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PRODUCT CARBON FOOTPRINTING

Understanding and labelling carbon emissions forproducts and services.

Business Challenge

Consumer demand for low carbon products, as well asregulatory drivers, are placing increasing pressure oncompanies not just to understand their own carbon emissions (for example, electricity use at offices), but also to quantify theemissions from the manufacture, transportation and deliveryof products and services to customers.

By calculating and labelling products with their associatedcarbon footprint businesses can:

■ improve brand recognition and corporate reputation inethical / new consumer markets
■ differentiate products from other suppliers
■ identify potential cost efficiencies across themanufacturing process  and supply chain.

Bureau Veritas is a global leader in carbon measurement, management and certification. We can
assistbusinesses to better understand, model and calculate emissions for their products and services; or
provideverification and certification services to products that have already been foot printed and require
carbonlabelling.

Opportunity and Challenges

Climate change and environmental issues are playing an increasing role in consumer decision-making. Recentresearch suggests that 61% of consumers do not think business is playing its role in addressing climate change,and they are voting with their buying power to choose ‘greener’ products and services where these are available.This market place is now poised for exponential growth in a manner similar to the FairTrade market (in 2007 thiswas worth approximately £2.3 Billion and growing).

Distrust by consumers of corporate ‘green washing’ is driving the application of standard methods to assess theenvironmental impact and emissions of carbon associated with the manufacture of products (and delivery ofservices), and the labelling of products at the point of sale. Consumers need the reassurance that green claims arelegitimate and verified by a third party.

Solution

Product Footprinting & Labelling

The carbon footprint of a product refers to the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions directly or indirectly producedduring the product’s life cycle, from the time it is manufactured to the time that it is discarded by the user.

Product carbon footprinting involves assessing emissions from all sources of activities including: raw materialproduction (e.g. growing fruit), the manufacturing processes (e.g. energy), transportation and distribution, retail(e.g. refrigeration), use by consumers (e.g. heating in an oven) and end of life disposal (e.g. landfill).

Product footprinting techniques and methodologies have been developed to address this complexity and ensureconsistency in approach. These include, for example, the Publicly Available Standard (PAS) 2050 and the GHGProtocol - Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard (release 2011).

These ’footprinting’ methodologies are accompanied by a limited number of carbon labelling schemes, designed tosign-post customers to a product’s  green credentials. For example, the Carbon Trust Label must include acommitment by the company to reduce the associated carbon emissions over a set time period.

Businesses that wish to use a carbon label at the point of sale are required to have their product assessmentverified by a third party.

Related services

Related services include certification to PAS2050, ISO14064 series, ISO 14001 and EMAS; EUETS and GHG relatedCDM/JI verification as well as verification/validation of emissions inventories. Bureau Veritas has also earned astrong reputation in the fields of Quality, Health & Safety, Environment and Social Responsibility. Whatever yourneeds, we can offer a complete  solution.

Why Choose Bureau Veritas

Bureau Veritas Solutions provides business with solutions relating to product and service life-cycle assessment.We bring to this an in-depth understanding of carbon footprinting standards and eco-design
techniques thatconsider all aspects and impacts from cradle to grave (or, we hope, re-use).

Benefits of using Bureau Veritas Solutions:
■ detailed technical capability and experience in developing carbon footprints, energy/carbon strategies andassociated data management processes and reduction measures for clients across a range of sectors
■ best practice in assessing carbon assertions and related data and management processes based on technicalknowledge of diverse industrial/commercial client operations
■ proven track record as sustainability assurance leader – including reporting of non-financial information andaccounts, specific company programmes of work on material issues such a climate change, and performanceimprovement measures

Bureau Veritas Certificationcan provide verification and certification to those companies who have undertaken acarbon footprint assessment against their products or services and who wish to publicly disclose the results andassign a carbon label.

Benefits of using Bureau Veritas Certification:
■ global leader in certification, with a 9% market share and more than 40 international accreditations, includingthe United Nations
■ actively involved in GHG working groups including the EU ETS, Technical Committee on the ISO 14064 standard(GHG management systems) and IETA Verifiers group
■ well positioned with experienced personnel in more than 100 countries to provide the cross-culturalmeasurement and accounting required for footprinting assessment across global supply chains.

FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • Our Climate Change Client References

    ■ Anglo American  ■ Eurostar  ■ Mitsubishi
    ■ AXA PPP  ■ Gas Natural  ■ Repsol

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