The Need to Develop a Robust Industry Standard on Decarbonization of Customers

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Nicolas Lefevre-Marton Managing Director, Sustainability Solutions - EMEA
Sustainability Transformation
Value Chain

With more and more companies announcing stringent carbon goals to address the climate crisis, expectations for decarbonization strategies have swiftly evolved from a ‘nice to have’ to being front and center of the C-suite agenda.

As well as assessing and reducing their own carbon footprint, companies must also develop and bring to the market products and services to decarbonize their customers and the global economy.

While investments and developments of these new products and solutions is well underway, there is a lack of a coherent, recognized methodology to evaluate their impact which could hinder the creation and adoption of much needed solutions to limit emissions. Rather than passing over the issue or making non-defensible claims, ENGIE created a Leadership Group on decarbonization of customers consisting of three founding companies: ENGIE, Saint-Gobain and SUEZ, supported by experts from various entities such as Entreprises pour l’Environnement (EpE), the Solar Impulse Foundation and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), among others.

The group has co-developed a methodology through a set of principles to measure the contribution to decarbonization of customers (also known as avoided emissions from a product or service). The aim of this methodology is to enable progressive companies to accelerate their climate journey by measuring and increasing the decarbonization impact of their products and services, as well as contributing to the creation of a common cross-sectoral and international standard on the decarbonization of customers.

The following principles were co-developed through an iterative and agile process, constantly challenging and testing them using real projects, to ensure they are business-ready and scalable. Each of these principles aim to be:

  • Practical – to be easily adopted by companies across industries, regardless of size, to design measurement guidelines specific for their products and services
  • Simple – to be understood and adopted at all business levels of a company, including by employees who are not versed in carbon accounting but are directly involved in designing and delivering solutions to customers.