The CFP, or climatic footprint of a product, is the quantification of Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions during the whole life cycle of a product. According to the LCA methodology, the evaluation encompasses emissions due to all the involved processes, from the extraction and transformation of the raw materials to production, transportation, use of the product and end of life product disposal.
Through a CFP it is possible to understand which ones of the mentioned phases are the most GHG emissions intensive, allowing for the implementation of effective reduction interventions.
CFP is easy to integrate in case of organisations already performing CFO.
Daniele Pernigotti presents a sound experience in this field: he was Chair of the international ISO working group that developed the specific standard on CFP, namely ISO 14067, and he performed several and various activities aimed to spread and promote CFP all over the world.
Once CFP is verified by an accredited third-party, it is also possible to register the CFP in the national program Operator Carbon Footprint Italy.
The ISO 14064-1 standard outlines the requirements for the realization of the Organisation Greenhouse Gases (GHG) emissions Inventories, that include both direct and indirect emissions.
The new version of the standard, released in 2018, introduces in fact the obligation of reporting all indirect emissions, thus becoming a proper CFO.
The development of a CFO is also a crucial tool for organisaitons that need to provide a non-financial reporting, or to subscribe specific mitigation targets in the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi) programme.
The adoption of the ISO 24064-1 can be an interesting opportunity also for organisations that fall under the EU ETS scheme, in order to easily extend the scope of their inventory to indirect emissions.
Aequilibria’s expertise in the development of GHG inventories is proved by the direct participation of Daniele Pernigotti to the ISO working group responsible of developing the ISO 14064 standard
as Italian delegate, and by his leading role as Chair of the UNI Working Group on GHG.
Once CFP is verified by an accredited third-party, it is also possible to register the CFP in the national Programme Operator Carbon Footprint Italy.
The European Union Emission Trading System (EU ETS) concerns around 11’000 organizations responsible of over 45% of the total Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in Europe.
The ETS Directive establishes the duty of monitoring, communicating and reporting, on a yearly basis, the yearly CO2e allowances, representing the first international “cap and trade” market of GHG emissions allowances.
The beginning of the ETS phase IV stabilized the financial value of the CO2 allowances to significant values, introducing interesting financial opportunities for potential GHG emissions mitigation investments.
In this field, important synergies can be identified for organizations willing to perform a CFO.
Aequilibria’s staff developed a high-level expertise in this field, as a result of many years of experience as technical support to the National Competent Authority and to Accredia for the ETS.
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions offset, or carbon offset, refers to the possibility to purchase credits generated through specific CO2 reduction projects, in order to voluntarily offset one’s own GHG emissions.
More and more organizations are now committing to carbon neutrality policies, in which mitigation strategies and the offset of the residual emissions have to be combined.
It has to be highlighted that a special focus has to be devoted to the reliability of the selected projects, by clarifying the programs regulations and quality standards.
In addition to gaining a sound experience on the carbon management tools (CFP, CFO and ETS), Aequilibria also supports organizations for the identification of the credits that best fit their needs, as the ones proposed in the EcoRegistry platform, that implements the blockchain technology to guarantee traceability and univocality of the carbon credits.
The publication of carbon neutrality policies is becoming an urgent need for European organizations, especially considering the UE “net zero emissions” target by 2050, detailed in the European Green Deal.
On the other hand, the adoption of commitments developed without a full understanding of the complex contest in which they act can lead, also unintentionally, organizations to “carbonwashing”.
According to this, in the ISO field a specific standard on carbon neutrality, namely the future ISO 14068, is now under development.
Aequilibria is actively involved in the development of this standard, as Italian representative in the specific working group.
The transition of an Organizations towards carbon neutrality by 2050 requires a proper strategy articulated on different levels. First of all, a comprehensive and solid analysis of the initial situation has to be performed. Then, consistent reduction targets have to be adopted, in order to make sure the level of ambition fulfills the European Green Deal requirements and the realistic possibilities of action of the Organizations. Lastly, reliable GHG programs have to be selected for the implementation and monitoring of the commitments and targets.
