Local authorities

This page describes one of the possible roles for a carbon on invoices precursor, which aims to associate each product or service with its precise and truthful greenhouse gas weight (or « carbon footprint »). The list of roles is at the bottom of the page.

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The climate challenge is leading each local authority to reinvent its purchasing, management and investment methods.
The largest local authorities already have a strategic tool in the form of their « carbon footprint », which tells them how much greenhouse gas they need to provide their services, and which guides them in reducing their climate risk. A few dozen companies are already equipped, and more are coming on board every day. This is still low compared to the tens of thousands of French local authorities.

An accurate and truthful carbon footprint provides a measure of the exposure of the community’s activity to climate risk : carbons are likely to become scarcer, more expensive, more controlled. The footprint shows the extent of the risk ; from which purchases or production processes it comes. It provides the means to control it, and therefore to steer its carbon trajectory, through its purchasing or innovation policy and the review of its processes and projects. The footprint enables the local authority to demonstrate its efforts to its partners : the footprint of the local authority and its services is increasingly requested by the authority’s financiers, taxpayers and electors.

Carbon on invoices is the name of a climate innovation which, in a few years, has made it possible to provide all local authorities, even the smallest ones, with their carbon footprint and the strategic information that it provides, virtually free of charge. It is based on cooperation along the production and distribution chains and on the local authority’s accountant who will break down the carbons he finds on the suppliers’ invoices for the services provided by the local authority (see the mechanism).

Carbon on invoices is also the name of a full-scale experiment to test the innovation and get it off the ground. The first step is to define a common charter for the Carbon on invoices Precursors, describing the commitments they make and from which they benefit from the other Precursors. This page is dedicated to the « local authority » part of the charter, in the roles of buyer and producer of a local authority.

For the collective interest, it is a formidable accelerator of the climate transition (see why).

It is also a great operation for each Precursor community : it puts itself in a position to take better decisions more quickly, if it does not yet have its footprint ; and, whether it has it or not, it reinforces its reputation with all its partners as being capable of « playing as a team » within its territory.

    • Its accountant is a precursor, applying the principles of carbon accounting*.
    • The local authority indicates to its suppliers that it will gradually introduce this criterion into its criteria (with a link explaining C/f).
    • The local authority informs its citizens that it a) can now indicate the carbon footprint of its products on its invoices (if it already has its footprint); or b) will be in a position to do so**.
    • If funding justifies it, the local authority indicates that it can a) pass on its footprint to its financier; or b) put itself in a position to do so**.
    • Other points to be explored : the support of the territory’s Precursors, the measurement of the territory’s primary carbon trajectory…

*To be verified, a minimal management overload for small local authorities Precursors.

** For a Precursor local authority that does not yet have a complete carbon footprint, it is necessary to define how it signals that it is a Precursor « in progress », and when it is considered that the quality of the footprint is sufficient to use it (to avoid unfair competition and misleading advertising).