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China Consults on Uniform Standard on Quantification of Product Carbon Footprints

The standard shall serve as a uniform reference for industries to quantify carbon footprints of products.

Chinese consultants are developing a national standard for quantifying greenhouse gas product carbon footprints. The National Environmental Management Standardisation Technical Committee and National Carbon Emission Management Standardisation Technical Committee released the draft on November 2, 2023. January 6, 2024 is the deadline for public comments.

The introduction of the proposed standard came at a time when there is an absence of a consistent benchmark for industries to quantify carbon emission data in China. In order to fulfill the ambition of establishing a standardized calculation system for carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, companies need a uniform reference in their carbon emission disclosure.

The main technical contents of the standard include:

  • Scope: This standard adopts a method consistent with the life cycle assessment (LCA) standard (GB/T24040 and GB/T24044) and stipulates the principles, requirements and guidelines for the quantification and reporting of carbon footprint of a product(CFP) and partial carbon footprint of a product (PCFP). It only targets one impact category, namely climate change, without evaluating other potential environmental impacts or possible social-economic impacts arising from the product life cycle.
  • Application: Possible applications of this standard include providing information for product research and development, technology improvement, CFP performance tracking and communication.
  • Principle: The standard stipulates the basic requirements for CFP study. It mainly includes an overview of principles of CFP study, perspective on life cycle, relative methods and functional or declared units, iterative methods, priority of scientific methods, relevance, completeness, consistency, coherence, accuracy, transparency and avoidance of redundant calculation.
  • Quantification method of CFP and PCFP: The standard stipulates the application of carbon footprint of a product- product category rules (CFP-PCR), purpose and scope definition, life cycle inventory analysis (LCI), Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) and life cycle interpretation.
  • CFP study report: It mainly includes basic information of the report, the purpose and scope of quantification, inventory analysis, impact evaluation, result interpretation, and etc.

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