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Climate Declaration And Role Of Leed Green Associate
There are several company’s who are declaring environmental benefits of their products including the “Climate” benefits. But are they doing it right, is the estimation based on scientific research and internationally accepted standards? Not always! The LEED Green Associate and LEED AP credentials examination covers the GHG emissions and lifecycle analysis topics in detail. Some of the complex environmental benefit product labels that we have come across include cold water laundry detergents, fuel-saving tires, energy efficient shock absorbers, emissions saving data centers, green and clean cleaning chemicals, etc.
We have seen that there is an increasing trend on company’s disclosing their environmental and social benefits of using their products. The CDP or the Carbon Disclosure Project conducted a survey in the year 2017 and identified that about thirty-six percent of companies sold products that they believe would cut down on GHG emissions. However, these claims on emission reduction are seldom verified and or accurate. Professionals like LEED GA and LEED AP can estimate the emissions more accurately as they have the background on sustainability. The World Resources Institute recently conducted review of claims made by several companies from different sectors and market segment. They noticed that there were methodological problems with how many of these corporations were evaluating the climate impact of their product. One of the keys and the consistent loophole that was seen that none of the companies researched on if or will their product can also lead to an increase in emissions so that a net comparison could be undertaken. If they had carbon professionals or Leed Green Associate / Leed AP in their team then they may have been able to point at this gap.
This misinformation is not good for end users. As the user relies on such information and makes choices between products based on these disclosures. The impact could be even huge if these products are being bought in volume and someone is accounting for emissions reduction without being fully informed about the product as the data isn’t publicly available.
The companies who make climate claims about their products must not compare apples with oranges. The companies need to understand that the GHG avoidance claim can be of three types. The most common type is when you compare two single products such as two washing machines. When making such assessments the comparison must be with the same segment/configuration product, for e.g. comparing emissions from a 5 tonne AC with 3.5 tonne Ac doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
One must also, account for emissions from the products entire lifecycle. That is from cradle to grave or in other words from extracting raw materials, transporting, processing, and then manufacturing of the product to again transportation, use, and disposal. As a product may release less GHGs when manufactured but may release more emissions throughout its lifecycle as compared to another replaceable product that has more GHG emissions during the manufacturing process.
GE3S provides training on Carbon as well as LEED Green Associate Exam preparation every quarter. Our next LEED Green Associate Exam preparation training course is scheduled right after Eid in June 2019.
GE3S is a leading environment, energy and sustainability advisor trusted by 100+ companies in the region. Our core team has been working in the middle east for many years across sectors and geographies http://www.ge3s.org/
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