Why should you share PCF data with your customers?

PCF data sharing for customer engagement

Blog by Sona Ruby Chacko
Published on December 6, 2023

In the current business landscape, there is a growing demand for high-quality Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) data. However, the limited availability of PCF data poses a significant challenge, hindering carbon transparency across industries. As consumers increasingly prioritize environmentally responsible choices, the absence of comprehensive PCF data hampers their ability to make informed decisions.

As industries navigate the dynamic landscape of sustainability, it is important to address this question: To what extent does disclosing Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) data impact consumers? Sharing your Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) data with customers is more than a decision; it has evolved into a strategic business move. The comprehension of a product’s carbon footprint (PCF) now extends beyond the regulatory requirements and has become an opportunity for business growth.

Empowering your customers with PCF Data

Sharing Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) data with customers is a fundamental shift toward transparency and accountability. Customers, now more than ever, demand insight into the environmental impact of the products they consume. Companies can empower their customers to make informed choices aligned with their values, fostering trust and loyalty.

PCF data sharing involves a balance between transparency and security. With advanced data-sharing platforms, companies can disseminate essential PCF metrics while maintaining confidentiality. Leveraging secure solutions for standardized and verified data ensures that the shared information is accurate, reliable, and compliant with emerging standards

How to manage sharing and privacy at the same time?

Navigating the landscape of Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) data sharing requires a strategic approach to ensure transparency while safeguarding sensitive information. This delicate balance prompts companies to adopt nuanced strategies, allowing them to share critical PCF data without compromising the confidentiality of their proprietary details.

Selective Data Sharing and Transparent Assumptions

By avoiding the disclosure of full Life Cycle Assessments (LCAs), businesses can focus on sharing essential PCF data. Transparently stating the assumptions underlying PCF calculations becomes a cornerstone for building trust. This clear communication establishes a foundation of credibility, fostering trust with consumers, who increasingly seek transparent environmental reporting.

PCF Data Sharing - Starting the journey with the first small step

Insecurities of PCF data sharing

In the journey toward transparent PCF data sharing, companies often grapple with insecurities. While data sharing with customers is crucial for fostering trust and strengthening relationships with customers, aligning internal stakeholders such as procurement, customer technical support, and sales teams is equally important. Here’s a closer look at how you can navigate the complexities and meet your customers demands.

PCF data quality

Embracing transparency means it’s acceptable to share PCF data that might be in the early stages of refinement. Customers appreciate the effort, and sharing data even when it’s not perfect demonstrates a commitment to improvement. Oftentimes, the customers are also in the same boat and understand the challenges of maintaining high data quality. Keeping customers engaged with evolving data quality builds a sense of partnership and encourages them to be part of your sustainability journey.

Sharing data that may be higher than benchmarks

Straying above industry benchmarks in your PCF data might seem daunting, but it offers a unique opportunity. Sharing data that exceeds benchmarks provides customers with insights into your decarbonization pathway. This transparency not only builds trust but also showcases your commitment to ambitious sustainability goals, fostering a deeper connection with customers.

There are potential risks that suppliers may run the risk of being replaced due to their higher carbon footprint, but the long-term relationship you have formed with your customers makes it difficult for them to switch suppliers for higher PCF, and being transparent helps in keeping customers engaged and receiving their critical feedback on your products at the same time.

Taking strategic steps

Initiating PCF data sharing doesn’t have to be an all-encompassing effort. It’s perfectly acceptable to start with a few key products for strategic customers. This approach allows for a focused and controlled rollout, enabling companies to gather valuable feedback and insights. Gradually expanding PCF efforts across all product lines then becomes a strategic investment, ensuring a thorough and well-executed process. Starting small can help you, as a sustainability professional, advocate for decarbonization investments and business growth to internal stakeholders.

The PCF Data Sharing Landscape

PCF data, at its essence, encapsulates a product’s carbon emissions throughout its lifecycle. From the extraction of raw materials to disposal, it offers a comprehensive metric covering manufacturing, transportation, product use, and disposal stages.

Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) data stands as a powerful tool for organizations to gauge and understand the environmental impact of their products. This understanding, in turn, empowers decision-makers to adopt sustainable practices, optimize processes, and minimize their overall carbon footprint.

How are companies managing PCF data currently?

Managing PCF data involves navigating a complex terrain of data collection, validation, processing, and secure storage. Each stage demands meticulous attention to detail and adherence to standardized procedures. From the systematic collection of data to its verification for accuracy, the process is designed to ensure compliance with industry standards and facilitate informed decision-making. Authorized access is crucial for ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of the collected PCF data.

PCF Data sharing standards

Standards for sharing PCF data are a significant milestone that fosters transparency, accountability, and collaboration across industries. Given below are five important standards to be aligned with while sharing PCF data:

PCF data sharing standards

ISO 14040/44

In the pursuit of sustainable practices, the chemical industry adheres to ISO 14040/44 guidelines. ISO 14040 outlines the “principles and framework for Life Cycle Assessment (LCA),” whereas ISO 14044 “specifies requirements and offers guidelines” for LCA. They establish a globally recognized framework for conducting and reporting life cycle assessments, ensuring consistency and comparability in PCF data reporting.

ISO 14067

ISO 14067 is an international standard guiding companies to assess the carbon footprint of their products. The standard focuses on quantifying greenhouse gas emissions at every life cycle stage. Although ISO 14067 doesn’t address management systems, it holds significance for enhancing sustainability efforts by tracking emissions throughout a product’s entire life cycle.

GHG Protocol Product Standard

The GHG Protocol Product Standard outlines requirements for organizations to quantify and publicly report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Its primary aim is to offer companies a framework for informed decision-making to reduce emissions from the products they design, manufacture, sell, purchase, or use. The standard responds to the increasing demand for transparency from investors and consumers, addressing the need for clarity and environmental accountability.

TfS PCF Guideline

The TfS PCF (Together for Sustainability Product Carbon Footprint) Guideline offers a standardized approach for calculating and disclosing product carbon footprints. It establishes a common methodology for carbon footprint reporting and facilitates data comparability. It encourages collaborative efforts among chemical industry players to collectively address challenges and drive sustainability improvements. The TfS PCF Guideline focuses on both individual companies and the broader supply chain, emphasizing a holistic approach to sustainability.

PACT- Partnership for Carbon Transparency

Developed by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), PACT aims to provide a forum for stakeholders to jointly accelerate decarbonisation and a framework for measuring and reporting the product carbon footprint of their value chains. Companies embracing PACT prioritize responsible data-sharing practices, building trust with stakeholders through privacy, accurate information, consistent reporting, and transparent communication.

Secure data sharing with Carboledger

Carboledger's benefits

Carboledger empowers businesses to enhance sustainability in their procurement processes. With our platform, companies enable their customers to make informed, sustainable choices by providing seamless access to accurate and up-to-date PCF data. The platform’s automated features streamline the data-sharing process, ensuring efficiency and reliability. Carboledger ensures interoperability, allowing for seamless integration with various systems and tools. This automates and secures your PCF data sharing experience, fostering sustainability across your supply chains.

Share this article

Related Stories