GHG Standards or Protocols (Existing)
- PAS 2050 - Assessing the Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions of Goods and Services (Published by the British Standards Institute, includes a standard, guidance and verification protocols).
- Local Government Operations Protocol (designed to allow local governments to quantify and report GHG emissions resulting from their operations, including landfill emissions calculations).
- Climate Action Reserve Organic Waste Composting Protocol
- Climate Action Reserve Organic Waste Digestion Protocol
- Climate Action Reserve Landfill Protocol and Landfill Verification Protocols U.S. (Provides guidance to account for, report, and verify emission reductions associated with the diversion of eligible organic wastes away from anaerobic landfill disposal systems and to composting operations where the material degrades in a controlled aerobic process).
- Chicago Climate Exchange - Avoided Emissions from Organic Waste Disposal Offset Project Protocol
GHG Standards or Protocols (Under Development or Proposed)
- Greenhouse Gas Protocol - Draft Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard (as of April 2011 nearing completion)
- Greenhouse Gas Protocol - Scope 3 Supply Chain http://www.ghgprotocol.org/files/ghgp/public/ghg-protocol-scope-3-standard-executive-summary1.pdf
- Proposed Recycling and Waste Diversion Reporting Project Protocol
GHG Calculators Covering Materials and/or Waste
- California Air Resources Board Conversion Tool (Online tool). Converts CO2 amounts to familiar equivalents
- EcoCycle's 20-Year Impact of Methane Calculator (Excel-based). Recalculates GHG emissions – carbon dioxide, methane, or carbon dioxide equivalents – to a 20-year timeframe from a 100 year time-frame. The global warming potential of methane is 72 over 20 years, rather than 21 over 100 years.
- U.S. EPA Waste Reduction Model (WARM) (Excel or on-line version). Calculates and totals GHG emissions or energy impacts of baseline and alternative waste management practices—source reduction, recycling, combustion, composting, and landfilling. The model calculates emissions in MTCE, MTCO2E, and BTU for 26 materials and 8 mixed material categories.
- Environment Canada's Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Calculator for Waste Management (Excel-based). Calculates and totals GHG emissions of baseline and alternative waste management practices—recycling, anaerobic digestion, combustion, composting, and landfilling –for 19 materials/products. Landfill gas recovery and transportation distances to waste management facilities can be modified by the user. Environment Canada’s tool builds on WARM data and uses Canadian-based data when possible.
- ICLEI's Climate and Air Pollution Planning Assistant (CAPPA) (Excel-based). Provides information and quantification tools for over 100 distinct emissions reduction strategies. Requires subscription.
- Cool Climate Network household and business climate calculators. One of the few calculators that includes "upstream" emissions associated with materials use.
- Oregon Carbon Calculator. An Oregon-specific version of the Cool Climate Network calculator.
- Seattle Climate Partnership (Excel-based and online version). Includes calculations for several purchased materials and solid waste, primarily applicable for use by office-based organizations.
- U.S. EPA Recycled Content (Recon) Tool (Excel or on-line version). Estimates the GHG emissions and energy impacts from purchasing and/or manufacturing materials with varying degrees of post-consumer recycled content. Recon includes 17 materials, including metal, plastic and paper products. Recon uses the same background life-cycle data as WARM.
- U.S. EPA WasteWise Office Carbon Calculator (Excel-based). Includes calculations for solid waste and recycling volumes, and purchase of recycled content materials, primarily applicable for use by office-based organizations.
U.S. EPA Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Decision Support Tool(Excel-based, not publicly available). Intended for use by solid waste planners to analyze and compare MSW management strategies with respect to GHGs, cost, and other environmental impacts. Supporting information:
- Application of the U.S. Decision Support Tool (DST) for Materials and Waste Management By Thorneloe, S. Weitz, K. and Jambeck, J. 2007. Paper illustrates how the MSW-decision support tool (DST) can be used by evaluating ten management strategies for a hypothetical medium-sized community - to compare the life-cycle environmental and cost tradeoffs.
- Application of Life Cycle Management to Evaluate Integrated Municipal Solid Waste
- Sound Resource Management's Measuring the Environmental Benefits Calculator (MEBCalc™) is proprietary software for computing the environmental footprint of a community’s municipal solid waste (MSW) management system, from collection through final disposition of each discarded product or packaging material. Environmental impacts covered in the footprint include climate change as well as public health (respiratory disease, cancer, and toxicity), ecosystem toxicity, waterway nutrification, and acid rain.
