What's The Deal With E-Liability?

Sustainability SmartPod

Jun 22 2023 • 1 hr

During one of the first episodes of this show, we mentioned the carbon accounting concept of environmental liability (E-liability). E-liability introduces a simple, accurate, and verifiable calculation for the total cradle-to-gate emissions of any product or service. On that earlier episode, we voiced a bit of skepticism about the concept … and guess what … the people at the E-liability Institute were listening. They got in touch and offered to have one of their co-founders join us on the show to do a deep dive on a concept that stands to revolutionize the carbon accounting landscape.

Karthik Ramanna is the Co-founder and Principal Investigator at the E-liability Institute. He's also the Professor of Business & Public Policy and Director of the Master of Public Policy Program at the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government. Karthik explains the basics of E-liability and makes the case for why companies, standards setters and regulators all around the world should be familiarizing themselves with the concept of E-liability.

More resources

Inaugural E-liability Conference
Harvard Business Review: Accounting for Climate Change
Harvard Business Review: Getting a Clearer View of Your Company’s Carbon Footprint

Show Segments

Sustainable or Suspicious - (2:39)
Paris skyscraper ban

Top Headlines from SmartBrief on Sustainability  - (13:05)
The kids have had enough -- climate lawsuit comes to trial
Fungi play a major role in combating climate change
York, Pa., works to eliminate plastic waste

Here and There - (24:56)
European soccer and sustainability

Highlights from Karthik Ramanna

What is E-liability? - (31:51)
Smartphone supply chain as an example for E-Liability - (33:57)
Pilot project with Giti Tire Group (40:03)
E-liability vs. Other carbon measurement approaches - (43:00)
Plugging supply chain carbon accounting gaps - (43:48)
If Karthik was king for a day - (46:02)
E-liability's compatability with existing standards - (48:40)
What is preventing wider adoption of E-liability? - (50:22)
Engaging with regulators - Upcoming conference - (53:46)
Karthik's bold predicitons - (58:10)

Sign up for the SmartBrief on Sustainability newsletter