PAS 2050 is free to download and use
Revised from its 2008 edition, PAS 2050:2011 is a publicly available specification (PAS) providing a method for assessing the life cycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of goods and services (jointly referred to as “products”).
It can be used by organizations of all sizes and types, in any location, to assess the climate change impact of the products they offer.
Originally published in 2008 as the world’s first framework methodology for product carbon footprinting, PAS 2050 is now parent to an expanding family of specifications, providing tailored guidance for individual sectors to enable most effective application of carbon footprinting.
The PAS 2050:2011 revision was coupled with the publication of a guidance document. Also free to download, it assists organizations in better understanding the uses of the specification by offering practical advice to organizations wanting to assess the carbon footprint of their products, identify hotspots and reduce emissions in their supply chain.
Why should I use PAS 2050?
While GHG emissions are often viewed at global, national, corporate or organizational levels, emissions also come from supply chains within business, between businesses and between nations.
Increasingly, best practice for organizations considers impacts beyond their own corporate activities – extending the scope of their “carbon footprints” to include the impacts of the goods and services they offer. PAS 2050 provides a means for this.
PAS 2050 helps organizations:
- Carry out internal assessment of the existing life cycle GHG emissions of their products to identify GHG emission hotspots and related cost/energy saving opportunities
- Evaluate alternative product configurations, sourcing and manufacturing methods, raw material choices and supplier selection processes
- Devise ongoing programmes aimed at reducing GHG emissions
- Report on corporate responsibility
For consumers of goods and services, PAS 2050 provides a common basis for understanding the assessment of life cycle GHG emissions when making purchasing decisions and using goods and services.
How is the PAS 2050:2011 revision different?
BSI reviewed and updated PAS 2050 two years after the publication of the original document. The new revision makes the PAS 2050 methodology more relevant and accessible to a wider range of businesses by addressing key queries and issues raised by the product carbon footprinting (PCF) community, as well as the experiences of users since the standard’s first publication in October 2008.
The revision was undertaken to:
- Clarify ambiguities apparent in the application of the standard
- Take account of advances in knowledge and understanding that have emerged since PAS 2050 was first published
- Reflect user experience as much as possible
- Enhance the level of take-up and application of the PAS 2050 methodology
- Remove unnecessary differences between the PAS 2050 methodology and other internationally recognized footprint methods – particularly the ones developed by The World Resources Institute/The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WRI/WBCSD) and ISO (International Organization for Standardization)
The continued co-operation with organizations such as WRI/WBCSD, ISO and the European Commission throughout the PAS revision process ensures that the revised document continues to reflect international PCF theory and practice, and provides a methodology compatible with other internationally-recognized footprint methods to promote best practice and harmonization of standardization effort.
To ease the implementation of PAS 2050 and to help you understand the benefits the methodology delivers, we have compiled some free material:
PAS 2050:2011 Guidance document
The 2008 Guide to PAS 2050 has been updated in line with the changes to PAS 2050 introduced in its 2011 revision. This user-friendly document is more interactive, includes additional examples and more practical advice to help you footprint your product(s), identify hotspots and reduce emissions in your supply chain.
Download the Guide to PAS 2050
PAS 2050 Q&As
Take a look at our Q&A sheet to get answers to your most pressing queries.
Read the Q&As
PAS 2050:2011 Summary of Changes
Read our summary of changes to learn more.
Some of the significant changes arising from the latest PAS 2050 revision are:
- Provision for the development and application of “supplementary requirements” to enable more specific greenhouse gas emissions assessment within sectors or product groups
- The inclusion of emissions from biogenic sources (e.g. biomass) and greater clarity on the treatment of recyclable material.
View the changes
PAS 2050 / GHG Product Standard Comparison Factsheet
Understand how PAS 2050:2011 corresponds with the WRI/WBCSD’s GHG Products Standard.
Download the comparison factsheet
See the findings of BSI’s review of the use of PAS 2050
Understand how PAS 2050:2011 corresponds with the WRI/WBCSD’s GHG Products Standard.
Download the PAS 2050 review report
See the PAS 2050 revision press release
For more information regarding the PAS 2050 revision, find out what we think everyone should know
Read our press release
The PAS 2050 family is expanding. With new sector-specific PCF specifications in the works and other standards exploring key aspects of GHG management, the PAS 2050 family of documents helps organizations better control their climate change impacts, become more efficient and realize cost savings.
