Reducing carbon footprint made easier with new International Standard

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Por Clare Naden
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We are all suffocating in the heat of global warming, as the recent European heatwave lays testament to – and it may soon become the norm. A study showed that if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise as they do, by 2100 74 % of the world’s population will be exposed to deadly heatwaves.1) The only solution is to reduce our carbon footprint, but first we need to measure it. An internationally agreed ISO standard for quantifying the carbon footprint of products has just been published.

According to the Global Footprint Network, an international non-profit research organization offering insights and metrics to advance sustainability, we are falling into ecological debt, and if we keep consuming the earth’s resources at the current rate, we will soon need the equivalent of 1.7 earths to survive.2)

Rising greenhouse gas emissions – mostly caused by our rabid consumption – have resulted in the climate chaos and consequent food and water supply disruption we see now. But much can be done to reverse this, by reducing our carbon footprint.

ISO 14067:2018, Greenhouse gases – Carbon footprint of products – Requirements and guidelines for quantification, has just been published as an International Standard, providing globally agreed principles, requirements and guidelines for the quantification and reporting of the carbon footprint of a product (CFP). It will give organizations of all kinds a means to calculate the carbon footprint of their products and provide a better understanding of ways in which they can reduce it.

ISO 14067:2018 replaces technical specification ISO/TS 14067:2013, which was upgraded to International Standard status after the market signalled a need for a more in-depth document.

Daniele Pernigotti, Convenor of the working group that developed the standard, said measuring the CFP is considered by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as a key way of contributing to the achievement of international climate action goals.

“It allows organizations to more accurately see where the main impacts on their carbon footprint are generated related to the production of their products, and thus take appropriate actions to reduce it,” he said.

“For example, if it is related to raw materials, they can investigate using others, or if it is related to transport, they can look at improvements to their logistics model or investigate suppliers or distributors closer to home.”

Key changes from the technical specification include greater focus on quantification, moving other topics such as communication to standards in the ISO 14000 environmental management family; greater clarity on a range of aspects such as calculating the use of electricity; and the introduction of specific guidance for agricultural and forestry products.

ISO 14067 is part of the ISO 14060 family of standards for quantifying, monitoring, reporting and validating greenhouse gas emissions to support a low-carbon economy.

The standard was developed by working group WG 8 of ISO technical committee ISO/TC 207, Environmental management, subcommittee SC 7, Greenhouse gas management and related activities, the secretariat of which is held jointly by SCC, ISO’s member for Canada, and SAC, ISO’s member for China. It can be purchased from your national ISO member or though the ISO Store.

1) Nature Climate Change: Global risk of deadly heat

2) Global Footprint Network

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