Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) - the CO2e footprint of your product

What is a Product Carbon Footprint?

The CO2 footprint for products (PCF) comprises the greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted along the entire value chain of a functional unit - this can be a milk carton, a chocolate bar or a car.
The value chain of a product starts with the extraction of raw materials, followed by production and distribution, up to use and subsequent recovery (recycling).
Relevant for this are all direct and indirect greenhouse gases (3 scopes) of the individual process steps - including intermediate inputs such as gasoline production or milk transport.

For whom is a Product Carbon Footprint relevant?

Responsibility for environmental protection affects all industries. The focus is on companies and products supplied to end consumers (B2C), e.g. food or car manufacturers, as well as the public sector.
The increasing requirements from laws and the clientele are passed on to the companies in the B2B sector along the supply chain: Here, too, there is no getting around the topics of GHG accounting and climate neutrality.

In both sectors, the product carbon footprint is playing an increasingly important role in the awarding of contracts. It can influence the public image, sales figures and thus market shares.

How much greenhouse gas does my product produce? How climate-friendly is my service really? What emissions does my event cause?

All over the world, customers are becoming increasingly interested in environmentally friendly products and services. And their "climate footprint" now also plays a central role in purchasing decisions.
Be a pioneer and determine the product carbon footprint (PCF) for your product along its life cycle. You are acting in the interest of your customers: with a verified carbon2of your products and services, you increase confidence in your performance.

The PCF is used to record GHG emissions. Depending on the standard, various balance limits can be applied to the product life cycle. The following are to be taken into consideration:

  • Raw materials and prefabrication
  • Transport routes
  • Production
  • Distribution and sales
  • Use phase
  • Recycling, recovery and disposal

You can find more information on our information website klimaneutralitä

What are the benefits of the Product Carbon Footprint?

A carbon footprint serves as a management tool for the implementation of GHG and cost reduction plans. In addition, a clear climate strategy to mitigate global warming can be developed based on the Product Carbon Footprint.

A detailed review of the completeness and methodology used to obtain the data will provide you with a robust basis for identifying the actual GHG sources of your product.

External verification of the GHG footprint secures reporting, improves reputation and serves as proof of the credibility of your carbon neutrality.

Use your accredited certificate according to ISO 14067 or GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard as a confidence-building measure for your PR and marketing purposes.

Why you should tackle the Product Carbon Footprint with GUTcert

In our DAkkS-accredited certification system includes all worldwide valid accreditation rules. This guarantees the international recognition of your certification. In addition, you benefit from the following advantages:

In a GUTcert audit, you receive valuable input beyond the mere confirmation of conformity, because our auditors have great expertise in their field and extensive knowledge of the industry.

Do you operate globally? So do we: in association with our parent company, the AFNOR Group, we can carry out major international projects on a centralised basis with over 1,800 auditors worldwide.

What are the prerequisites and requirements for the Product Carbon Footprint?

External verification by an independent body increases the credibility of GHG balances. The overriding requirement is that the verification is complete, independent and without conflicts of interest, i.e. that the verifier has not been involved in any way in the preparation of your GHG balance.

Accredited certification bodies are regularly controlled by the accreditation bodies of the European states, in Germany this is the Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS). Non-accredited certificates should be questioned very critically!

How much does it cost to verify the Product Carbon Footprint?

We calculate the cost of verifying your PCF individually, depending on the complexity of the product, the data acquisition effort and the product portfolio. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

If you want to balance the greenhouse gases of your product or service, you basically have the choice between two established standards:

Own greenhouse gas programs and individual standards:

If you have developed your own calculation methodology for your GHG accounting, which is explained in a transparent and comprehensible way, this can also be used as a reference standard for certification.

We are happy to combine our verification of your GHG balance with existing management systems (e.g. ISO 14001 or ISO 50001) or existing legal reporting requirements (e.g. emissions trading or GRI standard).
Our auditors have multiple qualifications and can often audit several standards at the same time. Take advantage of the synergies.

Your data and calculations as well as your measures are checked by an independent body - on the basis of your documents and on site. If identified deficiencies are demonstrably remedied, you will receive a certificate of your climate neutrality.

Selection of the verification body

  • All accredited verification bodies are listed on the website of the Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH (DAkkS).
  • Industry knowledge and experience should be sought directly from the verification body.
  • The verifier requires information on the scope and complexity of the GHG inventory for the bid, for example:
    • Number of sites
    • Description of activities
    • Description of GHG sources
    • Overview of emissions from Scope 1-3

Preparation for verification

  • The test programme (procedure, dates, required documents) is jointly agreed.
  • The verification body carries out a strategy and risk analysis regarding the methodology and framework of your GHG balance
  • You will then receive the audit plan as an agenda for the verification.

Carrying out the verification

  • The auditors require insight into the calculation methodology of your GHG balance sheet, including
    • organizational & operational reporting boundaries
    • Recorded greenhouse gas emissions from Scope 1-3
    • Emission factors
    • Reference values
    • Uncertainties
  • The data supplied is subjected to a check.
  • An on-site inspection of the facilities will take place at the selected sites.
  • The verifier's auditors then summarise their findings.

Result of the verification

  • You will receive a test report with a summary of the findings, notes and recommendations for verification.
  • In addition, the verifier will issue you with a final verification certificate.
  • Depending on the verification body, you will receive additional verification marks for your communication (internal and external) - these can be placed, for example, on vehicles, product packaging, documents, advertising material (roll-ups, banners) or your website in order to make your commitment to climate protection directly visible to employees, customers and stakeholders.

Frequently asked questions Read our FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions about the Carbon Footprint.

Read our FAQ for answers to frequently asked questions about the Carbon Footprint.