World Economic Forum Releases Logistics Carbon Emissions Guidelines

The World Economic Forum’s Logistics & Transport Industry Group, supported by global consulting firm Accenture, has agreed to standard guidelines for calculating consignment-level carbon emissions from logistics and shipping operations. The Consignment-Level Carbon Reporting Guidelines, developed with Accenture, were created to help the industry inform consumers and businesses about the carbon impact of product transport.

A recent Accenture survey found that 90% of consumers would be willing to switch to a new product if it was certified as minimizing its impact on climate change, while another Accenture survey found that 98% of Chinese consumers would pay a premium for consumer electronics products that are marketed as environmentally friendly.

“Logistics and transportation providers face growing demand from their retail and manufacturing customers to report the carbon emissions generated by the shipping and handling of their products,” says Jonathan Wright, senior executive in Accenture’s Supply Chain Management practice. “These guidelines will help them work toward providing consumers with carbon footprint information for individual products.”

The guidelines were endorsed by the Governors of the World Economic Forum’s Logistics & Transport Industry Group at the organization’s recent annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, and include principles for defining the scope of emissions to report and how these emissions should be allocated in cases such as shared transport or backhaul. They complement broader upcoming and existing product-level carbon reporting standards, including the GHG Protocol Life Cycle and Scope 3 Standards, which are expected to be released at the end of 2010.

“By providing accuracy and consistency in carbon reporting, these guidelines help companies to compete meaningfully on environmental efficiency,” says Sean Doherty, head of Logistics & Transport Industry at the World Economic Forum.

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