ISO/NEN Methodology

Connection to EN 16258

EN 16258 is the first standard to be published that deals with carbon footprinting. There is still room for improvement within this standard. The main advantage of ISO standardization is of course that ISO is supported worldwide. In addition, it is true that within EN 16258 there are sometimes different interpretations possible. The developers of the ISO standard strive to give as little freedom as possible in its implementation.

Compare to make strategic and operational decisions

If all partners in the entire supply chain work according to the new standard, it becomes possible to compare the performance of different companies. This means that the data can be used to make choices for long-term investments: should we redesign our inventory management or invest in a new warehouse or distribution center? The same applies at the operational level. Based on the information about emissions, management can make decisions about things like the frequency of deliveries or the type of transport they purchase. Until now, companies have mostly looked at things like costs and Service Levels. Soon, emissions will be an additional factor.

Ultimately, only working with primary data

The ultimate goal is for everyone to work with reliable primary data. Transporters carry cargo to distribution centers and warehouses. In other words, transporters provide the transport leg between different nodes, such as ports, warehouses and distribution centers. For the transport legs, it is relatively easy to work with primary data because they already register how much goods they are transporting and how much fuel they are using. But for the nodes it is often more complex, because historically much less attention was paid to them and also because there other factors are important for the amount and allocation of emissions.

Methodology if no primary data is available

Because it takes time for everyone to base their emissions on primary data, the standard provides a methodology for the situation in which not all chain partners are far enough along. Two methods are available for this:

Use of default factors
Model-based estimates

Model-based estimates can be justified if the result is a better reflection of reality than the use of default factors. Currently, software packages often work with estimates. Once the standard has been published, software manufacturers are expected to modify their packages so that they are compliant. Using default emission factors is the least accurate way of calculating emissions, but they offer a solution if little is known about the operations.