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Friday, 04 October 2019 07:40

Climate impact of freight transportation made more visible with release of updated GLEC Framework in 2019

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An updated method to calculate the carbon footprint of the global logistics supply chain was released this summer by Smart Freight Centre and the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC), a group of companies, industry associations and programs, and backed by leading experts and other stakeholders.

“The days that multinationals did not publicly report emissions from freight transportation are over, as we see the GLEC Framework become more and more mainstream,” said Sophie Punte, Executive Director of Smart Freight Centre (SFC), the global non-profit organization that leads the GLEC.

According to the International Transport Forum, freight and logistics generate around 8-10 percent of CO2 emissions – an impact that will continue to grow without a concerted global effort. The GLEC Framework allows companies to calculate and report emissions from planes, trains, ships, trucks and logistics sites consistently across supply chains. Results are used by companies to identify hot spots for improvement, but also by customers, investors and governments who benefit from reduced climate impacts from logistics.

Suzanne Greene, lead author, explains “The updated GLEC Framework is designed to be easy for companies to implement, with clear calculation steps, guidance on reporting and target-setting, and new data on the average emissions from logistics activities.” Alan Lewis, co-author and leader of the GLEC since 2014 said, “We especially benefitted from lessons learned by testing with companies as part of the EU-funded LEARN project. Another major step forward is the GLEC Declaration that allows companies to report emissions in a single, standardized format, so increasing transparency for all stakeholders.”

More than 30 leading multinationals, such as HP Inc., HEINEKEN and Maersk have formally adopted the GLEC Framework since its first release in 2016. This number is expected to rise quickly as the GLEC Framework is recommended by Greenhouse Gas Protocol, CDP, Science-Based Targets initiative, several green freight programs, calculation tools and industry associations, as well as the UN-led Global Green Freight Action Plan.

“The GLEC Framework is the building block the industry needs to measure and manage transportation emissions in a standard way with an overall goal to reduce the end-to-end supply chain impact on the environment,” said Jacqueline Faseler, Global Director for Supply Chain Sustainability & Compliance at Dow.  “Dow is proud to be the first global chemical company to adopt the GLEC Framework and work together with associations to help it become the standard across the chemicals sector."

“More and more customers are asking for emissions data that is calculated the GLEC way,” commented Birgit Hensel, Vice President Shared Value, Deutsche Post DHL Group. “This is good news because we can only reach our zero-emissions 2050 goal by collaborating with our customers, suppliers and peers.”

“We encourage all sectors to include freight and logistics in their efforts to combat climate change, to which the GLEC Framework contributes,” said Niclas Svenningsen, Manager of Global Climate Action at UN Climate Change. “The fashion sector is showing leadership as it commits to low-emissions logistics through the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action.”

“The GLEC Framework has helped to align GHG emissions methodologies across modes” said Angie Farrag-Thibault, Director T&L and Collaboration at BSR and Program Director of the Clean Cargo Working Group. “Combining ocean freight data from Clean Cargo with data from other modes to calculate the total logistics footprint has never been easier! We are delighted to have achieved this goal collectively, with other initiatives accredited to the GLEC Framework.”

The GLEC Framework for Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reporting, version 2.0 is available to download at


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