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It’s time to make suggestions for improving the world’s first carbon footprint standard for goods and services

Press Release   •   Feb 21, 2011 13:13 GMT

Since first published in 2008, the world’s first standard that enables businesses to assess the carbon footprint of their goods and services in a consistent way has been downloaded from BSI’s website by more than 30,000 companies and organisations around the world.

The huge interest in and uptake of the PAS 2050 standard is hardly surprising given that greenhouse gas emissions and the associated carbon footprint have become a key factor for customers and stakeholders when making decisions about which goods and services to buy and use.

Just over two years since publication of PAS 2050, it’s now time to revise and update it. BSI is therefore asking for a wide range of stakeholders to share their experience in carbon footprinting to help shape the next release of the standard by commenting on the new draft and making suggestions for its improvement.

With UK Government backing (Defra, BIS, and DECC), the review and subsequent update of PAS 2050 is being managed by a PAS Steering Group comprising carbon footprint experts from industry, trade associations and academia. The revised standard will:

  • Clarify ambiguities that have become apparent in the application of the standard
  • Take account of advances in knowledge and understanding that have emerged since PAS 2050 was first published
  • Align the PAS 2050 methodology and its use in conjunction with other footprint methods.

The Draft for Public Comment will be available for review and public comment from 14 February 2011 to 14 March 2011 at Access to the draft is simple and free. Completion of a quick registration process will permit access to the draft on a clause by clause basis to facilitate the recording of comments. Alongside this public comment process, a review of the draft will be undertaken by some 250 invited experts who have significant familiarity with the PAS and its application. All public and expert comments will be reviewed by the PAS Steering Group and the introduction of related changes will be undertaken on the basis of validity, relevance and potential benefit to users and beneficiaries of the PAS.

It is expected that the revised PAS 2050 will be available in April 2011.

Director of BSI Standards, Mike Low commented: “PAS 2050 is a milestone addition to BSI’s eminent portfolio of sustainability standards and is a vitally important practical piece of work. It provides organisations of all sizes and geographic locations with a consistent way to determine the climate change impact of their goods and services. By undertaking this revision, BSI, in conjunction with Defra, BIS and DECC, is fulfilling a primary obligation to our standards’ users. Namely to provide a current, technically relevant and up-to-date tool which enables organisations to better understand and manage the carbon footprint of their products.

“The standard provides an excellent basis for a behaviour change to help drive society towards a low carbon economy. We are delighted to have contributions to the development of the standard from many industry players and experts who can lead the way on implementing it once revised. We strongly encourage smaller organisations and individuals to view the draft standard and give us their feedback. When the revision has been completed, the new standard will once again be available free of charge from the BSI website to encourage its widespread adoption.”

Environment Minister, Lord Henley said: “I am pleased that so many businesses have used the PAS 2050 standard to help assess the carbon footprint of their goods and services to reduce their impact on the environment. It is very important that those businesses that use PAS 2050 as a tool for managing their carbon footprint are able to help shape its development and ensure that the standard remains fit for purpose, and I thank BSI for opening this consultation.”

About PAS 2050

PAS 2050 is a widely used specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of products (i.e. goods and services). It was developed in response to broad community and industry desire for a consistent method for assessing the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of both goods and services. The PAS 2050 methodology has been applied to a great number of products, within the UK and internationally.

Defra has been working closely with three high profile businesses to test the PAS 2050 standard and will feed the findings, due to be published later this week, into BSI’s review. 

About BSI

BSI Group is a global independent business services organization that develops standards-based solutions to improve management practices and promote innovation. BSI can help businesses, governments and other organizations around the world to raise quality and performance in a sustainable and socially responsible way. From its origins as the world’s first National Standards Body, BSI Group draws upon over 100 years’ experience to work with 69,000 organizations in 150 countries from its 50 offices. To learn more, please visit

For further information please contact Marc Edney at or telephone +44 20 8996 6330.