As we continue to grapple with the consequences of climate change, discussions around carbon emissions in the global freight transportation industry have increased again with the release of the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) Framework Version 3 in late September 2023.
The GLEC Frameworks were developed by the Smart Freight Centre (SFC), an international non-profit organisation dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from freight transportation. This latest version looks to further standardise the approach to calculating and reporting emissions in the industry.
GLEC Framework Version 3, builds upon the success of its predecessor, GLEC Framework Version 2, which was released in 2019. At the time, it was the industry standard for the calculation and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions as a global, multi-modal standard did not yet exist.
This was the case until the release of ISO 14083 in March 2023 (Quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions arising from transport chain operations), which brought about a major change to reporting guidelines. Developed with the help of Smart Freight Centre, ISO 14083 offered a comprehensive approach to emission calculation and reporting based on GLEC Framework Version 2.
Building on the success of ISO 14083, GLEC Framework Version 3 is a more understandable and accessible version, which includes practical examples. This makes it easier for stakeholders across the transportation industry to understand and implement standardised greenhouse gas emission calculations.
One of these new topics includes greenhouse gas calculations for cable cars, pipelines, and hubs, which include terminals, ports, warehousing, and distribution centres, as well as leakage of refrigerants. Another significant topic is the incorporation of the full life cycle of fuel and energy carriers. This includes not only emissions during usage but also the construction and dismantling of power plants used to generate energy, such as solar panels.
The GLEC Framework Version 3 comprises four key sections, each addressing different aspects of greenhouse gas emissions in the transport industry.
Calculating: This looks at the calculation steps and principles based on the mode of transport, with specific considerations and information
Using emission results: After emission reports and results, the framework covers what to do beyond reporting, such as offering insights into emission reductions, and using emission intensity as a KPI.
Data: This includes fuel emission factors, default emission factors, and refrigerant emission factors.
Annexes: Lastly, it also includes emissions calculation for transport operations within the European chemical industry as well as unit conversion factors for clarity.
Harmonisation and Standardisation: They aim to harmonise and standardise the calculation and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions across global transportation chains. This standardisation promotes a more consistent and transparent approach, allowing stakeholders to assess and compare emissions efficiently.
Alignment with Other ISO Standards: GLEC Framework Version 3 and ISO 14083 also align with other important ISO standards, such as ISO 14064 (Corporate Carbon Footprint), ISO 14067 (Product Carbon Footprint), and the ISO 14040 series (Life-Cycle Assessment). This alignment ensures that greenhouse gas emissions from transport operations can be easily integrated into corporate and product carbon footprint calculations.
Universal Adoption: By providing a globally accepted standard, GLEC Framework Version 3 and ISO 14083 encourage the industry, governments, and investors to embrace a unified approach towards these standards. This helps create greater visibility and comparability in emission calculations and results, further encouraging the reporting transparency and accountability of organisations.
By incorporating these standards as early as possible, companies can show their commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and environmental responsibility. As there is a growing pressure to be more environmentally responsible, calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions is not merely an option but a moral and economic imperative for businesses and governments alike.
With the release of the GLEC Framework, this transparent and accountable reporting system is more accessible to all stakeholders in the freight industry, being available for free. This stands to have a huge impact as it has the potential to be adopted by many more companies moving forward. It is time for the industry to come together and embrace these standards for a greener, more sustainable world.
Interested in ISO 14083 and GLEC-compliant calculation and reporting? Book a call with our gryn experts today!