The Central Product Classification (CPC) consists of a coherent and consistent classification structure for products (goods and services) based on internationally agreed concepts, definitions, principles and classification rules.
The CPC provides a comprehensive framework within which data on products can be collected and presented in a format that supports decision- and policymaking.
The EcoVadis Product Carbon Footprint Data Exchange feature organizes data using the CPC. The objective is to ensure scalability and uniformity of the data exchange.
Under the CPC, products are subdivided into a hierarchical, five-level structure of mutually exclusive categories – facilitating data collection, analysis and comparison at detail levels in an internationally standardized format.
The CPC’s highest level is called “sections,” which are numerically coded categories. These sections subdivide the entire product spectrum into broad groupings, such as:
- “Agriculture, forestry and fishery products” (section 0);
- “Constructions and construction services” (section 5);
- “Community, social and personal services” (section 9).
These “sections” are then organized into successively more detailed sub-categories, which are also numerically coded.
- Divisions: 2 digits;
- Groups: 3 digits;
- Classes: 4 digits;
- Subclasses: 5 digits.
For example, a detergent can be classified as follows:
- Section 3 Other transportable goods, except metal products, machinery and equipment
- Division 35 Other chemical products; artificial fibers
- Group 353 Soap, cleaning preparations, perfumes and toilet preparations
- Class 3532 Soap and detergents, perfume and toilet preparations
- Subclass 35322 Detergents and washing preparations
Source: United Nations