ISO 14064 (Carbon Footprint)
Reducing GHG emissions is crucial in the fight against climate change. Because we cannot manage what we cannot measure, international standards for the quantification and verification of GHGs are essential.
The ISO 14064 standard provides clear guidelines and requirements for quantifying, reporting and verifying emissions, both at an organizational and a project level. The ISO 14067 standard performs the same role for the carbon footprint of products.
Determining the carbon footprint of companies, projects and products serves a multitude of purposes:
- Quantifying the direct and indirect financial risks an organization is exposed to because of increasing emission costs
- Identifying potential for GHG emission reductions
- Satisfying the information needs of clients who wish to report the emissions of their supply chain
- Making claims about the climate-friendliness of a product, service or organization
- Attracting investors who prefer climate-friendly assets
- Obtaining better results in rankings and ratings, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP)
Independent Validation & Verification Of The Carbon Footprint
Independent validation and verification by a competent third-party like DQS provides the assurance that the reported figures are accurate and trustworthy. The independent verification also helps improve rating results, for example in the scoring of the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP).
Whereas validation is the review of project design data and documentation with the purpose of confirming that the predicted reductions are plausible, verification is about making sure that the reported data and information is correct.
The validation and/or verification can be done as a standalone assessment, or as part of an external assurance assessment on an entire sustainability report.
After the assessment, DQS will issue an AA1000-licensed assurance statement, which is recognized by CDP and many other stakeholders.
Product Carbon Footprint
Whereas for organizations and projects the relevant standard is ISO 14064, the standard for the carbon footprint of products is ISO 14067. This standard is based on the lifecycle assessment approach, which can also be verified by an external party.
The process starts with the client’s needs and expectations. DQS wants to learn about the client’s organization, its management system, size and types of operation. Together both parties will define objectives for the assessment and/or certification, including applicable standards and specifications.
DQS will provide a detailed offer for assessment and certification services, tailored to individual client needs, based on the information provided initially. A written contract will specify all relevant deliverables as well as applicable assessment and certification criteria.
A pre-audit can serve as initial performance or gap analysis, identifying strengths and areas for improvement. For larger assessment and certification projects a project planning meeting provides a valuable opportunity for the client to meet the lead assessor and develop a customized assessment plan for all functions and locations involved. Both services are optional.
The assessment procedure itself begins with review and evaluation of system documentation, goals, results of management review and internal audits. During this process, it will be determined whether the client’s management system is sufficiently developed and ready for certification. The assessor will explain findings and coordinate any required activities to prepare for the on-site system assessment.
The assigned auditor team will audit the client’s management system at the place of production or service delivery. Applying defined management system standards and specifications, the assessment team will evaluate the effectiveness of all functional areas as well as all management system processes, based upon observations, inspections, interviews, review of pertinent records, and other assessment techniques. The audit result, including all findings will be presented to the client during the closing meeting. Required action plans will be agreed upon as necessary.
The independent certification function of DQS will evaluate the audit process and its results, and decide independently about issuance of the certificate. The client receives an audit report, documenting the audit results. When all applicable requirements are fulfilled the client also receives the certificate.
Either semi-annually or at least once per year, there will be an on-site audit of the critical components of the management system. Improvement potential will be identified, with a focus on continual improvement and sustained effectiveness.
A management system certificate is valid for a limited period of time, frequently for a maximum of three years. At the end of this cycle, a re-audit will be carried out to ensure the ongoing fulfillment of all applicable requirements. Subject to this fulfillment, a new certificate will be issued.
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