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fill out the survey

  1. 1. Supply Chain and Life Cycle GHG Emissions Accounting Survey WRI/WBCSD, GHG Protocol Initiative, November 2007 World Resources Institute / World Business Council on Sustainable Development Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative November 2007 Questionnaire on Supply Chain and Life Cycle GHG Emissions Accounting Introduction and Purpose The WRI/WBCSD Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative is investigating the need to develop guidance or standards to help companies account for supply chain greenhouse gas emissions and/or life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, either at the corporate level or at the product level. There is a growing business interest in accounting for the “cradle-to-gate (supply chain)” and/or “cradle- to-grave (life cycle)” emissions of the products companies manufacture or sell as they look to develop or procure more climate friendly products, track progress towards an emissions reduction goal, seek certification and labeling, or compare products, suppliers, or companies. We seek your advice on whether you perceive the accounting of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions and supply chain greenhouse gas emissions to be an important business issue in need of further accounting guidance or standards and if so, what purposes such a standard or guidance should serve. (See Appendix for a definition of terms). The science and practice of life cycle assessment is complex and evolving. The process of undertaking a life cycle assessment could range from a qualitative or semi-quantitative assessment focused on selected life cycle stages to a comprehensive quantitative assessment that may involve a number of contentious assumptions and policy decisions open to individual interpretations. As a result, there may be a need for the development of a more streamlined and standardized life cycle accounting approach that is specifically designed to quantify climate change impacts from products. Whether to develop guidance or to develop a standard depends on whether the majority of accounting issues are technical issues or policy issues. A standard is most appropriate when the accounting issues are of a technical nature and the approach taken to resolving those issues can be decided based primarily on objective criteria, such that various companies will reach similar answers to similar accounting questions. Guidance is most appropriate when accounting issues primarily pose policy questions and the criteria used to resolve those questions are subjective, such that different companies or analysts may reach different answers when confronting similar questions. If the GHG Protocol Initiative undertakes this work, we will investigate existing best practices on these issues. Benefits of building off existing work include expending fewer resources by not duplicating work and building a consensus standard or guidance supported by multiple organizations. We welcome your suggestions for existing or developing standards or guidance to consider. Please send the completed survey to drich@wri.org by November 23, 2007. We appreciate your participation. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you have. WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocol Team 1
  2. 2. Supply Chain and Life Cycle GHG Emissions Accounting Survey WRI/WBCSD, GHG Protocol Initiative, November 2007 Questionnaire on Supply Chain and Life Cycle GHG Emissions Accounting 1. Do you perceive the accounting of supply chain or life cycle greenhouse gas emissions to be an important business issue? Please explain why. What are the main objectives of supply chain or life cycle GHG accounting? What purposes should this data serve? 2. Has your organization attempted to analyze supply chain or product life cycle emissions, and if so, what are the current methods and practices used and what are the challenges or difficulties encountered? 3. Are you aware of existing standards or guidance on these issues? Please describe. 4. Do you think there is a significant and long-term need for new standards/guidance on developing supply chain or life cycle emissions inventories? 5. Do you think standards are necessary to achieve these objectives, or would guidance be sufficient (see introduction above)? Given your experience and understanding, do you think the major questions related to supply chain or life cycle emissions accounting are primarily technical in nature (and should have relatively objective answers), or primarily policy questions (with relatively subjective or arbitrary answers)? 6. If you think further standards/guidance should be developed, which of the following should this standard/guidance center on? (Please mark your answer(s) with an X and explain) ____ Product-level life cycle emissions accounting ____ Corporate-level life cycle emissions accounting ____ Product-level supply chain emissions accounting ____ Corporate-level supply chain emissions accounting 7. Do you have other suggestions for what should be included in the objectives and scope of this standard/guidance? 8. If WRI/WBCSD decides to develop a standard or guidance, would your organization like to join the standard development process? If so, who is the most appropriate contact? 2
  3. 3. Supply Chain and Life Cycle GHG Emissions Accounting Survey WRI/WBCSD, GHG Protocol Initiative, November 2007 Appendix: Definition of Terms Life cycle assessment (also known as life cycle analysis or cradle-to-grave analysis) is the assessment of the environmental impact of a given product or service throughout its lifespan, including all phases: raw material production, manufacture, distribution, product use and disposal and all intervening transportation steps. A product-level life cycle assessment for greenhouse gases would determine the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions associated with a given product or service through every phase, from raw material extraction to disposal by the end user. This could be used to determine the embodied greenhouse gas emissions in a given product or service. A corporate-level life cycle assessment for greenhouse gases would apply the life cycle concept to the corporate level and determine the greenhouse gas emissions associated with all phases of a company’s facilities or products, aggregated to the corporate level. This will include the upstream and downstream phases associated with all its facilities or all the products it manufactures or sells (raw material production, manufacturing, distribution, product use and disposal and the intervening transportation steps). A supply chain is the network along which products or services move from suppliers to customers, transporting raw materials and transforming them into a finished product, and delivering finished products to end users. A supply chain may consist of many different suppliers and customers before the product reaches the end user. Product-level supply chain greenhouse gas accounting would determine the emissions associated with the manufacture of a given product or service throughout a company’s supply chain, including the direct emissions of all upstream suppliers (raw material production, manufacturing, shipping, etc.). Product-level supply chain emissions would be a subset of product-level life cycle emissions (because the latter include the product use and disposal phases of a product’s life cycle). Corporate-level supply chain greenhouse gas accounting would determine the indirect (Scope 3) greenhouse gas emissions of a company that occur throughout its supply chain, such as its suppliers’ direct (Scope 1) emissions associated with manufacturing the company’s products, and the transportation of materials and components occurring upstream of the company’s operations. Corporate-level supply chain emissions would be a subset of corporate-level life cycle emissions (because the latter includes the aggregated product use and disposal phase emissions of the products the company manufactures or sells). Example: Automobile Manufacturing In the case of a company manufacturing automobiles, supply chain GHG accounting would include the emissions associated with the upstream production of raw materials used to manufacture automobiles; the upstream manufacturing of all the various components that the automaker will assemble to manufacture the final automobile; the transportation of those materials and components to the automaker; and the final production of the automobile by the automaker. If the automaker assesses the greenhouse gases emitted per car, the assessment is at the product level. If the automakers assesses the supply chain emissions of all its products and all its facilities and aggregates all such emissions, the analysis is at the corporate level. In contrast to supply chain accounting, life cycle accounting would take into account not only the upstream emissions and manufacturing emissions of the car, but also the product use and disposal phases of the car, such that the emissions associated with driving the car and ultimately disposing/recycling of the materials are included in the analysis. The life cycle assessment can either be at the product level (life cycle emissions 3
  4. 4. Supply Chain and Life Cycle GHG Emissions Accounting Survey WRI/WBCSD, GHG Protocol Initiative, November 2007 per car) or at the corporate level (the aggregation of the life cycle emissions of all the cars the company manufactures and sells). 4

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