Because of the important strategic implications it has for the organizations, it is important to make sure the mentioned actions are solid and based on a wide vision and on a consolidated international experience.
Science Based Targets Initiatives (SBTi) is an international program that represents the most solid approach for organizations willing to determine their mitigation targets in accordance with the Paris Agreement requirements. SBTi is, in fact, based on the evaluation of the actions needed to reduce GHG emissions at global level, facilitating the definition of the objectives at sector level and, consequently, at single organizations level. It thus provides solid basis for the definition of long-term strategies aiming to mitigate the climatic impact of organizations, in order to facilitate the transition towards a low-carbon economy.
Nowadays, a growing attention in regards of sustainability can be noticed on the market. Because of this, organizations have to deal with the complex responsibility of identifying the pathway that best fits their needs.
These choices play a crucial role in terms of internal strategy, because of the important resources to be invested and, on top of this, of the future effectiveness of the measures implemented.
A complete and comprehensive overview of the global framework, allowing for the identification of the most appropriate pathway tailored for each specific Organizations’s requirements, is needed. This can only be achieved through a deep knowledge of the international standards framework, of the existing programs, and of the different procedures for third-party conformity evaluation and accreditation at the global level.
In the voluntary market, a proper communication of an Organizations’s activities sustainability is becoming more and more crucial. In order to create the desired trust between producers and consumers, the communication needs to be effective and credible; the messages sent have to be supported by solid information and to be properly transmitted.
These requirements are delicate and complex, and they often require an external support. This support can be ensured by experts who developed a sound expertise with the tools already existing and with the ones under development in the international context, in order to support and properly transmit the communication actions.
The international standard ISO 14001 is a tool allowing for an easier and more efficient management of environmental aspects, in both the private and in the public sector.
The ISO 14001 is focused on the optimization of the organizations internal and operational issues, as for example waste, energy and emissions management. In this sense, it contributes guaranteeing a financial return and the improvement of environmental performances. The 2015 version of this standard allows for an easier integration of the quality management system ISO 9001; this was made possible thanks to the common structure and text, that were ensured after the introduction of the HLS (High Level Structure).
Aequilibria developed a sound experience in different sectors, geographical areas and types of organizations. Thanks to these experiences, it is able to provide comprehensive consultancy services, to propose customized solutions for the management of operational and organizational aspects and to combine the economic return with the improvement of environmental performances.
From January 1st, 2017, the “Non-Financial Reporting” is mandatory for large organizations and public authorities*.
The Sustainability Report is a perfect tool to fulfill this duty, also able to take advantage of the opportunities arising from the increasing importance of the voluntary market towards these topics.
*these include, for example, joint stock companies quoted in the stoke exchange, banks, insurances.
UNEP described the importance of directing development towards sustainability through the 17 Sustainable Goals.
In order to initiate this pathway, it is crucial to properly identify the possible SDG to be addressed, the actions to be undertaken and the indicators to be selected to objectively monitor the progresses over time.
In the last few years, the Environmental Minimum Criteria (EMC) assumed a crucial role in public tenders for the supply of products and services related to green contracts (Appalti Verdi) or Green Public Procurement (GPP) in Italy.
The EMC are related to specific product categories and are described in specific decrees issued by the Italian Ministry of the Environment.
In Italy, the “Collegato ambientale” and the new “Codice degli appalti” enforce in a binding way the adoption of the Environmental Minimum Criteria for 100% of the purchases through public contracts of some specific categories of products/services. This highly emphasizes environmental topics, opening to new “horizons” for environmental certifications. Owning specific environmental certification became thus crucial in order to be competitive on the market.
SERVICES FOR PUBLIC BODIES
Aequilibria provides training courses on GPP, Environmental Minimum Criteria and related environmental certifications. In addition, it also provides support for the introduction of Environmental Minimum Criteria in the technical specifications of the tenders and to the awarding Committees during the evaluation phases.
SERVICES FOR BUSINESSES
Aequilibria provides companies with specific training courses about Environmental Minimum Criteria, as well as support to identify and obtain the certifications that might be requested by the contracting authorities to fulfill the EMC (e.g. ISO 14021, Ecolabel, EPD, CFP, etc.).
