As part of the joint initiative “Together for Sustainability” (TfS), 37 companies from the chemical industry, including BASF, have agreed on a global guideline for calculating product carbon footprints (PCFs). Product carbon footprints are an important information for steering emissions in the value chain.

The new TfS Guideline for Product Carbon Footprint provides specific calculation instructions for emissions from “cradle-to-gate” for chemicals. It harmonizes PCF calculation approaches across the industry and is applicable to the vast majority of chemical products. In the future, this will allow companies in several industries using chemicals and the wider market to directly compare and assess the climate impact of products.

“We at BASF are proud to contribute to this guideline through our pioneering work in PCF calculation and methodology over the past years,” said Dr. Christoph Jäkel, Vice President Corporate Sustainability at BASF. “This industry-wide agreement among leading global chemical and process industry manufacturers as members of TfS brings us a big step closer to achieving unrestricted comparability of product carbon footprints and, therefore, a level playing field within the chemical industry.”

With the aim of fostering standardization, BASF has been openly sharing its PCF calculation methodology with suppliers, customers and peers. This methodology is in line with the relevant ISO standards (ISO 14040, ISO 14044, ISO 14067) and the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Standard, while being more prescriptive and specific for the chemical industry. Furthermore, with the clear intent to enable the industry to perform carbon accounting at scale and support PCF data transparency, BASF has been making its digital solution for product carbon footprint calculation available into the market by licensing it to software houses.

“Such groundwork has brought things to the next level. We now have an even more wide-reaching and comprehensive guideline to assess the PCFs of chemical materials in a consistent fashion that has been jointly developed and officially endorsed by many global leaders in the chemical industry,” said Prof. Dr. Peter Saling, Director of Sustainability Methods at BASF and Chair for the guideline development at TfS.

As part of its commitment to methodological standardization, BASF intends to further contribute to the success of the TfS initiative and will fully align its own PCF calculation methodology with the announced TfS sectoral standard.

At the same time, BASF’s pioneering digital solution for automated PCF calculation, which has been introduced into the market via an ecosystem of partnerships, will accommodate the TfS calculation rules.

Together for Sustainability (TfS) is a global, procurement-driven initiative created by chemical companies with the goal of assessing, auditing and improving the sustainability practices within their global supply chains. The program is based on the UN Global Compact and Responsible Care® principles and has grown into a global organization with regional representation in Asia, North and South America.