Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


LEARN Report Summary

Project ID: 723984
Funded under: H2020-EU.3.4.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LEARN (Logistics Emission Accounting and Reduction Network)

Reporting period: 2016-10-01 to 2017-12-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

What is the problem/issue being addressed?
Businesses that measure their emissions have the opportunity to make informed decisions that lead to improved efficiency and reduced emissions. Making sound business decisions that consider the carbon footprint (often alongside costs, time and reliability) is only possible if emissions are calculated consistently at a global level across road, rail, air, sea, inland waterways and transhipment centers.

Why is it important for society?
Freight transport forms the backbone of today's global economy that is driven by production and consumption. Three major challenges face this sector that are interconnected: explosive growth, high and rising costs, and high environmental impacts.
On environmental impacts, global freight is projected to triple between 2015 and 2050 and accounts for about 7% of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. Compared to 2015, freight emissions might increase by 76% by 2050 but should reduce between 19 – 64% under a 1.5-2oC scenario under the Paris Climate Agreement. A transformational shift towards decarbonizing this sector requires reducing emissions intensity and freight tonne-km. Air pollution from freight should be addressed in tandem.

What are the overall objectives?

The Logistics Emissions Accounting and Reduction Network project (LEARN) empowers business to reduce their carbon footprint across their global logistics supply chains. Logistics emissions measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) is improved and accelerated by LEARN in four ways:
• provide support to companies through guidance, training & education, and develop a blueprint for a label
• test and validate with companies the practical applicability of emissions MRV and a label in complex multi-modal logistics settings
• promote and facilitate supportive policy and research
• develop and involve a LEARN multi-stakeholder network to maximize business uptake of carbon accounting and reduction

LEARN partners will work closely with related organizations, initiatives and already existing networks. This includes the Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC), a voluntary partnership of companies, industry associations and programs. The LEARN project builds on and seeks to improve the ‘GLEC Framework for Logistics Emissions Methodologies’ that combines existing methods and fills gaps, making carbon accounting work for industry. For the first time, emissions can be calculated consistently at the global level across all transport modes and transhipment centers.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Provide support to companies to measure, report and verify emissions and use data to make decisions:
• Guidelines for methodology application and verification combined with reporting templates
• Training courses in three languages for carriers, logistics service providers and cargo owners
• Blueprint of a label to reward companies based on consistent emissions accounting and reduction efforts, building on existing labels
Guidelines, training courses and criteria for a label blueprint are in development.

Test, validate and evaluate emissions MRV with companies in complex multi-modal logistics settings.
• Practical applicability of emissions calculation and verification
• Feasibility of data exchange between logistics supply chain partners for calculation of shipment-level emissions
• Calculation requirements for a label based on greenhouse gas emissions
Testing protocols have been developed and companies who will take part in the testing and validation are being selected.

Promote and facilitate supportive policies and research
• Overview of gaps in methodology, data quality and exchange challenges, and requirements for a label
• Recommended research agenda for gaps, challenges and future label development
• Recommended priorities for government and industry on incorporating carbon footprinting into policy making
An overview of gaps has been created and a workshop with stakeholders to fill gaps is planned for September 2017.

Develop and involve a LEARN multi-stakeholder network to maximize business uptake of carbon accounting and reduction
• Active stakeholder involvement in LEARN building on existing initiatives and networks
• International Workshops with companies and other stakeholders for input and dissemination
• Marketing and communication on activities, outputs and network during and beyond the LEARN project
The LEARN website and promotional materials were issued and a first LEARN International Workshop was held in April 2017.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The high-level impact of LEARN is for industry, supported by other stakeholders, to benefit from the practical means to track and report the carbon footprint of logistics activities as a support to the implementation of measures to reduce emissions. The recent EC policy study “Fact-finding study in support of the development of an EU strategy for freight transport logistics” identified the combined lack of a harmonized approach to carbon accounting in the logistics sector and limited understanding of the contributing issues as the most significant barrier to unlocking future actions aimed at reducing the contribution of the logistics sector to climate change.

Hence the major impact of LEARN will be to remove this barrier within the system and then move beyond it to help identify how a harmonized approach to carbon accounting in the logistics sector, potentially combined with other significant environmental issues in an eco-label can be embedded in a combined approach of progressive policy setting and industry action to reduce emissions. Specific expected impacts are
• Collaborative strategies among industry and authorities for win-win solutions for transport and logistics services: greener while not more costly
• Streamlined business processes and efficiency gains
• Fair competition and transparent carbon footprint calculations of transport and logistics services
• A sound proposal for an eco-label blueprint to reward companies based on consistent emissions accounting and reduction efforts, building on existing labels

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