The Self-declarations in accordance with the ISO 14021 standard represent a more and more widespread communication tool. This is also due to the fact that they directly recall the Minimum Environmental Criteria in the context of the Green Public Procurement, also known as GPP.
This communication strategy can be adopted either by producing a self-declaration, directly released by the organization, or by requesting a certification from an independent third-party.
However, the development of a communication strategy in compliance with the ISO 14021 standard is quite complex, and it requires a deep knowledge of the specific requirements of the standard.
Ecolabel is a European Union Regulation focused on the environmental performances of a product (either a good or a service). It identifies, through specific protocols, the minimum requirements that organizations have to fulfill to be allowed to use the label, represented by a 12 stars daisy.
The institution of this system demonstrates the EU’s intention to limit the proliferation of labels, that are spreading at countries but also at regional or at local level. The advantage of Ecolabel is that it introduces a unique label that is recognized anywhere in Europe, thus potentially addressing 500 million of customers.
In Italy, one of the sectors in which the Ecolabel is mostly developed is tourism. In fact, Italian tourism-related services welcome everyday people from many different geographical areas, for example from the central-eastern Europe, that are more and more sensitive towards environmental safeguard.
Aequilibria has always been active in this context, having supported one of the first Italian hotels in the achievement of the 12 stars daisy.
The Environmental Product Declaration, also known as EPD, is a process that leads to the elaboration of a document containing information about the environmental impacts of a product, structured in accordance with the ISO standard 14025.
The realization of an EPD occurs in two separate phases. During the first one, a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) study is performed, according to specific rules defined for each product category, that are detailed in specific documents called PCR (Product Category Rules).
The fact that the same guidelines for the development of the LCA within a specific category are adopted all over the world allows for an easier comparison of the obtained results.
The information gathered through the LCA study are successively described in a report aimed at external communication, called Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). This document represents a sort of technical data sheet, in which all the product environmental impacts and characteristics are highlighted.
Thanks to this tool, an organization can communicate information about the environmental performances of a product in a transparent and reliable way, supporting the choice to address the business strategy towards a sustainable economy.
Aequilibria’s expertise in this sense is proved by the development of various specific Product Category Rules and Environmental Product Declaration. In addition, Daniele Pernigotti was directly involved in the internalization phase of the EPD scheme, and also supported ACCREDIA, the National Accreditation Body, during the development of rules to be followed during the certification process.
LCA is the abbreviation known all over the world to refer to Life Cycle Assessment. This methodology is able to identify and quantify the environmental impact of a product during its whole life cycle or, as it is usually defined, from the cradle (namely the raw material extraction) to the grave (final disposal of the product).
In this way it is possible to identify which ones are the most critical phases in detail, allowing organizations to select planning strategies or specific interventions able to reduce the impacts over time. Usually, the achievement of real benefits is due to a reduction of wastes, or to an increased efficiency. This is also presents, usually, important economic consequences.
Performing LCA means to achieve a deeper knowledge of each own’s products, not only from an environmental perspective, but also from other ones as, for example, the energy one.
Once the LCA study is completed, the effect that single process choices can have on the whole life cycle of the product are clear and easier to identify.
In addition, the Life Cycle Assessment is based on a detailed evaluation of the current situation, that can act as a starting point for the development of other tools for the environmental impacts analysis such as the Environmental Product declaration (EPD) and the Carbon Footprint of Product (CFP).
The implementation of LCA studies also involves a higher reliability and credibility of the organizations, that have to find their place in markets more and more demanding and selective.
Massive amounts of water are used every day for drinking, cooking, washing. Anyway, water consumption is devoted to a higher extent to produce food, paper, cotton based clothes and many other consumer goods.
Water scarcity problems are often closely related to the global economy structure.
Many countries significantly externalized their water footprint, by importing from other areas goods that require impressive amounts of water during the production phase. This exerts considerable pressure on the water resources of the exporting countries, where often few mechanisms for a proper water management and conservation are ensured.