The COFRET project is co-financed
by European Commission Directorate
General for Research & Innovation as
part of the 7th Framework Programme
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To support the realisation of the EU emission targets, COFRET will examine methodologies for the accurate calculation of carbon emissions, considering all modes of freight transport in the supply chain and make recommendations for an improved and harmonised future approach.

COFRET's scope, adjusted to take account of the latest international developments, is:

  • To review existing methodologies for the calculation of carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of freight transport and logistics in the context of supply chains and evaluating their compatibility with EN 16258;
  • To identify gaps and ambiguities in the calculation guidelines within the EN 16258 standard relating to coverage of freight transport and logistics, supported by the means of real-life case studies;
  • To prioritise suggestions for possible approaches to achieve comparability for the calculation of emissions along supply chains.


In its early stages COFRET conducted detailed reviews and a consultation exercise to look into user needs and the state-of-the-art relating to methods, tools and data for calculation of the carbon footprint for logistics chains as a part of supply chain management.  A comparative analysis and evaluation of existing, available methodologies and tools will now reveal common elements as well as gaps and issues not yet covered.  Whilst focusing on CO2 emissions, COFRET will also consider other greenhouse gases such as CH4 and N2O.

The results, which are available to download, showed that there are already elements suitable for the calculation of the carbon footprint of transport and logistics along supply chains distributed among the existing methods, tools and databases; however a truly harmonised framework was found to be missing. 

Developments such as the publication EN 16258 “Methodology for calculation and declaration of energy consumption and GHG emissions of transport services (freight and passengers)” and the French national decree for “Information About CO2 Emissions From Transport Services” have subsequently further raised the profile of measuring and improving the environmental performance of freight transport supply chains.

This information and the will be supplemented through a gap analysis of EN 16258 will be reviewe so that any missing elements in the existing methods can be identified and plugged.  This will be supported and tested through practical applications by key stakeholders in real supply chain situations test cases to derive recommendations for further practical exploitation. The result will provide an information base to improve measurement of emissions from entire transport supply chains - an important step in supporting corporate organisations wanting to improve the environmental footprint of their activities.

To help with this task COFRET has also been granted project liaison status by CEN in respect of carbon footprinting of freight transport.  By the end of the project in November 2014 COFRET had taken big steps towards identifying gaps and ambiguities within EN 16258 and making related suggestions for possible approaches to achieve comparability for the calculation of emissions along supply chains.

Through the collaborative process with ISO and Smart Freight Centre we have made possible the production of an International Workshop Agreement to ensure that a harmonised approach across modes and global regions can be maintained and further developed in order to avoid the possibility of future fragmentation of approach.

To achieve these outcomes the project is broken down into the following work programme elements:

  • Exploration of existing CO2 calculation tools and methodologies in relation to the needs and requirements of supply chain management and all stakeholders in the supply chain; WP2 Review of Existing Resources and User Needs
  • Identification of the technical requirements towards a harmonised methodology for the calculation of CO2 emissions; WP3 Methodology Development
  • Development of the COFRET prototype that will calculate CO2 emissions from freight transport along the functional elements of the supply chain; WP4 Demonstration of the COFRET Methodology
  • Development of case studies to test the practical application of the COFRET methodology; WP5 Case Studies
  • Evaluation and appraisal of the impact of COFRET's methodology in relation to the project's objectives; WP6 Evaluation
  • Project outreach in the form of dissemination and forging links with a wide range of stakeholders including shippers, transport companies, standardisation bodies and representative organisations. WP7, Dissemination & Exploitation
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