Thursday, 30 October 2008

PAS2050 standard published

Businesses can from today assess the carbon footprint of their goods and services and play a greater part in fighting climate change, thanks to a new standard launched by BSI British Standards, the Carbon Trust and Defra.
The standard – called PAS2050 – is a consistent way of counting the greenhouse gas emissions embedded in goods and services throughout their entire life cycle – from sourcing raw materials, through to manufacture, distribution, use and disposal.
The aim of the new standard is to help businesses move beyond managing the emissions in their own processes and to look at the opportunities for reducing emissions in the design, manufacture and supply of products. This will then help businesses make goods or services which are less carbon intensive and ultimately develop new products with lower carbon footprints.
The Carbon Trust has already piloted PAS 2050 with 75 product ranges across a wide range of companies including PepsiCo, Boots, Innocent, Tesco, Cadbury, Halifax, Coca Cola, Kimberly Clark, The Co-operative Group, Scottish & Newcastle, Coors Brewers, Müller, British Sugar, Sainsbury’s, Danone and Morphy Richards.
Some of the results include:
For its Botanics shampoo, Boots has redesigned its logistics network so that products could be delivered direct to stores, reducing road miles and packaging. This alone has reduced the carbon footprint of making the shampoo by 10 per cent.
By working with one of its suppliers, Innocent helped identify an opportunity for the supplier to set up a group of employees to look at how they could increase the amount of waste materials being recycled throughout the factory. In the first month, waste to landfill was reduced by 15 per cent, and within six months the reduction reached 54 per cent.
Defra has also carried out research testing of the PAS on up to 100 food products through their production, manufacture and distribution and is studying the greenhouse gas impacts of food preparation and consumption in the home.
Critics say that the PAS2050 standard is unneccessarily complex and that this will make it uneconomic to apply across the entire range of a company's product output. If you want to assess the benefit of PAS2050 to your own organisation, you can dowload it free of charge here together with a guide to its use.

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