WE.2.D || Business Life Cycle Networks

Williams, Ellie; Vieira, Marisa

When a company undergoes environmental footprinting, they usually only have access to their own data, meaning that when extending the scope beyond their own operations, the data is difficult to collect and is often not available at all. Consequently, data gaps are often filled with generic data, or even excluded, reducing the precision of the results. This leads to the current state of footprinting either yielding non-case specific generic results, or requiring such high data collection efforts that the approach is unscalable. For a case in the Floriculture sector we pieced together the individual corporate footprints of a grower, trader and retailer, filling in the remaining data gaps with generic data, resulting in a product environmental footprint of one flower stem. This demonstrated the fitness-for-purpose of this approach, and highlighted the practicality for companies having these corporate footprints at hand, especially as they anticipate to be approached for their data more frequently with the advancement of the PEF and PEFCRs. This approach can also be applied in other sectors. If each company takes responsibility for their own corporate footprint by capitalising on their existing data, these can be pieced together as the main building blocks, with generic data filling in the (fewer) data gaps remaining. Conducting a corporate footprint of one’s own operations can be done predominantly with data that is available at-hand, requiring minimal additional data to be collected. By having corporate footprint results and documentation accessible, the need to transfer specific input data between companies would be drastically reduced, reducing data collection efforts by the footprinting practitioner, and easing the process for the data-provider. Pragmatic procedures are needed to enable the scalability of environmental footprinting, and this approach simplifies the contribution of actors in the supply chain to help facilitate widespread environmental footprinting.