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Carbon Footprint: How to manage purchasing power parity (PPP)?

In summary

Managing Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in the context of a carbon footprint assessment is essential for multinational companies. In this article, discover how to integrate PPP into your company's carbon footprint to enhance the accuracy and effectiveness of emission reduction strategies.
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What is Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)?

Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) is an economic indicator that compares the purchasing power of different currencies worldwide, based on the cost of a similar basket of goods and services in various countries. This allows for the measurement of the real exchange rate and determines how much a sum of money can buy in each country, offering a precise comparison of living standards and costs across different regions.

In terms of carbon footprint , PPP is crucial for adjusting costs and emissions according to differences in purchasing power. By integrating PPP, companies can harmonize financial and environmental data across international sites. This allows for a better understanding of the economic activities' impact on global greenhouse gas emissions. PPP also helps identify cost optimization and emission reduction opportunities in various economic contexts.

Impact of PPP on Carbon Footprint

PPP influences the carbon footprint by adjusting the costs of goods and services, enabling an accurate evaluation of GHG emissions across different countries. Without PPP, comparisons may be biased by local cost differences, distorting perceived energy efficiency.

For example, a company may have lower energy costs in a country with low PPP, falsely representing superior energy efficiency compared to a site in a high PPP country. By integrating PPP, companies can normalize these differences, allowing for a comparable evaluation of GHG emissions.

Moreover, considering PPP in the carbon footprint helps identify optimization and cost reduction opportunities in global supply chains. It can also aid in prioritizing investments in emission reduction technologies where they are most cost-effective, given the local purchasing power.

Steps to Integrate PPP into the Carbon Footprint

Identify Required Costs

Gather and identify all expenses related to the company's activities, such as energy costs, raw material purchases, and transportation expenses.

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Obtain PPP Conversion Rates

Use PPP conversion rates provided by official institutions like the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund (IMF). These rates allow conversion of local costs into a common currency adjusted for purchasing power.


Integrating purchasing power parity into the carbon footprint allows international companies to normalize costs and emissions across different sites.

Convert Expenses to PPP

Apply PPP conversion rates to the identified expenses. This normalizes costs across the different regions where the company operates.

Adjust Emission Factors

Adapt emission factors based on local energy mixes and practices, using region-specific emission coefficients adjusted for PPP.

Calculate GHG Emissions

Calculate greenhouse gas emissions using expenses converted to PPP to obtain normalized emissions.

Aggregate Data

Sum the PPP-adjusted data to get an overall view of the company's emissions, considering economic disparities.


Compare adjusted emissions between different sites and identify opportunities for emission reductions.

Advantages and Challenges of Integrating PPP into Carbon Footprint

Integrating Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) into the carbon footprint presents several advantages and challenges for companies.


Improved Comparability: PPP normalizes costs between different countries, facilitating the comparison of GHG emissions across international sites.

Increased Accuracy: Adjusting local costs for PPP provides a more accurate picture of emissions related to economic activities.

Cost Optimization: Considering PPP helps identify opportunities for emission and cost reductions in global supply chains, improving economic and environmental efficiency.


Implementation Complexity: Integrating PPP into the carbon footprint calculation can be complex, requiring precise financial data and reliable conversion rates.

Conversion Rate Variability: PPP conversion rates can fluctuate, complicating the application of this methodology over a prolonged period.

Resource Requirements: Adjusting costs and emissions for PPP requires additional resources, both in terms of time and expertise.

Integrating Purchasing Power Parity into the carbon footprint allows international companies to normalize costs and emissions across different sites. By using adapted methodologies, organizations can achieve a more accurate assessment and identify emission reduction opportunities.

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