Calculating the carbon footprint of a product
Calculating the carbon footprint of a product is possible when we’ve mapped all phases of the product’s life cycle that produce greenhouse emissions. A business can reduce its emissions by focusing on reducing the environmental impact of one of its products. Focusing on the carbon footprint is a good and tangible starting point. Once the carbon footprint has been determined, emission reduction measures can be cost-effectively targeted – just like with corporate carbon footprint calculations. More and more customers and partners appreciate environmental issues and how they can be demonstrably improved. One of our blog articles focuses on calculating a corporate carbon footprint – read the article here!
What are the benefits of calculating the carbon footprint for a product?
As a result of the carbon footprint calculation for a product, the business receives valuable data. Based on this data the business can target cost-effective emission reduction measures for each stage of the product’s life cycle. It is often the case that when these emissions are identified and reduced, also product manufacturing becomes more cost-effective, for example, due to reduced energy consumption. More and more consumers and business clients pay attention to a product’s carbon footprint, thus calculating the carbon footprint and engaging in emission reduction measures can advance sales as well.
A business that can demonstrate the calculation of its product’s carbon footprint can have an edge in, for example, public sector procurement processes. Businesses and the products participating in tenders are often scored by environmental aspects as well. In addition, calculating the carbon footprint of products that are meant as components or materials for another product can offer a considerable advantage when choosing a supplier. While environmental laws and regulations are constantly emerging and ever-tightening, companies and products with carbon footprint calculations have an edge over companies that are not geared up for the changing operating environment.
How is the carbon footprint of a product calculated in practice?
The carbon footprint calculation for a product is always carried out based on the customer’s needs and mutual discussions. We at Istutapuita.fi make the calculations following the GHG Protocol’s Product Life Cycle Accounting and Reporting Standard guidelines. The GHG Protocol standards are widely used enabling the comparison of carbon footprint calculations in, for example, procurement processes.
The measurable life cycle of the product and its parts always depends on the product in question. The life cycle can be expressed, for example, cradle-to-gate or cradle-to-grave. Cradle-to-gate refers to the carbon impact of a product from the moment it’s produced to the moment it enters the store. Cradle-to-grave, on the other hand, covers everything from the acquisition of materials to the final disposal of the product after use. Once the stages of a product’s life cycle have been recognised, it is important to identify in detail all related processes that generate greenhouse gas emissions. The data gathered from these processes is converted into CO2e emissions using emission factors. The entire process is accurately reported, after which the outlining of emission reduction measures can begin.
Here’s how to get started
Here at istutapuita.fi we always first find out the needs of our customers and then offer expert services for every step of the process. Contact one of our experts to arrange a mapping meeting, where we will find out your exact needs and discuss the potential benefits of carbon footprint calculation.
Do you want to find out how your company can offset its carbon dioxide emissions and participate in our carbon sink project? Send us a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible or call Timo on +358 40 485 6607.