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GOAL FF18 | Products

Products emit no greenhouse gases

A Future-Fit Business sells no goods or services that emit greenhouse gases as a direct consequence of their use.

What this goal means

There is no longer any doubt that the systematically increasing concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere resulting from combustion and other human-caused processes is contributing to climate change and ocean acidification. Companies should respond accordingly, to ensure that their products cause no GHG emissions when used as intended.

Nature can safely absorb some human-made GHGs every year, but the Future-Fit imperative is for companies to eliminate all operational GHG emissions. That’s because we are dangerously close to reaching atmospheric GHG levels that will be catastrophic for society, and any attempt to divide up the remaining carbon budget across companies is likely to be too complex, contentious and/or time-consuming to result in the scale and speed of reduction that is now needed.

Products powered by electricity may indirectly cause GHG emissions if the electricity derives from fossil fuels, but the products are not themselves forcing that. Hence the focus here is on products that emit GHGs as a direct consequence of their use, such as:

  • Transport services (e.g. taxi rides, flights, and couriers using GHG-emitting vehicles).
  • Combustible fuels (e.g. diesel, gasoline, end-of-life tires when sold as fuel).
  • Equipment powered by combustion (e.g. gas-powered generators).
  • Physical inclusion of substances with GHG properties, such as some refrigerants, which are likely to be released during the product lifecycle or on disposal.

Why this goal is needed...

Products that require combustible fuels for their operation phase make a significant contribution to total GHG emissions.

The transport sector causes 7.0 GtCO2e of direct GHG emissions, almost a quarter of all CO2 emissions.

Even at the end of a products lifespan it can emit large amounts of GHGs.

There are more than 7 GtCO2e of latent refrigerant gases in the global inventory. At present, 99% will be released during the life cycle of the products that contain them.

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