Comparison of product carbon footprint standards with a case study on poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima)
- 615 Downloads
A method to quantify the climate impact of products called product carbon footprint (PCF) has been gaining popularity in recent years. However, variations of this method have resulted in several competing standards to guide the carbon calculation process. The aim of the current paper was to compare PCF results when calculated according to the different standards.
The three leading PCF standards are Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2050:2011, ISO.DIN 2 14067 and Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard (PARS) 2011. These standards were compared conceptually, and a case study was performed in which the PCF of a poinsettia plant produced in Germany was calculated according to all three standards.
Results and discussion
The PCF results were 0.45–0.50, 0.53–0.58 and 0.53–0.59 kg carbon dioxide equivalent according to PAS 2050:2011, ISO.DIN 2 14067 and PARS 2011, respectively. According to all standards, the life cycle stage contributing the most greenhouse gases (GHGs) was the production of the poinsettia plant, and the single process with the highest emissions was the electricity use in the production. It was found that if nonrenewable fuels were used for heating instead of wood chips, then heating would be the highest GHG contributor—accounting for over 80 % of emissions of the total PCF.
A key finding was that both the production system used and the decisions taken by the person carrying out the PCF calculation result in greater differences in the PCF result than the use of different standards. Differences among the three standards could be harmonised by more specific cut-off rules and exclusion criteria with the publication of ISO.DIN 2 14067, as well as the development and use of product category rules.
KeywordsHorticulture ISO.DIN 2 14067 PAS 2050 Poinsettia Product carbon footprint (PCF) Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard
The authors thank Prof. Dr. Klaus Menrad, Hans Haas and Valentin Sauer from the University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf for the information and data regarding the poinsettia production systems; project WeGa–Kompetenznetz Gartenbau and TUM Grad School for the support and guidance; and Gaven Meadows for revising the English.
- British Standards Institution (2011) PAS 2050:2011 Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services. http://www.bsigroup.com/upload/Standards%20&%20Publications/Energy/PAS2050.pdf. Accessed 10 Aug 2012
- British Standards Institution (2012) PAS2050-1:2012 Assessment of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions from horticultural products 13.020.40. http://www.bsigroup.com/upload/Standards%20&%20Publications/Energy/PAS2050-1.pdf. Accessed 05 Apr 2012
- Carbon Trust (2008) Product carbon footprinting: the new business opportunity. Experience from leading companies. http://www.carbontrust.com/media/84928/ctc744-product-carbon-footprinting-the-new-business-opportunity.pdf. Accessed 30 Oct 2012
- Carbon Trust (2012) Carbon footprinting. The next step to reducing your emissions. http://www.carbontrust.com/media/44869/j7912_ctv043_carbon_footprinting_aw_interactive.pdf. Accessed 03 Nov 2012
- Ecoinvent Centre (2010) Life cycle inventory database ecoinvent version 2.2Google Scholar
- Galeano SF (2009) International standardization of CFP status of ISO 14067. http://www.lcacenter.org/LCA9/presentations/1024.pdf. Accessed 03 Nov 2012
- Greenhouse Gas Protocol (2011a) Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard. http://www.ghgprotocol.org/files/ghgp/Product%20Life%20Cycle%20Accounting%20and%20Reporting%20Standard.pdf. Accessed 10 Aug 2012
- Greenhouse Gas Protocol (2011b) Quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions of products. PAS 2050 & the GHG Protocol Product Standard. A short guide to their purpose, similarities and differences. http://www.ghgprotocol.org/files/ghgp/public/GHG%20Protocol%20PAS%202050%20Factsheet.pdf. Accessed 10 Aug 2012
- International Organization for Standardization (2012) Carbon footprint of products—requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication 13.020.40(14067)Google Scholar
- International Organization for Standardization (2006a) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—principles and framework (ISO 14040:2006)Google Scholar
- International Organization for Standardization (2006b) Environmental management—life cycle assessment—requirements and guidelines (ISO 14044:2006)Google Scholar
- IPCC (2007) Salomon S (ed). IPCC fourth assessment report: climate change 2007. The physical science basis: contribution of Working Group I to the fourth assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- JEMAI (2009) Draft of 2nd Edition of Japanese Technical Specification (TS Q0010). General principles for the assessment and labeling of carbon footprint of products. Provisional translation. http://www.jemai.or.jp/english/pdf/Japanese_CFP_TS.pdf. Accessed 03 Nov 2012
- Kägi T, Wettstein D (2010) Ökobilanz von Balkonerde. http://www.climatop.ch/tl_files/downloads/2011/100812_bilanzierung_ricoter_public__2_.pdf. Accessed 10 Mar 2013
- PCF World Forum (2012) 7th PCF World Summit. From environmental footprinting to implementation renewable energy in the value chain, Berlin, 17–18 April 2012Google Scholar
- PE International (2011) Life cycle assessment software GaBi including professional database. Version 5, StuttgartGoogle Scholar
- Reinhardt G, Gärtner S, Münch J, Häfele S (2009) Ökologische Optimierung regional erzeugter Lebensmittel: Energie- und Klimagasbilanzen. http://ernaehrungsdenkwerkstatt.de/fileadmin/user_upload/EDWText/TextElemente/Ernaehrungsoekologie/Regionale_Lebensmittel_IFEU_2009.pdf. Accessed 05 Nov 2012
- Sachs J (2009) Common wealth. Economics for a crowded planet. Penguin, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Stichnothe H (2009) Carbon Footprint - Der britische "Standard" PAS 2050 im Spiegel der Ökobilanz-Methodik und weitere Normierungsbestrebungen. http://www.netzwerk-lebenszyklusdaten.de/cms/webdav/site/lca/shared/Veranstaltungen/2009LcaWertksatt/Praesentationen/Vortrag%20HStichnothe%20webpage.pdf. Accessed 05 Nov 2012
- Theurl MC (2011) Product-Carbon-Footprint von Lebensmitteln in Österreich: biologisch und konventionell im Vergleich. In: Leithold G (ed) Boden - Pflanze - Umwelt. Lebensmittel und Produktqualität. Köster, Berlin, pp 123–126Google Scholar
- Westermeier, Hofmann (2011) Bericht zur Abfallwirtschaft im Landkreis Freising 2010. http://www.kreis-freising.de/fileadmin/docs/SG41/2011/Bericht_zur_Abfallwirtschaft_2010_.pdf. Accessed 31 Oct 2012
- Williams A (2007) Comparative study of cut roses for the British market produced in Kenya and the Netherlands. Précis report for world flowers. http://www.fcrn.org.uk/sites/default/files/Cut_roses_for_the_British_market.pdf. Accessed 10 Aug 2012