Carbon Accounting

Representatives from the Catapult Network are working with Government, academia and standards bodies to develop a robust, comprehensive framework to accurately measure greenhouse gas emissions of UK manufactured products, that will accelerate industrial emission reduction and position the UK as the place for green manufacturing.

About the project 

To limit warming to 1.5C, it is critical businesses set decarbonisation targets to include emissions occurred across the full value chain, beyond what they have direct control over. These emissions are referred to as Scope 3 and are often the most significant, but most difficult to accurately measure. It is important that an accurate image of the true embodied carbon is captured in Scope 3 emissions in order to inform and drive change required to meet net zero. 

However key challenges for manufacturers to capture their value-chain emissions include:  

  • An overabundance of standards, tools, guides and frameworks means the landscape is hard to navigate for most companies without the help of experts in the field. 
  • Hard-to-access, inconsistent and unverified data leads to inaccuracies and discrepancies in carbon accounting leaving a large room for error and reduced customer confidence. 
  • A lack of policies, good governance and enforcement leads to a broad range of practices and varying levels of adherence. 

A systematic approach is therefore required to tackle this complex set of challenges. 

Catapults take action 

With this in mind, the High Value Manufacturing Catapult is leading a two-and-a-half-year project on behalf of Innovate UK with support from several other Catapults to develop a framework for creating a best practice guide for measuring embodied emissions of UK products in the context of Scope 3 greenhouse gas reporting. The four other Catapults involved in the project are Connected Places, Digital, Energy Systems and Satellite Applications, each leveraging their network and unique expertise to tackle this complex challenge. 

Connected Places Catapult is leading the ecosystem work by mapping the complex landscape, convening broad subject matter experts and identifying solutions and best practice. Digital Catapult is leading the work on data, tools and verification. Energy Systems is building on its experience driving carbon reporting frameworks to build tools and best practice for tracking emissions along supply chains and disseminating into industry.   

The programme will work closely with selected companies in the UK manufacturing supply chain to test and validate their carbon accounting processes, in order to support them on their carbon accounting journeys and to gather best practice knowledge for the project. 

The Catapult Network will also work alongside external subject matter experts such as the British Standards Institution, which has delivered a series of recommendations on how to improve governance and standards associated with carbon accounting. 


Making progress on industrial emissions reduction in not only key to meeting Net Zero, but will also boost the competitive advantage of UK manufacturers to win future work as other nations adopt carbon pricing. 

The UK has the opportunity to position itself as the global ‘green-shoring’ destination of choice for manufacturers, underpinned by a decarbonised industrial base and clear greenhouse gas accounting and reporting frameworks.   

Rather than offshoring our manufacturing supply base to nations with weaker carbon reduction targets, the UK has an opportunity to take a global leadership position. It can address its consumption emissions by transforming its domestic manufacturing base, anchoring innovations, attracting inward investment and exporting Net Zero products and services to international markets. 

Call to action 

We cannot solve this in isolation. So if you have a solution or recommendation you would like to share, or if you have first-hand experience of these carbon reporting challenges and want to participate in pilots, please get in touch via the contact details below. 

Contact the project team 

For more information on this project, complete the form below and a member of our team will be in contact.

Project partners