Today, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) launched the Carbon Transparency Pathfinder—a new initiative dedicated to enabling widescale exchange of primary, carbon emissions data. WBCSD invites businesses, standard setting bodies and other decarbonization experts to join a growing business network working to develop a unique, ambitious model to decarbonize industry through data transparency, as set out in the Pathfinder’s Mission paper. To reach net zero emissions before 2050, we need all business to measure, account for and disclose carbon emissions as a first step to reducing them. We cannot solve what we cannot measure. As businesses globally face rising pressure to reduce their carbon footprint, understanding and tracking end-to-end emissions and taking action to decarbonize is becoming the license to operate. But measuring carbon and other greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across product value chains today is almost impossible.

While more and more companies are making strong commitments to calculate and lower their emissions, many are held back by three critical challenges:

  • A lack of consistent methodology to calculate and allocate GHG emissions
  • A lack of accurate and granular product-specific data on GHG emissions
  • Complex value chains with only limited inter-organizational emissions data exchange.

To address these challenges and accelerate sustained climate action, the Carbon Transparency Pathfinder presents a new cross-value chain initiative to define and accelerate credible, verified primary emission data exchange.

With many businesses doubling down on credible decarbonization solutions toward COP26 and beyond, the Pathfinder will support their climate action with a comprehensive methodology and technical infrastructure for sharing granular, consistent and verified product-level data on primary emissions across value chains.

The Pathfinder methodology will build on and improve existing emissions reporting standards to increase consistency, granularity and integration of emissions data, which is key to scaling carbon transparency at the scale we need to meet the Paris Agreement goals.

Building a unique, technical infrastructure, the Pathfinder will set standards for inoperability between company and industry-level solutions, enabling all businesses to advance wide-scale, consistent and safe exchange of emissions data towards achieving net zero.

Having started with the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, WBCSD will work to scale the Pathfinder into new connected and independent sectors, building a cross-sector ecosystem committed to carbon transparency.

“Carbon transparency can only be achieved by broad collaboration between a diverse range of experts from business, science and technology. The Carbon Transparency Pathfinder is creating a broad ecosystem committed to defining a model for all business to exchange carbon data and accelerate our shift to a sustainable, carbon neutral economy“– John Revess, Senior Director, Net Zero Transformation at WBCSD.

“Dow is highly committed to collaborating across the value chain to drive transparency and consistency of product carbon footprint reporting. We’re supportive of efforts such as the Carbon Transparency Pathfinder to address a systematic approach to data collection and calculation methodologies based on broad stakeholder consensus. Consolidated and consistent external reporting standards will allow for comparable and decision-useful data for investors, customers and other stakeholders; and it will facilitate data exchanges that support decarbonizing the value chain. – Mary Draves, Chief Sustainability Officer and Vice President of Environment, Health and Safety at Dow.

“For businesses, accurate measurement and transparent reporting of their GHG footprint should be integrated into business strategies. At Unilever, we’ve committed to communicate the carbon footprint of each of our 70,000 products. To be able to provide our customers with this new level of transparency, establishing an agreed industry methodology is critical. We’re excited to be part of the Carbon Transparency Pathfinder to bring the consistency and scale needed to decarbonize industries for a net zero future”— Marc Engel, Chief Supply Chain Officer at Unilever.

“Sustainability and digitalization are core elements of our corporate strategy. By calculating our carbon footprint, we bring both together to provide transparency for our customers on BASF product emissions. The Carbon Transparency Pathfinder’s mission to bring carbon transparency across value chains will help enable us to work with customers to reduce carbon emissions along the value chain up to the final consumer product” — Dr. Christoph Jaekel, Head of Corporate Sustainability at BASF SE.

“WBCSD’s Carbon Transparency Pathfinder mission to increase clarity of GHG emissions across value chains is a significant effort supporting comprehensive carbon reductions. Access to reliable, verifiable carbon footprinted data is important for broad market based progress toward meeting the Paris Agreement goals” — Bruce Niemeyer, Vice President of Strategy & Sustainability at Chevron.

“We recognize that we cannot solve what cannot be measured and tracked. This is why we are actively engaging in the Carbon Transparency Pathfinder to collectively develop a transparent solution to share primary data along sectoral value chains and ultimately decarbonize industries at scale. There is an urgent need for an ecosystem of committed companies and stakeholders to tackle this planetary issue and we are excited to contribute to this global transformation” — Joanna Fowler, Global IT Sustainability Manager at Nestlé.

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