Rocky Mountain Institute, MIT Sustainable Supply Chains, the Columbia Center on Sustainable Investment, and the Payne Institute for Public Policy at the Colorado School of Mines have announced the Coalition on Materials Emissions Transparency (COMET).
This effort aims to build a standard method for measuring greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in materials, “an important step in decarbonising mineral and industrial supply chains”, the partners said.
The COMET method will provide insight into the carbon content of consumer products like cars, buildings, and phones, and will help both corporations and consumers purchase materials and products with fewer embedded CO2 emissions, according to the partners.
Paolo Natali, Director of the Materials Initiative at Rocky Mountain Institute, said: “We all know that you can’t manage what you can’t measure. Until people know the climate impact of the products they’re using, it will be impossible for them to demand lower-carbon goods, and it will be impossible to decarbonise the industrial sectors that are responsible for 40% of annual greenhouse gas emissions.”
While climate disclosure is increasing, it remains a challenge to compare greenhouse gas emissions across companies and supply chains, the partners said. “There is currently no consistency in data collection or reporting across methods, and no framework that spans the entire supply chain,” they said. “This means there is no universally accepted way to know the emissions intensity of products or materials.”
The COMET method will change that by making GHG disclosure comparable across the existing reporting mechanisms and helping to develop a clear picture of emissions from the production of key materials like steel, copper, and cement, it said.
Suzanne Greene, Program Manager for MIT Sustainable Supply Chains, said: “Our ultimate goal is transparency of climate impacts across the supply chain. An emissions calculation method for mineral and industrial supply chains is an important first step for consumers and investors to understand and drive the decarbonisation of the goods we use every day.”
COMET will initially focus on developing sector-specific guidance for metals and minerals.