Quebec selects the CIRAIG to lead the product carbon footprint pilot project, first step in the government's $24M initiative

MONTREAL, Feb. 27, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG) is pleased to announce that the Ministère du Développement économique, de l'Innovation et de l'Exportation (MDEIE) has selected the CIRAIG to implement a product carbon footprint pilot project. The first action of the Québec government's $24M carbon footprint certification initiative, the pilot project aims to determine the best practices in regards to quantification, verification and certification for the effective implementation of the initiative.

Despite recent advances made in calculation method harmonization, one of the key issues in quantifying carbon footprints remains the lack of sectorial methodological guidelines to enable the coherent comparability of carbon footprints. In order to address these methodological challenges, the Empreinte carbone Québec pilot project was launched. This pilot project, lead by the CIRAIG, will significantly advance environmental labelling through exchanges with key sector stakeholders and the creation of high-benefit partnerships.

It is with a view to create an initiative with solid foundations based on international best practices that the MDEIE and CIRAIG have joined forces. Using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Life Cycle Standard as a methodology framework, the pilot project will compare different protocols to assess result reproducibility. The entire industry and all sectors will benefit from this one-year initiative.

The pilot project will also benefit from the GHG emissions testing expertise of the Bureau de normalisation du Québec (BNQ), which will recommend verification mechanisms to support the deployment of the measure.

"Informed decision-making in terms of product carbon footprinting must necessarily be guided by a more in-depth understanding of calculation methods for a product's entire life cycle, from raw materials extraction to end-of-life management. We are especially proud that the MDEIE has selected us to lead the project, which will position Québec at the forefront of the product carbon footprint sector," affirmed Valérie Bécaert, executive director of the CIRAIG.

The pilot project currently involves ten businesses that will quantify the carbon footprints of one or several of their products. The participating organizations were selected by the CIRAIG in an effort to cover a wide range of products, companies and parameters that could impact calculation methods and include Alcoa, Alouette, Aliments Utima Inc., Bell Canada, Chantiers Chibougamau / Nordic Structures Bois, Enerkem, Fibrek, Interplast, Laboratoire M2 and Rio Tinto Alcan.

In addition to setting out a coherent and harmonized method to calculate the carbon footprints of products and services, the Empreinte Carbone Québec pilot project will help maximize the competitive edge that Québec has gained on trading markets thanks to the carbon-efficiency of its hydroelectricity.

For more information on the pilot project, go to


The Interuniversity Research Centre for the Life Cycle of Products, Processes and Services (CIRAIG) was founded under the leadership of École Polytechnique de Montréal, in collaboration with Université de Montréal and HEC Montréal, to meet industry and government demands regarding the development of leading edge academic expertise in sustainable development. The CIRAIG collaborates with numerous research centres around the world and actively participates in the UNEP/SETAC Life Cycle Initiative. More information available at

Experts are available for interviews:

Sophie Fallaha, M.Sc.A. - Empreinte carbone Québec pilot Project Manager, CIRAIG
Pascal Lesage, Eng., Ph.D. - Project Manager for the Quebec Life Cycle Inventory Database, CIRAIG
Annie Levasseur, Eng., Ph.D. - Expert in the field of greenhouse gas emissions, CIRAIG
Valérie Bécaert, Eng., Ph.D. - Executive director, CIRAIG

SOURCE Polytechnique Montréal

For further information:

Sandra Estrela
Communications Service
Tel.: 514 340-4711 ext. 4122

Sophie Fallaha
Senior Analyst
Tel.: 514 340-4711 ext. 4987


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