing the necessary information in their systems and subsequently calculate with partial information.
  5. GLEC/ISO certified calculations by carriers or audited 3rd party intermediates will be needed to accept primary data. Primary data poses new challenges towards the verification and validation of the accuracy of the methodology and the input data; third party assurance will be required for nearly all organizations to accept and start utilizing this in formal reporting and decision making.
These insights will form the base input to phase 2 of the SFC’s Data Access and Exchange project, in which the required data exchange guidance and associated protocols will be developed with GLEC partners, building upon existing standards to enable the data exchange across the supply chain.

Get in contact

If your company is interested in joining phase 2 of the project, please get in contact with us:

Rik Arends: rik.arends@smartfreightcentre.org
Moritz Tölke
: moritz.toelke@smartfreightcentre.org
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