Transport life-cycle analysis needed to raise standards in emissions reporting

Transport life-cycle

Transport life-cycle analysis can provide verified, quantifiable impact reporting as part of a 100 per cent circular process.

Muirhead, a supplier of leather to the aviation, bus, coach, and rail industries, has advised the passenger transport sector to consider the life-cycle emissions of its suppliers in a bid to raise standards in carbon footprint reporting.

The company is the world’s first high performance leather manufacturer to publish its independently verified Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) in a pioneering move for the leather industry.

The Scottish firm which has developed a unique circular process for leather manufacture argues the third-party assessment could become a new standard in passenger transport. Transport life-cycle analysis helps companies quantify the environmental impact of their activities, verify their supply chains, and back up their sustainability claims with rigorous analysis – leaving no room for ‘greenwashing’.

The assessment estimates the environmental impacts attributable to the entire life cycle of a product – including the influence of upstream farming, the manufacturing process, distribution, transportation, and end-of-life disposal. According to the ISO-accredited analysis, Muirhead’s 8kg CO2e/m2 LCA is currently the lowest in the world published for genuine leather and is typically 30-50 per cent of the impact stated by other leather manufacturers.

Dr Warren Bowden, head of sustainability and innovation at Scottish Leather Group, said: “The need to take life-cycle emissions into account is now widely recognised in carbon footprint reporting but its adoption in the passenger transport sector has been relatively slow. As the producer of the world’s lowest carbon leather, we encourage operators and manufacturers to request transparent and measurable assessments of their suppliers’ overall environmental impact from raw material consumption, through production, to end-of-life disposal. Equally, we encourage other suppliers to ramp up their carbon accounting with a comprehensive transport life-cycle analysis impact assessment, and to ensure their sustainability credentials are backed by independently verified, rigorous analysis.

“By subjecting our own products to a Life Cycle Analysis, we were able to provide Muirhead’s customers with independently verified sustainability data – empowering them to make a tangible impact on their own journeys towards net zero.”

Muirhead and the Scottish Leather Group are committed to the UN Global Compact and measure their sustainability performance against all 17 Sustainable Development Goals. They have also been awarded Gold standard by the Leather Working Group and achieved an overall score of 95 per cent with 100 per cent on traceability. The group is now 90 per cent on its way to achieving net-zero by 2025 – twenty years ahead of Scotland’s net-zero ambitions – and is on track to deliver zero waste to landfill by the same year.

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