Pilot Phases

Pilot phases

The pilot focused on the quantification and verification of product carbon footprints, while a literature review was conducted on the issues of certification and communication.


Each participating company started by collecting all the data necessary to the calculation of the carbon footprint of one or more of its products. Subsequently, with help from a specialized consultant, they calculated the carbon footprint of the product in accordance with the requirements of a recognized calculation standard (GHG Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard) and the sector specific requirements of a PCR.


The companies then submitted their quantification reports to a critical review. This step, performed by an independent LCA analyst, was aimed to assess the compliance of calculations with the methodology (GHG Protocol and PCR). During the process, sources of discrepancies were identified and appropriate adjustments were made when necessary. Next, five of the twelve companies submitted their reports to a second verification step which included an on-site audit and aimed primarily to verify the accuracy of the data used to calculate the carbon footprint and ultimately the accuracy of the final result. As in the critical review if the audit revealed errors, appropriate corrections were made.

Methodological tests

The last phase of the pilot project was to assess the level of reproducibility and comparability of carbon footprint calculations by conducting different methodological tests. Essentially, the carbon footprints of certain products from the pilot project were recalculated by a second quantifier using the same methodology. The second assessment was then verified by an independent reviewer. The differences between the two evaluations were then analyzed. This exercise explored the precision and level of prescription of existing methodologies and assessed the impact the analyst’s choices and assumptions can have on results. These tests represented an exploratory exercise that had, to date, never been done elsewhere in the world.