- Clean Air Cool Planet Campus Calculator (Excel-based). Includes a wide range of emission and cost calculations for many activities, including power usage, transportation, waste management and offsets. The waste management portion of the calculator uses emission factors from WARM, but does not account for upstream emissions. The tool only calculates emissions from direct waste management either by landfilling or incineration. Includes offsets for composting. Also includes benefits (derived from the Environmental Defense Fund paper calculator) for using recycled content paper.
Database Sources of GHG Emissions Factors for Materials and Waste
- Economic Input-Output Life Cycle Assessment (EIO-LCA) is an input/output life cycle analysis tool produced by the Green Design Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.
- PlasticsEurope EcoProfiles
- Inventory of Carbon & Energy (ICE) database of emissions factors for many building materials, compiled by University of Bath. This site also offers a wiki resource with supplemental/additional information.
- Greenhouse Gas Emission Factors for Management of Selected Materials in Municipal Solid Waste
- Life-Cycle Inventory (LCI) Database U.S. Life-Cycle Inventory (LCI) database, managed by NREL, contains data modules that quantify material and energy flows into and out of the environment for common unit processes, including some related to materials- or waste-related data. (Requires Registration).
Initiatives or Campaigns Addressing GHG Impacts of Materials and Waste
- Compostable Organics Out of Landfills by 2012
- Product Stewardship - Product Policy Institute and Product Stewardship Institute
- Summary article about carbon footprinting (from The Economist, June 4, 2011)
Government GHG Programs Addressing Materials and Waste
- EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) - 2009 projects will avoid the emissions of 546,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year.
Examples and Case Studies
This section provides studies or examples of how product or activities contributing to GHG emissions accounting or reductions have been measured and presented.
Note that GHG product-related emissions listed here should be third-party verified, and this Wiki development group has not endorsed any of these products, nor verified any of the product GHG reporting. It is intended that some of these product examples may be useful in crafting procurement policies.
Towards a Sustainable, Prosperous King County 2010 Annual Report King County (WA) produces an annual report of the county's
Climate Change, Energy, Green Building and Environmental Purchasing Programs. They discuss their 2010 greenhouse gas emissions or reductions, from non-transit activities, such as solid waste diversion to composting, and recycling, and green building.
- PAS 2050 Case Studies Links to case studies that describe product carbon footprinting process using PAS 2050 at six different companies.
- Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of Packaging Options for Shipping Soft Goods in E-commerce and Catalog Sales evaluated the environmental burdens of different options for shipping non-breakable items in an e-commerce/catalog order fulfillment environment. It demonstrates the importance of waste prevention, and shows that when comparing dissimilar materials, recyclability and recycled content don't always correlate to reduced environmental impacts.
- Weyerhaeuser Company's Product Environmental Profiles documents the relative carbon footprint (and other environmental impacts) of ten of their products (normalized per air-dry metric ton of product)
- LCA of Drinking Water Delivery Options compares the environmental impacts of different methods of delivering drinking water to households, including single use bottles (recyclable and/or compostable), vs. tap water methods, with details on the impacts and benefits of different resin choices and end-of-life management methods. A supplemental report demonstrates the moderate benefits from recycling single-use PET water bottles, but the far greater benefits of avoiding them in the first place.
- Life Cycle Assessment Based Approach to Prioritizing Methods of Preventing Waste from Residential Building, Construction, Remodeling, and Demolition in the State of Oregonhelps understand the relative environmental impacts and benefits of different waste prevention practices in residential construction, identifying high-impact actions and helping prioritize efforts related to materials management in buildings.
References and Additional Information
EPA. Sustainable Materials Management: The Road Ahead
- Solid Waste Management and Greenhouse Gases: A Lifecycle Assessment of Emissions and Sinks
- Recycling, Composting, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Minnesota
- EPA, September 2009. Opportunities to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions through Materials and Land Management Practices. (Report provides the formal presentation of EPA's "systems" view of GHG emissions, including the estimate that materials management is associated with an estimated 42% of total domestic GHG emissions).
- Metro (Portland). 2010. Regional Greenhouse Gas Inventory: The Carbon Footprint of Residents and Businesses inside the Portland Metropolitan Region
- Walsh, B. 2010. When Goods Get Traded, Who Pays for the CO? (Article on the emissions associated with producing goods and consumption-based accounting in the context of international trade and climate negotiations).
