What is ISO 14067? | Carbon 101

Understand ISO 14067 and its significance for measuring product carbon footprints. Enhance sustainability and regulatory compliance with this guide.
Updated on
July 5, 2024
What is ISO 14067? | Carbon 101
Table of Contents

Understanding the carbon footprint of products has never been more critical. In countries across the globe, it's a reporting requirement; for others, it's a baseline metric to understand emissions. For companies embracing sustainable practices, ISO 14067 offers a comprehensive framework for quantifying and communicating their CFPs.

But what exactly is ISO 14067, and how can it benefit your company? Let's explore the intricacies of this International Standard and its significance for sustainability efforts.

What is ISO 14067?

ISO 14067 – Greenhouse Gases – Carbon Footprint of Products is an International Standard that outlines principles, requirements, and guidelines for quantifying and communicating the carbon footprint of products (CFPs), including goods and services, based on their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals throughout their life cycle. It also provides guidelines for partial CFPs. The communication of CFPs must be accurate, relevant, and fair, ensuring transparency and accountability.

Carbon Footprint of Products (CFPs)

A carbon footprint of products (CFP) represents the total amount of GHG emissions and removals associated with a product throughout its life cycle, from raw material acquisition to production, distribution, use, and end-of-life disposal. Understanding and quantifying CFPs is crucial for companies striving to minimize their environmental impact and make informed decisions about sustainability.

When an organization decides to make a CFP communication publicly available, there are two options to conform with this International Standard. CFP communication intended to be available to the public shall:

Independent Third-Party Verification

This involves an external, impartial review of the CFP study to confirm its accuracy and compliance with ISO 14067. Organizations like SGS can audit and verify ISO 14067 products.

CFP Disclosure Report

If third-party verification is not pursued, companies must prepare a comprehensive CFP disclosure report that accurately represents the CFP study's findings without bias. It is crucial to ensure the report is complete and accurately communicated to the intended audience. This communication must not imply third-party verification if it has not been verified.

CFP Study Report

When a CFP claim, CFP label, or CFP declaration is intended to be available to the public, CFP-PCR shall be used. If relevant CFP-PCR exists, they shall be adopted. If no relevant CFP-PCR exists, CFP-PCR shall be established based on the ISO guidelines provided.

Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) phases for ISO 14067

ISO 14067 requires a comprehensive Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) to quantify the CFPs accurately. An LCA involves four key phases:

  1. Goal and Scope Definition: This phase establishes the study's objectives and boundaries, including the product system, functional unit, and specific GHGs to be assessed.
  2. Life Cycle Inventory (LCI): In this phase, data is collected on all relevant inputs (e.g., energy, materials) and outputs (e.g., emissions, waste) associated with the product system throughout its life cycle.
  3. Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA): This phase evaluates the potential environmental impacts of the product system based on the LCI data, focusing on GHG emissions and removals.
  4. Life Cycle Interpretation: The final phase involves analyzing the LCI and LCIA results to draw conclusions, identify areas for improvement, and communicate the findings.

How do you get an ISO 14067 verification?

Obtaining ISO 14067 verification involves a rigorous process to ensure that the CFP quantification and communication comply with the standard's requirements. Companies have two options for public CFP communication:

  1. Independent Third-Party Verification: This involves an external, impartial review of the CFP study to confirm its accuracy and compliance with ISO 14067. Organizations such as SGS can audit and verify ISO 14067 products.
  2. CFP Disclosure Report: If third-party verification is not pursued, companies must prepare a comprehensive CFP disclosure report that accurately represents the CFP study's findings without bias.

It is essential to note that carbon offsetting is not allowed in quantifying CFPs or partial CFPs, as it falls outside the scope of this standard.

Benefits of ISO 14067 for your company

Adopting ISO 14067 can offer several significant benefits for your company:

  • Enhanced Trust: Adhering to an internationally recognized standard like ISO 14067 demonstrates your commitment to sustainability and transparency, fostering stakeholder trust.
  • Improved Environmental Performance: By identifying and quantifying GHG emissions throughout the product life cycle, companies can pinpoint areas for improvement and implement strategies to reduce their environmental impact.
  • Competitive Advantage: With growing consumer awareness and demand for sustainable products, having ISO 14067 certification can differentiate your company from competitors and attract environmentally conscious customers.
  • Regulatory Compliance: As governments worldwide implement stricter environmental regulations, ISO 14067 provides a robust framework to ensure your company's compliance and avoid potential penalties.
  • Cost Savings: Identifying inefficiencies in your product life cycle can lead to cost-saving opportunities by optimizing resource use and reducing waste.

