Today, the Carbon Transparency Partnership of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched the “Pathfinder Framework”, a guidance for the calculation and exchange of product-level carbon emissions data across value chains. This guidance represents a first major milestone for the Partnership, which was founded earlier this year as a forum for stakeholders to jointly drive emissions transparency with the objective of increasing emissions accountability and ultimately accelerating decarbonization.
Accounting for and tracking GHG emissions, both within companies and their supply chains, is a key enabler for such decarbonization. However, those aiming to tackle supply chain emissions in particular face a common challenge: access to sufficiently granular, accurate, and verified primary data. Existing standards and methods leave significant room for interpretation and result in data inconsistency, impeding quality product life cycle emissions accounting. In addition, cross-organizational data sharing is limited by complex value chains, data collection challenges, and a lack of interoperability between IT solutions.
The Pathfinder Framework addresses the accounting part of this challenge, providing guidelines for the consistent calculation and exchange of product carbon emissions. It leverages existing standards and methods while prioritizing the use of primary data. The Framework was developed jointly by 35+ stakeholders from industry and the broader decarbonization ecosystem, harnessing WBCSD’s role as co-convenor of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
Focusing on data access, leading technology companies in this space iPoint-systems and Circular Tree (Member of iPoint Group), as well as IBM, Microsoft, and SAP have further come together within the Partnership to collaborate on the development of a network infrastructure enabling cross-organizational data exchange. Supported by the tech-for-good organization SINE Foundation, this group of visionary stakeholders has the common objective of enabling businesses to share their GHG emissions data in a verified and confidential manner across industries and value chains.
Their collaboration is underpinned by a commitment to jointly design and create an open and interoperable network (the Pathfinder Network) for all businesses and industry-focused data exchange platforms. The Partnership was founded on the premise that data transparency is a challenge that cannot be addressed by individual actors, but rather requires collaboration across the entire ecosystem. These first outcomes are a testament to this belief and constitute important milestones on a system-transforming journey.
Joerg Walden, CEO and founder of iPoint-systems, is happy about this development: “It has been clear from the beginning that making good decisions, from product design and manufacturing to the use phase and beyond, hinges on greatest possible climate impact transparency. This has been iPoint’s mission for a long time, and therefore, we are glad to be part of WBCSD as an innovation member. The published framework shows that the Value Chain Carbon Transparency Pathfinder project means business in its endeavor to advance the transparent and safe exchange of carbon emissions data, all with a great spirit of partnership and collaboration for a common goal.”
Gunther Walden, co-founder and CEO of CircularTree adds: “As the innovation hub within the iPoint group, we gladly embraced the opportunity to provide our expertise for this partnership and its now released framework which will significantly drive decarbonization in the industry. Data transparency based on technologies like AI, IoT, blockchain, and big data analytics plays a pivotal role in creating a safe, transparent, and welcoming ecosystem for all industry players willing to deliver on their sustainability promises.”
You can access the Pathfinder Framework here.
Learn more about WBCSD's Value Chain Carbon Transparency Pathfinder here.