Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard

January 03, 2014
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The GHG Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard (referred to as the Product Standard) provides requirements and guidance for companies and other organizations to quantify and publicly report an inventory of GHG emissions and removals associated with a specific product. The primary goal of this standard is to provide a general framework for companies to make informed choices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the products (goods or services) they design, manufacture, sell, purchase, or use. In the context of this standard, public reporting refers to product GHG-related information reported publicly in accordance with the requirements specified in the standard.

Who should use this standard?

The standard is designed for companies and organizations of all sizes in all economic sectors and in all countries. Companies seeking a better understanding of the GHG inventory of products they design, manufacture, sell, purchase, or use can benefit from the use of this standard. Interested users of the standard within companies could include staff from product design, procurement, research and development, marketing, energy, environment, logistics, and corporate sustainability departments. Policy makers and GHG programs may also be interested in incorporating the standard into their policy or program design.

Relationship to the Corporate and Scope 3 Standards

The GHG Protocol Scope 3 Standard and GHG Protocol Product Standard both take a value chain or life cycle approach to GHG accounting and were developed simultaneously. The Scope 3 Standard builds on the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard and accounts for value chain emissions at the corporate level, while the Product Standard accounts for life cycle emissions at the individual product level. Together, the three standards provide a comprehensive approach to value chain GHG measurement and management. The reporting company’s business goals should drive the use of a particular GHG Protocol accounting standard. The Scope 3 Standard enables a company to identify  the greatest GHG reduction opportunities across the entire corporate value chain, while the Product Stand are enables a company to target individual products with the  greatest potential for reductions. The Scope 3 Standard helps a company identify GHG reduction opportunities, track performance, and engage suppliers at a corporate level, while the Product Standard helps a company meet the same objectives at a product level.