“What gets measured, gets managed.” Let’s hope so . . .

10 chemical companies and the WBCSD have released guidelines for accounting and reporting of GHGs, http://www.che.com/only_on_che/latest_news/Emissions-accounting-guidelines-for-GHGs-released_10311.html. This is a great step forward — AkzoNobel, Solvay, BASF, DSM, DuPont, Evonik, Mitsubishi Chemical Company, Sabic, Dow, and Umicore deserve great credit.

A common language to be used in assessing a chemical company’s GHG footprint is a very valuable thing. Until now, several big companies had appeared to have different standards for measuring the same thing. And communicating with the public has been even more confusing, since the industry has been anxious to show not only its own GHG profile reduction, but the effect on total world GHGs of not having a vibrant chemical industry. With a concerted effort, the industry will now be able to tell a single, concerted story to the world about the industry.

Interestingly, the single standard will enable companies to compete on sustainability performance for this aspect of their business, which is a major step in boosting the whole sustainability agenda in the chemical sector. Even better, the consumer will slowly but surely be able to see the transparent standard emerging for how the industry measures its GHG performance, without getting confused about where GHG savings are being made.

The efficacy of this sort of collaborative work cannot be underestimated. Kudos to the noble 10 chemical companies who devoted the time and effort to make this possible.