GHG Desktop Management Services (DMS) Factsheet

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Please note that the factsheet below is part of the GHG Protocol ICT Sector Guidance, which contains six chapters. The first chapter is an introduction to the general principles of life cycle accounting and reporting in the ICT sector; the following five chapters are divided into five separate factsheets, for better readability – and are available on the map of methodologies of the project. Although no specific factsheet was developed for the introduction chapter, relevant content is included in the factsheet below on Desktop Management Services (DMS).

GHG Protocol ICT Sector Guidance - Desktop Management Services (DMS)
Name of Initiative/Methodology

ICT Sector Guidance built on the GHG Protocol Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard – Chapter 3 – Guide for assessing GHG emissions of Desktop Managed Services

Link to the latest published version

GHG Protocol ICT Sector Guidance (07/2017): Final version

Developed by

Carbon Trust, Global e-Sustainability Initiative (GeSI)
History and Status
  • Work started in 2011, issued as drafts in two rounds of public consultation
  • Published in July 2017
Involved companies / parties
  • Steering Committee: Alcatel Lucent, BT, Carbon Trust, CDP, Cisco, Deutsche Telekom, European Commission, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Gartner, GeSI, HP, ITU, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, World Business Council for Sustainable Development, World Resources Institute, WSP

Organisation env. accounting

 Scope 1  
 Scope 2  
 Scope 3

Product env. assessment 

 Life cycle approach  

 Use phase only

  • Cradle to grave for final products
  • Cradle to gate for intermediate products


 Energy (focus on secondary energy)

 Other environmental impacts


System(s) covered by the methodology

Desktop Managed Services, which comprise:

  • Service desk (incident and change management; may also include remote assistance)
  • End-user device service (provision and management of services related to the device)
  • Deskside services (to ensure the right level of support to the users)
  • End-user infrastructure service (management of the infrastructure supporting the end-user device service, e.g. services on email, fine and print, or internet proxy)
  • Service delivery management (ensuring quality of service)
  • Providing supporting data for identification of a life cycle stage, subassembly or process that have significant GHG emissions (hot spot)
  • Assessing GHG emissions of a DMS (either external or in-house DMS)
  • Prioritising reduction efforts across the DMS life cycle (from a service provider or user perspective)
Generic features
  • All stages other than the use stage may be grouped together (embodied emissions)
  • Critical review by a first or third party is required
  • Offsets, avoided and delayed emissions are not to be included in the inventory results
  • Functional unit:
    • For all final products, the unit of analysis is defined as a functional unit
    • For intermediate products where the eventual function is unknown, the unit of analysis is defined as the reference flow
  • Cradle-to-gate and gate-to-gate inventory results should be reported separately (if not limited by confidentiality)
  • Companies shall disclose and justify any exclusions of attributable processes in the inventory report
  • Companies shall collect primary data for all processes under their ownership / control
  • Companies shall assess the data quality of activity data, emission factors, and/or direct emissions data
ICT-specific features
  • The functional unit needs to define the magnitude (e.g. number of users supported), the duration (e.g. length of service, or per year) and the quality (e.g. type of support, response times) of the service. Several examples are provided.
  • The use stage is almost always where the biggest emissions occur (energy use from the equipment, service desk, engineering and infrastructure)
  • Some processes may be excluded from the GHG emissions calculation, such as: upstream emissions of capital goods (e.g. vehicles used for support staff transportation, construction of buildings), lighting and heating for users of the DMS, travel of support staff which is not directly related to the provision of DMS
  • The decommissioning / standing down of support teams at service end may not necessarily be considered a major factor to generation of emissions but screening should be employed to ascertain materiality
  • Technical refresh (of parts of the estate, at different times) should be accounted for by assuming a level of refresh for the duration of the service (e.g. contract duration) for different categories of equipment. If the refresh is different in practice (from what planned) and significant, it should be treated as a new service and recalculated
  • The most appropriate allocation methods of DMS between independent products should involve pro-rating of usage of the shared component. Recommended allocation methods are provided for several examples of shared components
  • Provision of example of GHG emissions calculations for each stage. Refer to guidance defined in other chapters of the GHG Protocol ICT sector guidance e.g. for calculation of impacts from hardware or cloud and data centre services
Examples of implementation / experience feedback

None identified – to be filled later

Interaction with other methodologies
  • [IEC TR 62725] Analysis of quantification methodologies of greenhouse gas emissions for electrical and electronic products and systems
  • [ISO/TS 14067] Greenhouse gases - Carbon footprint of products - Requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication
  • [ISO 14040] Environmental management - Life cycle assessment - Principles and framework
  • [ISO 14044] Environmental management - Life cycle assessment – Requirements and guidelines
  • [GHG Protocol Product Standard] Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard
  • [ETSI TS 103 199] Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of ICT equipment, networks and services; General methodology and common requirements
  • [ETSI ES 203 199/ITU-T L.1410] Methodology for environmental life cycle assessments of information and communication technology goods, networks and services
  • [PAS 2050] Specification for the assessment of the life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services

How do I use this methodology? Ask for support!

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