Global warming is caused by a variety of gases, including carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and others, commonly referred to as greenhouse gases, or GHGs. In order to measure and compare the impact of these emissions, general scientific practice uses CO2 equivalent (CO2e), converting other greenhouse gases to CO2e based on their global warming potential over a 100-year time horizon. The carbon footprint of products is most commonly expressed in kilograms of CO2e, or kg CO2e. The carbon footprint of companies is most commonly expressed in metric tons of CO2e, or mt CO2e.
Planet FWD supports customers by calculating the carbon footprints of companies and products. Carbon footprints are calculated as the total greenhouse gas (“GHG”), in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e) emitted through the product’s life cycle. Planet FWD uses an attributional approach for carbon accounting, a widely accepted methodology as laid out within ISO 14067 and the GHG Protocol. The attributional approach calculates the carbon impact of the individual components of the product, such as individual ingredients and packaging materials, which are then compiled to develop the final emissions value for the overall product.
For more information on carbon assessment methodology, see the Planet FWD Standards.
So many things! Planet FWD believes in building climate literacy internally within brands and externally amongst consumers. We envision a world where carbon labels are as commonplace as nutritional fact panels. As such, we encourage brands to use their footprint to inform targeted sustainability improvements, share your product footprint with consumers as a carbon label to promote transparency, or consider offsetting these emissions to make this product carbon neutral.
Corporate greenhouse gas inventories (CGHGI) are a great way to understand your organization’s emissions, identify ways to reduce emissions, and make commitments for climate actions. A CGHGI is required as a baseline to set emissions reductions or Net Zero targets in line with the Science Based Targets Initiative. CGHGIs are also highly encouraged by a number of organizations, including the CDP and many ESG financial reporting standards.
Yes! Company footprints directly indicate the number of carbon offset credits required for carbon offsetting. For product footprints,, you can scale up emissions with simple calculations to account for annual volume sold or a year’s production. You can then offset against that value to support the launch of a carbon neutral product. Planet FWD makes this a simple and easy process within our platform and sources offsets from verified providers.
Planet FWD encourages brand customers to share carbon labels for their products accompanied by the statement “calculated by Planet FWD” to indicate that calculations were conducted by a third-party and can be attributable to verified methodologies and standards. Ultimately, all claims and marketing decisions are the decision and responsibility of a brand and Planet FWD recommends that customers engage their legal counsel to review any new product claims according to standard internal processes.
In order for data to be comparable, it must have the same scope and boundaries in terms of what makes up a carbon footprint. As such, it’s best practice to avoid direct comparisons to competitors where the underlying data and methodology may differ. We find that comparing your carbon footprint to yourself over time is one of the best ways to engage customers with your product’s journey towards net zero.
We believe in continuous improvement and reducing your carbon footprint through as many means as possible. Planet FWD honors the science which underlies the climate action movement. As such, we reference the science-based targets as a benchmark for all brands to align to as it relates to carbon footprints and reduction efforts.
The term regenerative is based on the word regenerate, which means to generate or produce anew. Regenerative is distinguished from sustainable in that regenerative systems progressively improve the whole system rather than merely sustaining the system.
Regenerative agriculture is an approach to agriculture that regenerates and restores communities and ecosystems - essentially putting more back into the system than is being taken. It focuses on improving soil health, promoting biodiversity, and closing loops within systems. Among other benefits, rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring biodiversity not only removes carbon from the atmosphere, helping to reverse climate change, but also makes the land more resilient to floods, droughts and other extreme climate conditions.
Different organizations currently define regenerative agriculture differently. Some see it as a set of practices, others as a mindset and systemic change. Most organizations want to see measurable regenerative outcomes, but specific measurements vary. At Planet FWD, we believe in regenerative systems that include the health of all beings, and we work with brands and suppliers to take steps on their regenerative journeys - this may include tracking practices until outcomes data becomes available.