Understanding GLEC and ISO-14083 and the benefits to your business

Olivia Hegarty

Cutting through the jargon and why you should be reporting carbon emissions to a global standard.

The European Environment Agency predicts by 2050 that logistics will account for up to 40% of global carbon dioxide emissions unless effective measures are taken. As organisational and governing pressures increase, the emissions produced by the logistics industry are being put under the spotlight to make a change.

The complexity of decarbonising this industry is a mammoth task, which is why the GLEC (Global Logistics Emissions Council) Framework and ISO-14083 have been created, as a tool to guide the freight industry onto a more sustainable path.

GLEC and ISO-14083 were developed to measure emissions within the logistics industry. This is particularly important for organisations who need to report on their Scope 3 emissions, especially to be seen showing vigilance in their supply chains.

What is the GLEC Framework?

The Smart Freight Centre (a group of companies, associations, and programs) created a framework as a guide for shippers, carriers, and logistics service providers to report emissions from logistics operations.

The GLEC Framework was designed to increase transparency and use the data for logistics business decisions. This includes selecting more fuel-efficient modes, routes, and carriers and identifying ways to increase efficiency and fuel costs.

Implementing the GLEC Framework provides a global standard for measuring emissions across the logistics industry. Therefore, emissions measured by the GLEC Framework can be shared publicly with customers. 

What is ISO-14083?

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) has introduced a new way of quantifying and reporting greenhouse gas emissions within transport chain operations. This is replacing the European Standard (EN 16258) at the end of 2023 and starting the transition towards a globally recognised standard for reporting emissions in the logistics sector.

ISO 14083 provides a comprehensive method for measuring carbon emissions of freight and passenger transport activities. This standard was based on the GLEC Framework, which has now been updated to stay in line with the new ISO-14083 standard.

The new standard covers:

  • Measurement across all transport modes
  • End-to-end shipment coverage
  • Considers “empty miles” emissions
  • Emissions from hub operations

How do ISO-14083 and GLEC differ?

Whilst the GLEC framework was the catalyst for standardised measurement of carbon emissions, the new ISO 14083 presents a more structured detailed framework than GLEC and more guidance for dealing with uncertainties. Whilst GLEC is a recognised framework, ISO-14083 will eventually be a more widely recognised and accepted standard within the transport sector.

However, the GLEC Framework now stands as the primary guideline for the new ISO standard. The Smart Freight Centre is introducing an assurance program to deliver a verification checklist for logistic emission calculations.

The collaboration between the Smart Freight Centre and ISO shows a strong commitment to providing clear and consistent measurement of carbon emissions and reporting practices in the logistics and freight industry.

How do these standards benefit businesses?

Both the GLEC Framework and ISO 14083 have propelled the need of decarbonisation within the logistics industry, by providing a clear and regulated path for tracking emissions and helping inform decision-making to reduce them.

  • Compliance with global standards: They help businesses prepare for emissions disclosure regulations – specifically those who need to prepare for the newly enforced European disclosure standards. It is suspected that other countries will follow suit with their disclosure standards, which are expected to be published in 2024.
  • Keeping up with Customer Demand: Customers, and those who are currently reporting for regulations or values, will be demanding transparent or more sustainable suppliers. So, presenting emission calculations in line with the standards during tendering and auditing will provide organisations with a distinct advantage. Therefore, presenting the opportunity to win more contracts and establish leadership in their market.
  • Corporate responsibility: Enhancing your organisation’s reputation through showing ethical and environmental actions to reduce their impact, developing leadership within their market. 
  • Efficiency within the supply chain: They both provide greater transparency within businesses and help drive data-based decisions for improving efficiency and carbon reduction.

How can we help?

Baxter Freight provides GLEC-verified and ISO 14083-aligned emissions reporting.

We are committed to driving change in our industry, and the first step is carbon reporting. With our Scope 3 GLEC-verified report we can provide a comprehensive, accurate and credible account of our customer’s Scope 3 emissions.

If you want your GLEC-verified Scope 3 report, get in touch today. Your query will be passed on to our expert Sustainability Team.

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