Measuring and analyzing greenhouse gas emissions: challenges for our future
DQS is a member of DIN (the German Association for Standardization) providing input to develop an international standard.
The Carbon Footprint of products (goods and services) comprises all greenhouse gases that arise during that product's entire life cycle. In the context of the ongoing discussion on global warming and reduction of GHG emissions, the term "Carbon Footprint of a product CFP" has become the popular method for evaluating the contribution of the products on climate change. It allows for the identification and analysis of emissions and shows potential for reduction and removals. This potential may be found in alternative product design, raw material choices, increased energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy.
ISO 14040 (Environmental management – Life cycle assessment -- Principles and framework) and ISO 14044 (Environmental management – Life cycle assessment -- Requirements and guidelines) provide a standardized method used to quantify emissions, resources consumed and the related environmental and health impacts, but can also be simplified in terms of CFP as the single impact category. Currently, there is neither a uniform method nor uniform databases available for calculating CFP. On account of the significance of this topic, therefore, ISO has established a working group (ISO/TC 207 Carbon Footprint of Products) to develop a standard that sets principles, requirements and guidelines for the quantification and communication of the carbon footprint of products. In order of harmonization, this group is working in line with other initiatives such as GHG Protocol and the British PAS 2050. The international standard ISO 14067 Carbon Footprints of Products is scheduled for publication in 2012.