The Carbon Trust and the UK's Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have developed a method for assessing the life cycle, greenhouse gas emissions of goods and services. Details have been published by the British Standards Institute (BSI) as a Publicly Available Standard (PAS 2050:2008). Details of the methodology can also be located on the Trust's Footprinting Process site. Carbon footprint and life cycle supply chain standards are also being developed by the International Standards Organisation (ISO-14067) and the GHG Protocol Initiative.
To the author's knowledge, no organisation has successfully determined the carbon footprint / embodied energy content of the machinery and equipment (so-called capital goods) used in the construction of an industrial process because of the cost and complexity of the analysis involved. This would be an essential capability if we wished to compare quantitatively the environmental merits of competing technologies. Some early values have been produced for materials. These include the University of Bath's Inventory of Carbon and Energy (ICE) database and guidelines published by the Australian Government on techniques and materials used in the construction of buildings.
It may be noted that claims in recent years by OECD countries to have reduced energy demand and the associated emissions of carbon dioxide may in fact be because they have outsourced large portions of their manufacturing capacity to developing countries such as China and India. In these circumstances, a significant part of the life cycle emissions associated with the manufacture of products will have been externalised - see for example, the following article by Dieter Helm.