A universal method to calculate the carbon footprint of the logistics supply chain was released today by theGlobal Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC), a group of companies, industry associations and programs, and backed by leading experts and other stakeholders.

“For the first time, emissions can be calculated consistently at a global level covering road, rail, inland waterways, sea, air and transhipment centers,” said Sophie Punte, Executive Director of Smart Freight Centre (SFC), a global non-profit organization that leads the GLEC.

Freight and logistics generate around 6 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Companies are increasingly being asked to report and systematically reduce emissions, giving companies with a smaller carbon footprint a competitive advantage. Until now, comparing emissions across different modes of transport could be like comparing apples to oranges because so many methodologies exist.

The GLEC Framework for Logistics Emissions Methodologies combines existing methods into one framework and fills the gaps. It also carries the World Resources Institute ‘Built on GHG Protocol’ mark, making it compatible with global carbon accounting standards. “This has been a major international collaborative effort, and a milestone for shippers, carriers and logistics service providers who have been have been waiting for a harmonized cross-modal calculation method,” said Alan Lewis, SFC’s GLEC Director.



Leading multinationals including DB Schenker, Deutsche Post DHL Group, HP, Intel and Kuehne+Nagel have already committed to adopting the GLEC Framework.

“GLEC’s new emissions framework will help HP calculate our GHG footprint consistently across our global supply chain while improving reporting processes and business decisions,” said Mike Passon, Sr. Director for HP Global Logistics Procurement & Partner Management. “HP is excited to partner with our carriers and other shippers to implement the GLEC Framework globally.”

“Global standards and collaboration within our supply chain are key to reducing our environmental footprint and meeting the demands of our customers.” commented Roger Libby, Head of Corporate Public Policy at Deutsche Post DHL Group in Washington, DC. “We see the GLEC Framework as an essential tool in our own progress toward improving the carbon efficiency of our network by 30% by 2020, as compared to 2007.”

“The GLEC Framework will enable our customers to calculate carbon emissions across all modes of transportation and provide insights on how to reduce those emissions,” said John Lovenburg, BNSF Railway Environmental Vice President.

GLEC will now focus on encouraging widespread adoption by businesses of the framework, and embedding it in green freight programs, carbon-footprint calculation tools, and other standards. Work will also continue to fill remaining gaps and expand the framework with Black Carbon and air pollutants.

Green freight programs, such as US SmartWay, BSR’s Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG), Green Freight Asia, Lean & Green and other national programs play an important role going forward.

“The GLEC Framework is a leap of progress in standardizing emission methodologies along transport chains. Its development through such a collaborative process is also a great success – something we can build on to drive emissions reductions and resilience across transport systems worldwide.” says Angie Farrag-Thibault, Director Transport & Logistics, BSR and Project Director of BSR’s Clean Cargo Working Group (CCWG).

“Lean & Green Award members developing reduction plans follow the GLEC Framework to make data more comparable,” said Nico Anten, Managing Director of Connekt and coordinator of Lean & Green, a European community with over 450 companies as members.

The GLEC Framework for Logistics Emissions Methodologies 1.0 is available here. Promotion events to raise awareness of the GLEC Framework will also be held in Singapore on 7 September and in Brussels on 15 November 2016. 

About GLEC

Led by SFC, the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) was established in 2014 as a partnership between over 40 leading businesses, associations and industry initiatives involved in freight movement, and is backed by experts and other institutes. GLEC provides a common, global platform for industry and stakeholders to create and implement a universal and transparent way of calculating logistics emissions. Companies can use the GLEC Framework to report emissions, compare and select more fuel efficient modes and carriers and identify ways to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

GLEC invites companies to demonstrate a commitment to a more competitive and environmentally sustainable freight sector by implementing the GLEC Framework. The GLEC Framework is also included as an action in the Global Green Freight Action Plan of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).

Download GLEC Framework for Logistics Emissions Methodologies