About the International Standards Organization (ISO)

The International Standards Organization (ISO) is an independent, non-governmental international organization that develops and publishes standards to ensure quality, safety, efficiency, and interoperability across various industries. Established in 1947, ISO has been instrumental in fostering global trade and innovation through standardization. ISO 14067 is one of the many standards developed by ISO to address environmental sustainability and help companies reduce their GHG emissions.

Summary

ISO 14067 serves as a vital tool for companies committed to understanding and reducing their carbon footprints. By adhering to this International Standard, your company can enhance its credibility, improve environmental performance, gain a competitive edge, ensure regulatory compliance, and achieve cost savings. The sustainability journey is complex, but ISO 14067 offers a clear, structured path to quantifying and communicating the carbon footprint of your products.

If your company is ready to take the next step towards sustainability, consider exploring how Arbor can help you navigate this process. Talk to sales today to learn more about our carbon accounting solutions and how we can support your journey to a greener future.

FAQ about ISO 14067:

What is the ISO standard for carbon accounting?

ISO 14067 is the international standard that specifies principles and requirements for quantifying and reporting the carbon footprint of products. It provides a comprehensive methodology to assess the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions throughout a product's lifecycle, from raw material extraction to disposal.

What is the ISO standard for GHG?

The ISO 14064 series is the standard for greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting and verification. It includes guidelines for quantifying, monitoring, reporting, and validating GHG emissions. ISO 14064-1 focuses on organizational-level GHG emissions, while ISO 14064-2 and ISO 14064-3 deal with project-level GHG emissions and verification, respectively​.

Is ISO 14067 verification necessary?

While ISO 14067 verification is not mandatory, it is beneficial for ensuring the accuracy and credibility of a product's carbon footprint data. Verification by an independent third party can enhance the transparency and reliability of the carbon footprint assessment, providing stakeholders with confidence in the data reported.

What is the difference between ISO 14064 and 14067?

ISO 14064 focuses on the broader aspects of GHG emissions, including organizational and project-level emissions. In contrast, ISO 14067 specifically addresses the carbon footprint of products, providing detailed guidelines on quantifying and reporting emissions throughout a product's lifecycle.

What is the difference between ISO 14064 and other ISO certifications?

ISO 14064 is distinct from other ISO certifications as it is dedicated to GHG emissions. Other ISO certifications, such as ISO 9001 (quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management), focus on different aspects of organizational performance. ISO 14064 integrates with these systems but specifically targets GHG accounting and verification.

What is the difference between ISO 14067 and GHG protocol?

ISO 14067 and the GHG Protocol both provide frameworks for calculating and reporting GHG emissions. However, ISO 14067 is specifically tailored to the carbon footprint of products, whereas the GHG Protocol offers broader guidelines for corporate GHG accounting and reporting. The GHG Protocol is widely used globally, while ISO 14067 provides more detailed product-level assessment​.

How can you calculate the carbon footprint of your product?

Calculating the carbon footprint of a product involves assessing GHG emissions across its entire lifecycle. This includes emissions from raw material extraction, manufacturing, transportation, usage, and disposal. ISO 14067 provides detailed guidelines for this process, ensuring that all relevant emissions are accounted for and reported accurately​.

What ISO is a carbon footprint?

ISO 14067 is the standard that specifically addresses the carbon footprint of products. It provides a framework for calculating, reporting, and verifying the GHG emissions associated with a product's lifecycle.

What is the main purpose of the ISO 14067 standard?

ISO 14067's main purpose is to provide a standardized methodology for quantifying products' carbon footprints. This helps organizations identify emissions hotspots, improve environmental performance, and communicate their sustainability efforts more transparently​​.

What is the ISO standard for sustainable procurement?

ISO 20400 is the international standard for sustainable procurement. It provides guidance on integrating sustainability into procurement processes, ensuring that organizations consider environmental, social, and economic impacts when making purchasing decisions​.

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What is ISO 14067? | Carbon 101