Literature Review of Product Carbon Footprinting

  • Typ:Bachelor's thesis
  • Betreuer:

    Niklas Letmathe

  • Zusatzfeld:


  • As sustainability becomes of increasing interest, the assessment of Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) appears as
    a useful tool to mitigate environmental impacts. This literature review aims to provide a comprehensive
    overview of the different Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) assessment methodologies, including methodologies
    guided by international standards such as the PAS 2050, the ISO 14067, and the GHG Protocol Product
    Standard. Based on a selection of 23 articles, a comprehensive review of different methodologies for
    assessing PCF was conducted. Almost three-quarters of the selected articles focus on the food and beverage
    industry, particularly the coffee and fruit sector. This review reveals a diverse landscape of approaches for PCF
    with limited overlap. However, the PAS 2050 guideline emerged as the most present standard. Furthermore, a
    significant proportion of the articles only vaguely describe how the PCF is calculated precisely. Only two
    articles described in detail, how the individual processes of the life cycle of the product are calculated.
    Regardless of the industry or whether a guideline is applied, eight articles used a similar approach to
    calculating PCF, namely the sum of the emission factor multiplied by the activity data. It was also noted that
    defining functional unit and system boundaries significantly affect the calculation results and must be
    considered when comparing PCF. Another finding regarding the system boundary was that there is no
    indication of a preference between the considered phases of the life cycle, to be exact the cradle-to-grave
    and cradle-to-gate approaches. In conclusion, it was noted that there is no internationally used standard for
    the calculation of the PCF, as there are some discrepancies between the methodological approaches. Furthermore, it was noted that the food industry, a Business-to-Customer industry, is particularly present in the calculation of the PCF.