Current Projects

COFRET – CO2 Emissions of Freight Transport

The European Union (EU) has stated that global temperatures should not exceed pre-industrial levels by more than 2°C in order to keep impacts of climate change at a manageable level. To reach this target, industrialised countries and regions, including the EU, are expected to reduce their total annual GHG emissions by 30% up to 2020 and by 60-80% by 2050, compared to 1990 emission levels.

As a consequence the monitoring of emissions of freight transport becomes of central importance. Many companies monitor their CO2 emissions already. So far there is no uniform standard for calculating emissions in place though, regardless whether on international or national level, which renders a cross-company calculation or comparison impossible.

To support the efforts of shippers, forwarders, rail operators, airlines and road carriers in reducing GHG emissions, a consortium of 14 European partners from eight European countries has been formed to develop and test a methodology and framework for the accurate calculation of GHG emissions in the context of supply chains. The consortium, which is named COFRET (Carbon Footprint of Freight Transport), is as part of the 7th Framework Programme co-financed by the European Commission.


In a first step COFRET collects existing tools and methodologies for calculating emissions used by logistic enterprises and industries. A comparative analysis and evaluation of these will reveal common elements as well as gaps and issues not covered yet.

Based on this evaluation and in co-operation with industry carbon footprint initiatives, a methodology will be developed that allows to cover entire supply chains. The methodology will then be tested in real case scenarios in order to validate it and to derive recommendations for further practical exploitation.

The COFRET methodology will cover all modes of transport as well as all types of deliveries, from short-range to long-range. Whilst focusing on CO2 emissions, COFRET will also consider other greenhouse gases such as CH4 and N20. Based on the gained knowledge the emissions can be reduced subsequently.


COFRET aims to develop a methodology for calculating emissions which contributes to the development of a pan-European standard.

The COFRET methodology will allow stakeholders and other users to review their carbon footprint on a cross-company level. COFRET will therefore provide for an information base to improve emissions of entire supply chains for transport and corporate organisations wanting to improve the environmental footprint of their activities.

You will find regular updates on the latest status of COFRET on:

Contracting entity

  • European Commission, FP7-Framework Program


  • CERTH-HIT - Centre for Research and Technology - Hellas
  • DLR - Institute of Transport Research
  • IFSTTAR - Institut français des sciences et technologies
  • ITSW - Motor Transport Institute
  • MARLO Consultants GmbH
  • NEA - Transport Research and Training
  • PTV - Planung Transport Verkehr AG
  • RAPP Trans - Traffic and Transport Consultancy
  • TNO - Mobility and Logistics
  • TOI - Institute of Transport Economics, Norwegian Centre for Transport Research
  • TTR - Transport & Travel Research Ltd
  • TU Dortmund - Institute of Transport Logistics
  • VGTU - Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Institute of Transport
  • VTT - Technical Research Centre of Finland

Project duration

Juni 2011 bis Dezember 2013

Dr.-Ing. Verena Ehrler
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Institute of Transport Research
, Commercial Transport
Tel: +49 30 67055-453

Fax: +49 30 67055-283

Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Lischke
German Aerospace Center (DLR)

Institute of Transport Research
, Commercial Transport
Tel: +49 30 67055-236

Fax: +49 30 67055-283

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