Quantified measures of an activity that results in GHG emissions or removals. Typically, material and energy inputs, purchased product components, and other direct emissions.
The process of partitioning GHG emissions from a single facility or other systems (such as a process vehicle or business unit) among its various outputs in particular products.
The level of confidence that the inventory results and report are complete, accurate, consistent, transparent, relevant, and without material misstatements.
A competent individual or body who conducts the assurance process, whether internally within the company or externally.
Produced by living organisms or biological processes, but not fossilized or from fossil sources.
Carbon derived from living organisms or biological processes, but not fossilized materials or fossil sources.
Biogenic CO2 emissions
Emissions resulting from the combustion of biogenic fuel are broken down into land use (e.g., agricultural practices), land-use change (e.g., deforestation), and other (e.g., biogenic waste treatment) emissions. Reporting biogenic CO2 emissions will remain optional until the GHG Protocol FLAG standard is published.
Biogenic CO2 withdrawal
Biogenic carbon content converted into CO2e.
The attributable processes and their associated emissions that should be accounted for and reported by a company as part of its PCF.
Carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e)
Unit comparing the radiative force (global warming impact) of a GHG, expressed in terms of the amount of CO2 with an equivalent impact.
A characterization factor is a quantitative representation of the (relative) importance of a specific substance, e.g., the GWP (GWP 100) of methane is 22 kg CO2e/kg.
Corporate-level standards (such as ISO 14064 or the GHG Protocol Corporate Value Chain Standard) focus on aggregate emissions arising from the value chain of a company and apply to company activities as a whole, including business travel and employee commuting.
Characteristics of data (completeness, reliability and technological, temporal and geographical representativeness) that relate to their ability to satisfy stated requirements (the most common frameworks are the pedigree matrix [ecoinvent] and the data quality matrix/ requirements [PCRs]).
Unit of analysis chosen for PCF, which serves as the reference for which the inputs (materials and energy) and outputs (such as products, by-products, waste) are quantified.
Direct emissions data
Emissions released from a process (or removals absorbed from the atmosphere) determined through direct monitoring, mass balances, or similar methods.
Indirect GHG emissions that occur in the value chain following the processes owned or controlled by the reporting company.
Amount of GHGs emitted, expressed as CO2e and relative to a unit of activity (e.g., kg of CO2e per declared unit).
Unit based on the function and performance of the studied product
Greenhouse gasses (GHGs)
Gaseous constituents of the atmosphere, both natural and with origin in human activity, absorb and emit radiation at specific wavelengths within the spectrum of infrared radiation emitted by the Earth’s surface, its atmosphere, and clouds. GHGs include CDCO2, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
Product, material, or energy flow that enters a unit process.
Summary of all input and output flows of a system (such as a company’s or product’s GHG emissions and sources).
GHG impact of the studied product per unit of analysis.
Consecutive and interlinked stages of a product system, from the raw material acquisition or generation of natural resources to end-of-life, inclusive of any recycling or recovery activity.
Life cycle assessment (LCA)
Compilation and evaluation of the inputs, outputs, and potential environmental impacts of a product throughout its entire life cycle.
Life cycle emissions
The sum of GHG emissions resulting from all stages of the life cycle of a product and within the specified boundaries of the product.
Physical products supplied from a supplier upstream, used as input for production processes of products.
Product, material, or energy that leaves a unit process.
Partnership for Carbon Transparency (PACT)
A project led by WBCSD set up to provide a forum for businesses across value chains and industries as well as for key decarbonization stakeholders to collaborate on the creation ofGHG emissions transparency. More info
Network for the exchange of carbon footprint data that is being developed by the Partnership for Carbon Transparency, with the aim of establishing the missing (technological) link between different supply chain actors, such as through the creation of interoperability for underlying technology solutions.
Data pertaining to a specific product or activity within a company’s value chain. Such data may take the form of activity data, emissions, or emission factors. Primary data is site-specific, company-specific (if there are multiple sites for the same product), or supply chain–specific. Primary data may be obtained through meter readings, purchase records, utility bills, engineering models, direct monitoring, material or product balances, stoichiometry, or other methods.
Any good (tangible product, such as material) or service (intangible product).
Product carbon footprint (PCF)
Total GHG emissions generated during the life cycle of a product, measured in CO2e. Within the boundary of the Pathfinder Framework, only material acquisition, preprocessing, production, distribution, and storage are included in the PCF.
Group of products that can fulfill equivalent functions.
Product category rules (PCRs)
A set of specific rules, requirements, and guidelines for calculating PCFs (among other things) and developing environmental declarations for one or more product categories according to BS EN ISO 14040:2006.
Product-level standards (such as ISO 14067 or the GHG Product Standard) focus on individual products or services. They support accounting for products’ life cycle emissions (see Section 3.3 for details on the stages). In doing so, they enable a more granular approach compared to company accounting, offering insights to help identify targeted emission reduction opportunities.
Data used to bridge data gaps without changing the original values beyond statistical calculations, such as averaging. The selection and use of proxy data sets are usually based on the knowledge and experience of the LCA practitioner, and the possibility of validating such choices are often limited.
Primary or secondary material used to produce a product.
Initial data obtained within a production system
Data that is not from specific activities within a company’s value chain but from external databases based on averages, scientific reports, or other sources.
Tier 1 suppliers
Suppliers that companies directly conduct business with, including contracted manufacturing facilities or production partners.
Indirect GHG emissions that occur in the value chain prior to the processes owned or controlled by the reporting company. All upstream transportation emissions are also included as part of upstream emissions.
The part of the life cycle of a product that occurs between the transfer of the product to the consumer and the end-of-life of the product.
All the upstream and downstream activities associated with the operations of a company.