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Carbon footprint from transport chain operations with ISO 14083

How to develop a product carbon footprint in the chemical industry

When assessing the carbon footprint of a company the emissions from transport operations play a vital role. The ISO 14083 standard provides universal guidance for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions arising from the operation of transport chains from both passengers and freight. When combined with the carbon footprint calculations of the company’s product or service (following ISO 14067), these calculations can be part of a company’s Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) and/or GHG reporting.

The ISO 14083 standard can support companies by giving a methodology and a consistent set of calculation guidelines for the quantification of the emissions from their transport. The standard is based on previously existing standards and established industry practices, including the EN16258 standard and the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) Framework. By using this standard, companies can effectively estimate the impact of their logistics.

What can ISO14083 be used for?

ISO14083 can be used as part of the calculation of GHG emission intensity per tonne- or passenger-km. These emission intensities can be used as primary or secondary data for GHG quantification projects.  The results can also be published in a transport chain GHG report covering transport emissions specifically.

The included transport operation categories (TOC) in the standard are:

  • Air transport
  • Cable car transport
  • Inland waterway transport
  • Pipeline transport
  • Rail transport
  • Road transport
  • Sea transport

Besides providing guidance for transport operations, the guideline also gives support in determining the impact of hub operations. Different supported Hub Operation Categories (HOC) are:

  • Passenger hub
  • Freight hub
  • Combined freight and passenger hub

A transport chain can consist of many Transport Chain Elements (TCEs), so the ISO 14083 standard also gives guidance on how to analyse the full transport chain. The standard also provides guidance for accounting on refrigerant leakage emissions from temperature-controlled freight, black carbon emissions, (re)packaging, ICT for transport control, and carbon offsets. The data requires adaptation or modification if full life cycle based GHG-emissions are needed, e.g. by including vehicle manufacture or transport infrastructure provision.

The emission factors for transport can be calculated based on primary data and emission factors per fuel. If this data is not available, default emission factors from a different source (e.g. the GLEC framework) can be used as a viable, conservative approach.

Ecomatters Support for ISO 14083

Ecomatters offers different types of support for transport emission mapping. We are always keen to help out and our experts can:

  • Help your organisation assess the entire transport chain and calculate GHG emissions following the ISO 14083 standard
  • Provide guidance on how to implement emissions from transport in the emissions reporting systems and annual reporting
  • Support with the review or audit process for carbon footprint calculations, following certification of different ISO standards

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Max Sonnen

Managing Director
Jur Remeijn

Jur Remeijn

Sustainability Consultant

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