PAS 2050-1:2012 - Supplementary requirements for the cradle-to-gate stages of greenhouse gas assessments of horticultural products
BSI, working with the Dutch Product Board for Horticulture (Productschap Tuinbouw (PT)) and the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovations (Ministry of EL&I) as well as other international experts, have developed supplementary requirements for the horticulture industry that will help apply PAS 2050 to horticultural products.
PAS 2050-1:2012 was published 21 March 2012. The specification offers invaluable assistance and clarity to organizations within the horticulture sector for the assessment and management of the climate change impact of their products. It enables growers to meet requests for GHG emissions information from downstream partners in the supply chain to support their own GHG assessments. Whole life cycle assessments are still achievable through the joint application of PAS 2050-1:2012 and PAS 2050:2011.
Visit the PAS 2050-1:2012 site to learn more and download the document.
PAS 2050-2:2012 – Assessment of life cycle greenhouse gas emissions - Supplementary requirements for the application of PAS 2050:2011 to seafood and other aquatic food products
The second addition to the PAS 2050 family of standards, PAS 2050-2:2012 assists the fisheries industry in its efforts to reduce GHG emissions, improve energy efficiency and save on energy costs.
Published in November 2012, PAS 2050-2 can be used by organizations of all sizes and types, in any location, to assess the climate change impact of both wild caught and farmed fish products with a focus on the cradle-to-gate stages of their life-cycle.
Used in conjunction with PAS 2050:2011, PAS 2050-2 offers supplemental information allowing those engaged in the seafood and aquatic food products industries to more accurately assess their GHG emissions to facilitate reduction in the most effective manner. It includes sector specific requirements and related guidance.
Visit the PAS 2050-2 site to learn more and download the document.
Related specifications and initiatives for GHG emissions:
PAS 2060:2010 – Specification for the demonstration of carbon neutrality
Make a greater impact on your customers and stakeholders through limiting your impact on the earth – join industry leaders in environmental responsibility by achieving carbon neutrality with PAS 2060 – Specification for the demonstration of carbon neutrality. As well as showing you how to credibly demonstrate neutrality, PAS 2060 can also help you lower your environmental impacts, save money, as it clarifies the terms and processes involved.
Read more and buy PAS 2060
PAS 2070 – Specification for the assessment of consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions in cities
Now in development, PAS 2070 – Specification for the assessment of consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions in cities will focus its core content on a measurement methodology for Scope 3 emissions, and it aims to feature a variety of approaches to develop a useful estimate of city-scale GHG emissions across different sectors/activities.
Though London will be used as the example city in the guidance, PAS 2070 will be enabled for use by other cities globally. It will include guidance explaining how to measure city-wide GHG emissions in accordance with the requirements to help other cities apply the PAS.
Further details regarding the forthcoming publication of PAS 2070 still to come.
ISO and WRI initiatives
Since the publication of PAS 2050 in 2008, both ISO and WRI/WBCSD have embarked on a programme to add quantification of emissions from products and services to their portfolio of specifications.
ISO is currently developing ISO 14067– Carbon footprints of products, covering quantification and communication requirements (publication date to be confirmed), and WRI/WBCSD has developed a new Product Accounting and Reporting Standard.
The most recent drafts of the GHG Protocol Product Standard and ISO 14067 were still works in progress at the beginning of the PAS 2050 revision process, but these were made available for comparison with PAS 2050 to the Steering Group. To facilitate this, arrangements were made for experts participating in the development of both these documents to also participate in the revision of PAS 2050.
For more information on these two initiatives and their relationship with the revised PAS 2050, see:
WRI and WBCSD initiative
Construction products, PAS 2050:2011 and BS EN 15804:2012
BS EN 15804:2012 is the European Standard which has been developed to provide the “Core Rules” for the environmental life cycle assessment for construction products, and reflects the particular considerations of this product category, for example in terms of the extended service lives of construction products relative to fast-moving consumer goods.
BS EN 15804:2012 accords with the provisions for “Supplementary Requirements”, set out in PAS 2050:2011 4.3, and could therefore be used to support the application of PAS 2050:2011 in the construction sector. The Global Warming Potential Indicator provided in “Cradle to Gate” and “Cradle to Grave” Environmental Product Declarations (EPD) complying with BS EN 15804:2012 can be considered to be the same as the GHG emissions provided by PAS 2050:2011.