The production, use, and disposal of products results in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that cause climate change. Carbon footprinting calculates all GHG emissions associated with your products or organisation. The process is based on life cycle thinking but focuses on a single issue only.
What is a carbon footprint?
The carbon footprint is an instrument for measuring the climate change impact of your company’s activities. A carbon footprint of a product, an organization or a process takes into account all GHG emissions related to it. This includes, but is not limited to, the carbon dioxide emissions from use of fossil fuels for manufacturing, transport, and heating, and methane and nitrous oxide emissions from agricultural activities. The carbon footprint expresses the sum of GHG emissions in kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalents.
Calculating the carbon footprint for your business or products allows you to identify hotspots, compare improvement opportunities and reduce your carbon footprint.
Carbon Footprint Consulting: We calculate your carbon footprint for you
Calculating a carbon footprint is relatively simple, as the impact factors for different GHG emissions are well-established and widely adopted. Understanding and following the calculation rules of different standards for determining GHG emissions, however, can be more complex. PRé can assist you with the following issues:
- How to choose the standard to apply
- How to include carbon uptake
- How to treat biogenic emissions
- How to account for land use change, both direct and indirect
- How to treat end of life waste and emissions
PRé is qualified to conduct product carbon footprints according to the following standards:
- GHG Protocol: This is a widely used international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage GHG emissions at product and corporate level. Download standard.
- ISO 14064-1:2006: This international standard specifies the quantification and reporting of GHG emissions and removals at the organization level. Download standard.
- ISO/TS 14067:2013: This international specification determines the requirements and guidelines for quantification and communication of carbon footprint of products. Download standard.
- PAS 2050: This British specification describes requirements for the assessment of the GHG emissions associated with the life cycle of goods and services. Download standard.
SimaPro: Use Sustainability Software to calculate your carbon footprint
If you are an LCA expert, you can also choose to use the SimaPro LCA software package to calculate your own carbon footprints for your products or business. You could do the calculation completely independently, or with advice and help from PRé Consultants. Everything you need for doing a carbon footprint calculation is incorporated in SimaPro. The package also contains several background databases, including ecoinvent, one of the largest and most widely used LCA databases. With SimaPro, you can:
- quantify the GHG emissions of each product and facility
- monitor the progress towards GHG emissions targets
- identify hotspots in the organisation’s and individual products’ value chain
- compare reduction opportunities by analysing various scenarios
Verification of Carbon Footprint Metrics System
For an example of carbon footprinting and how PRé can help plan and execute such a project, take a look at the following case. A large Dutch beverage company asked PRé to independently verify their carbon footprint metrics system. This helped discover opportunities for improvement, and provided guidance to drive additional business value. Download the case study on the verification of Carbon Footprint Metrics System here.