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Greenhouse gas footprinting, also referred to as carbon footprinting, determines the total volume of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted, in carbon equivalents, across the entire life-cycle of a product or service.
For example: It could be used to determine the volume of carbon emitted by one kilo of lamb farmed and packaged in New Zealand, transported to the United Kingdom, sold and consumed, in the month of July.
The outcome is expressed in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2 – e). It includes all the inputs and outputs of GHGs in the production, supply, use and disposal of a product.
In some markets, consumers and retailers have increasing expectations that products they find on their store shelves have sustainability credentials that can be verified such as whether a product is organically farmed or how much carbon was used to produce the product.
Since early 2008, there has been growing international interest in GHG footprinting. Governments, retailers, consumers, supply chain partners and NGOs are all becoming increasingly involved.
The development of sector-specific approaches to GHG footprinting is a key part of the Strategy.
These projects provide a standardised way for measuring and managing GHG emissions across the life-cycle of a product. The aim is to help sectors measure, manage and mitigate GHG emissions across the supply chain.
Projects undertaken represent over 80% of New Zealand’s primary sector exports.
In April 2009, to build New Zealand LCA capabilities, Massey University was announced as the successful host of the Professorship and an associated New Zealand Centre for Life-Cycle Management. The Centre operates in conjunction with leading Crown Research Institutes: AgResearch, Landcare New Zealand, Plant and Food, and Scion.
Massey Life Cycle Management Centre
The Strategy supports co-ordinated technical comments on the following standard setting bodies for GHG footprinting.
For more information visit the website of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative