GHG Footprinting: A Step in the Right Direction

UK - The launch of a new specification for assessing the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of goods and services is a step in the right direction, according to the NFU.
calendar icon 4 November 2008
clock icon 3 minute read

The standard, known as PAS (Publicly Available Specification) 2050, has been developed following an 18 month consultation process. It is intended to provide detailed specification for 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.

NFU Vice President Paul Temple said: "The Carbon Trust, BSI British Standards and DEFRA are to be congratulated on their development of PAS 2050 as a common standard for the measurement of the GHG footprint of products that we consume in our everyday lives.

"However, we are concerned that the PAS does not recognise the unique position of agriculture and horticulture. In its present form, the Specification will add to the administrative burden of farm paperwork with no obvious financial return. In order to provide a stronger incentive, we have proposed that producers should be able to earn GHG credits from the export of renewable energy services which displace fossil-fuel use elsewhere in the supply chain, as well as the small amount of carbon sequestered by woodland and pasture."

The NFU notes that accredited assessment under PAS 2050 of the GHG footprint of individual food products is unlikely until early 2010. Mr Temple added: "We need to continue to work with the developers of the PAS to provide a credible, rigorous and practical way to measure GHG's associated with agricultural products. Ideally, this will become a tool for farmers and growers to improve processes within their businesses and subsequently reduce the Carbon tyreprint and hoofprint of British agriculture in a sustainable direction.

"We also want to help assessors in their interpretation of the standard when its use becomes widespread."

Further Reading

- Go to our previous news item on this story - How to Calculate the Carbon Footprint of your Product - by clicking here.
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