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ITC Technical Paper: Product Carbon Footprinting Standards in the Agri-food Sector

The International Trade Centre (ITC) has published a new technical paper on Product Carbon Footprinting Standards in the Agri-Food Sector. The paper aims to guide exporters of agricultural products through the process of product carbon footprinting (PCF) so as to make it easier for them to understand the processes involved, improve their environmental performance and ultimately to reduce the costs for their business.

PCFs are being increasingly used by businesses, governments and other stakeholders to quantify and reduce the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with their activities. A PCF estimates the GHG emissions from goods and services over the entire supply chain or parts thereof. And through the use of carbon labels, a growing number of businesses are now communicating the climate change impact of their products to consumers. For small and medium-sized enterprises in particular, PCF standards can lead to market opportunities, but can also pose technical and financial challenges.

This technical paper guides exporters to enable them to understand how to use PCF standards to their advantage and covers the following issues:

  • Background information on PCFs,
  • Introduction to different schemes and initiatives,
  • Explanation of the different stages of calculating a PCF,
  • Discussion on methodological issues and challenges with a particular focus on developing countries,
  • Overview of potential mitigation measures, and
  • Links to relevant websites, a glossary and a FAQ

The technical paper is available online in English, French and Spanish.

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