- Morris, Jeffrey. June 2007. The Environmental Value of Metro Region Recycling for 2007 specific to GHG inventories vs. footprints for businesses, and may be helpful in communicating the importance of "consumption" or "supply chain" emissions.
- Weber and Matthews. 2005. "Embodied Environmental Emissions in U.S. INternational Trade, 1997-2004. Shows increased imports and shifting trade patterns led to a large increase in emissions of CO2, SO2 and NOx.
- International Solid Waste Association. 2009. Waste and Climate Change - ISWA White Paper
- Stolaroff, J. (for the Product Policy Institute). September 2009. Products, Packaging, and U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions. (Report builds on the EPA "Foundation Paper" and adjusts emissions to account for imports and exports. It also splits "provision of food" from "provision of materials" and adds "provision of materials" with "use of appliances and devices" to estimate that "products and packaging" contribute 44% of GHG emissions including emissions embodied in international trade).
- Hubacek, K. 2009. Towards a New Deal in Climate Policy: Consumption-Based Approach for Mitigation of GHG Emissions (Presentation as part of California Air Resources Board's Air Pollution Seminar Series - points out that conventional inventories tell here emissions occur, while consumption-based inventories tell us why emissions occur).
Hertwich and Peters. Carbon Footprint of Nations: A Global, Trade-Linked Analysis
(Estimates the consumption-based "carbon footprint" of nations, including the US).
- EPA State and Local Climate and Energy Program. Solid Waste and Materials Management
- Climate Change - The Next Frontier in Waste Management Policies? November 2007. (Presentation by David Allaway, ODEQ)
- Franklin Associates. 2010. Life Cycle Inventory of 100% of Postconsumer HDPE and PET Recycled Resin from Postconsumer Containers and Packaging.
- West Coast Webinars on Climate Change, Waste Prevention, Recovery and Disposal 1010 (Webinars released December 2009).
- Peters, Minx, Weber, and Edenhofer. Growth in Emission Transfers via International Trade from 1990 to 2008. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research team quantified the growth in emission transfers via international trade, covering 113 countries and 57 economic sectors from 1990 to 2008, and found that the emissions from the production of traded goods and services have increased from 4.3 Gt CO2 in 1990 to 7.8 Gt CO2 in 2008 (26%).
- Journal of Industrial Ecology. Jan/Feb 2010. Special 2010 Issue
All articles and commentaries focus on sustainability and consumption
- Can Sustainable Consumers and Producers Save the Planet? by Munasinghe, M.
- A New Vision of Sustainable Consumption by Krantz, R.
- Sustainable Consumption and Production An Agenda Beyond Sustainable Consumer Procurement by Fedrigo & Hontelez
- How City Dwellers Affect Their Resource Hinterland A Spatial Impact Study of Australian Households (©2010, Yale University)
- User−Producer Interaction in Housing Energy Innovations : Energy Innovation as a Communication Challenge by Heiskanen & Lovio
- Life Cycle Cost Disclosure, Consumer Behavior, and Business Implications : Evidence From an Online Field Experiment by Deutsch, M.
- The Effect of Life Cycle Cost Information on Consumer Investment Decisions Regarding Eco-Innovation by Kaenzig & Wüstenhagen
- Standby Consumption in Households Analyzed With a Practice Theory Approach by Gram-Hanssen, K.
- Buying In: The Secret Dialogue Between What We Buy and Who We Are by Walker, R.
- Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy by Lindstrom, M.
- The New Economics of Sustainable Consumption: Seeds of Change by Gill Seyfang and edited by Elliot, D.
- Consumed: How Markets Corrupt Children, Infantilize Adults, and Swallow Citizens Whole by Barber, B.
- Sustainability by Design: A Subversive Strategy for Transforming Our Consumer Culture by John R. Ehrenfeld
- Cheap: The High Cost of Discount Culture by Ruppel Shell, E.
- Shopping Our Way to Safety: How We Changed From Protecting the Environment to Protecting Ourselves by Szasz, A.
- Prosperity Without Growth: The Transition to a Sustainable Economy by Jackson, T.
- System Innovation for Sustainability 1: Perspectives on Radical Changes to Sustainable Consumption and Production, by Vergragt, P.