GLEC Framework update cements ISO 14083 alignment

On 21 September 2023, Smart Freight Centre released an updated method for calculating the carbon footprint of the global logistics supply chain. The latest version helps businesses to become ISO 14083 compliant by translating the ISO requirements into comprehensive language in an accessible and interactive new PDF format.

With more climate urgency than ever in the logistics industry landscape, the GLEC Framework has been updated to further accelerate freight decarbonization and is now in full alignment with the new ISO 14083 standard. Version 3.0 includes updates resulting from new versions of source information, as well as recognizing the latest findings on higher emissions from fossil fuel production.

Direct and indirect emissions

The GHG protocol classifies greenhouse gas emissions into three categories: Scope 1, 2 and 3. ISO 14083 avoids this distinction, as these scope differentiations are considered commercially driven distinctions. Instead, ISO 14083 distinguishes between direct and indirect emissions. Examples of direct emissions are those resulting from the burning of fuel during a trip, while indirect emissions include those generated in the production and distribution of that fuel.

Reporting between supply chain partners establishes a link between transport operation providers and users. Traditional Scope 3 users of transport services will need to receive information on the activity carried out and the related emission intensities, or the ready-made calculated emissions of their transport chains, from Scope 1 and Scope 2 providers of transport services.

Source: Smart Freight Centre (2023)

In other words, when calculating emissions, it is the position of the reporting organization within the value chain that determines the relevant scope category, rather than the ownership of the vehicle or equipment carrying out the transport or hub operation.

Recalculate for comparable results

“Users of the GLEC Framework may notice their emissions increasing in an absolute sense. This is caused by previously unknown well-to-tank emissions within fossil fuels that are now included in the calculations,” explains Bas Wolff, Product Manager at BigMile. “However, that does not mean that their efforts in emissions reduction have been ineffective . In fact, there may even be an increase in the reduction achieved, due to differences between traditional fossil fuels and more sustainable fuels. Fortunately, the GLEC Framework update coincides with the release of our new Carbon Analytics version. We advise users to recalculate their past activity within the new platform to create up-to-date and comparable results of their historic emissions.”

According to Alan Lewis, Technical Director at Smart Freight Centre, cementing the alignment between ISO 14083 and the new GLEC Framework is critical to ensuring full alignment of carbon footprint calculations, in a sector that is coming under a lot of scrutiny and pressure to decarbonize. “Predicted increases in transport activity and associated emissions mean that accelerating freight transport decarbonization is key to helping keep the 1.5°C global temperature goal within reach,” comments Lewis.

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