GHG Protocol - Hardware Factsheet

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Please note that the factsheet below was developed based on a draft version of the GHG Protocol ICT Sector Guidance. The factsheet will be soon updated based on the final version of the Guidance (published in July 2017) to integrate any changes.

GHG Protocol Product Standard – Hardware
Name of Initiative/Methodology

GHG Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard ICT Sector Guidance – Chapter 6 – Guide for assessing GHG emissions of Hardware

Link to the latest published version

GHG Protocol ICT Sector Guidance (01/2013): Draft version 3.2

Developed by

Greenhouse Gas Protocol Initiative
History and Status
  • Work started in 2011
  • Issued as a draft for public comment in January 2013
Involved companies / parties

Convening Secretariat: WRI, WBCSD, GeSI, Carbon Trust


Organisation env. accounting

 Scope 1  
 Scope 2  
 Scope 3

 Product env. assessment 

 Life cycle approach  

 Use phase only


 Energy (focus on secondary energy)

 Other environmental impacts


System(s) covered by the methodology

ICT hardware (IH), including computers and peripheral equipment; communication equipment; consumer electronic equipment; and various ICT components and goods

  • Providing information on several calculation methods and guiding the practitioner in choosing the appropriate method, depending on the intended assessment
  • Assessing GHG emissions of an ICT hardware (or a product family), which may then focus attention to reduce the emissions
  • Assessing GHG emissions due to the hardware in a complex ICT system (e.g. as part of a TNS or DMS, see [GHG Protocol – TNS] and [GHG Protocol – DMS])
Generic features
  • All stages other than the use stage may be grouped together (embodied emissions)
  • Critical review by a first or third party is required
  • Offsets, avoided and delayed emissions are not to be included in the inventory results
  • Functional unit:
    • For all final products, the unit of analysis is defined as a functional unit
    • For intermediate products where the eventual function is unknown, the unit of analysis is defined as the reference flow
  • Cradle-to-gate and gate-to-gate inventory results should be reported separately (if not limited by confidentiality)
  • Companies shall disclose and justify any exclusions of attributable processes in the inventory report
  • Companies shall collect primary data for all processes under their ownership / control
  • Companies shall assess the data quality of activity data, emission factors, and/or direct emissions data
ICT-specific features
  • The functional unit description includes magnitude, duration and quality of the IH
  • A screening assessment is recommended to focus data collection efforts; in particular for ICT hardware that is kept operating for long periods of time
  • Refer to [ETSI 103 199] for boundary settings and allocation specific to ICT
  • Some processes are excluded from the IH assessment, such as: facility operations, corporate activities, and capital goods (e.g. machine used in assembling IH product)
  • Four calculation methods may be used to assess cradle-to-gate GHG emissions of IH; capabilities and drawbacks are detailed for each of them.
    • Component characterization
    • Hardware parameterisation
    • Life cycle stage ratio profiling
    • Environmentally extended input-output (EEIO)
  • The product lifespan is a very important factor as it can have very significant impact on the total life cycle GHG emissions from an IH product. In all cases, documentation of the modelled product life and the rationale for the modelling is imperative.
  • The use profile needs to reflect the time spent in the different power states
Examples of implementation / experience feedback

The Appendix 1 of the document present the calculation of GHG emissions by the component characterisation method, for a SOHO wireless router

Interaction with other methodologies
  • [ETSI TS 103 199] Environmental Engineering (EE); Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of ICT equipment, networks and services; General methodology and common requirements
  • [IEC TR 62725] Analysis of quantification methodologies of greenhouse gas emissions for electrical and electronic products and systems


  • Others (provided in the GHG Protocol Product Standard):
  • [IEC 62430] Environmentally conscious design for electrical and electronic products
  • [IEC 62474] Material declaration for products of and for the electrotechnical industry
  • [IEC 62623] Desktop and notebook computers - Measurement of energy consumption
  • [IEC TR 62635] Guidelines for end-of-life information provided by manufacturers and recyclers and for recyclability rate calculation of electrical and electronic equipment
  • [ISO 14064-1] Greenhouse gases - Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals
  • [ISO/TS 14067] Greenhouse gases -- Carbon footprint of products -- Requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication
  • [ISO 14040] Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Principles and framework
  • [ISO 14044] Environmental management - Life cycle assessment – Requirements and guidelines
  • [GHG Protocol] Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard
  • [ITU-T L.1410] Methodology for environmental life cycle assessments of information and communication technology goods, networks and services
  • [EU Energy Star]

How do I use this methodology? Ask for support!


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