How to properly measure your carbon footprint: the shirt principle

Humanity needs decisive action to reduce emissions. To solve this problem, in 2015 it was

signed the Paris Agreement, in accordance withby which its members committed to halve emissions by 2030 and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

The task is truly global, and the mainpressure falls on the manufacturer. Although it is often forgotten that it is demand, that is, the consumer, that creates supply, that is, the product. The path to net zero can only be achieved by the consumer and the producer together: the former by choosing a product with the least environmental impact, thereby supporting responsible value creation, and the latter by working on the most energy-efficient production methods and choosing the lowest emission supply chains.

Just imagine, according to the SIBUR report, onToday, companies account for more than 65% of the planet's emissions and more than 90% of these emissions are generated in the supply chain - 11.4 times more than a company's operations. However, if a company wants to reduce its climate impact, it must start with major changes in its supply chain.

New industrial revolution

The volume of greenhouse gas emissions generated incompanies and how to reduce them is an important performance indicator that has recently played a key role in business decision-making. At the current stage of development of society, it is already possible not only to assess the carbon footprint, but also to track it in dynamics. For this, various measurement methods are used, and optimal solutions are created to reduce the carbon footprint. In fact, we are talking about a new industrial revolution, the symbols of which will be low-carbon technologies.

Currently, there are already a number of systems that allow you to calculate the carbon footprint, but so far none of them is an absolutely accurate method of measurement.

The current methodology for measuring the carbon footprint

The first step towards achieving zero emissions istaking into account the carbon footprint in the process of creating the value of goods. This includes not only Scope 1 and 2 emissions, which are direct emissions from business operations, but also the hard-to-measure Scope 3, which includes emissions from all suppliers and contractors.

Currently, the following three-phase approach is used to calculate the carbon footprint:

  • Scope 1 is the plant's direct emissions from production.
  • Scope 2 - emissions that are associated with the consumption of electricity or the purchase of heat or cold. In other words, emissions from consumed (purchased) electricity.
  • Scope 3 - indirect emissions during the life cycle of products associated with the use of suppliers and contractors, car rental.

The osprey method measures your carbon footprintcompany, however, in this case, the company's management will not be able to accurately determine the most serious sources of emissions. After all, in the process of creating the value of a product, individual units can go through different supply chains - and the level of emissions will, accordingly, differ. Accurate analysis requires measuring emissions from a single commodity throughout the entire supply chain.

After taking into account the entire carbon footprint and discoveringemission hotspots, it is possible to develop and implement an effective plan to reduce carbon emissions in the enterprise, starting with the largest sources of CO2.

Consider an example of how the production of two shirts X and Y from the same batch by the same manufacturer can leave a different carbon footprint.

So, in the production of one cotton shirt weighing 222 g, a carbon footprint of 6.29 kg occurs at all major stages of its production:

  • cotton growing and cleaning - 1.27 kg, or ~ 20.1%;
  • shirt manufacturing - 3.00 kg, or ~ 47.69%;
  • preparation of a product catalog containing a shirt - 1.53 kg, or ~ 24.3%;
  • packaging - 0.24 kg, or ~ 3.82%;
  • utilization - 0.25 kg, or ~ 3.97%.

At 222g, Shirt X generated 6.29kg of carbon footprint just like Shirt Y. The manufacturer will calculate this number, multiply by the volume of production and get the level of the company's carbon footprint.

But the life cycle of a product does not end with production. After all, after it, the goods will go to the warehouse, then to the distribution center, to the place of sale, and after that it will fall into the hands of the consumer.

Let us consider in more detail the further steps of the “journey” of the shirt around the planet.

X shirt route: manufacturer with 6.29 kg emissions -transportation to distribution center with 2.29kg emissions - high energy consumption wholesaler - transportation with sub-optimal logistics - higher carbon footprint.

Y shirt route: production center/factory with lowemissions - transport to a distribution center with an emission level of 0.29 kg - transfer to a low-energy wholesaler - transport with optimal logistics - lower carbon footprint.

If take other transportation method orproduct packaging, then emissions can become more or less, respectively. From one batch of shirts, some can be sold out immediately, the second - sold / taken for fitting, but returned back, which means re-logistics, cleaning, packaging and storage, that is, additional carbon footprint emissions, and the third - will remain unclaimed and back to distribution centers.

Even within the same company, oneproduction cycle and one batch, the carbon footprint of two identical products will be different. Therefore, a new methodology is needed that will allow even greater accuracy to measure the full carbon footprint, including for each unit of goods.

New Emission Tracking Methodology

Utrace has developed a solution for measuring andtracking the level of greenhouse gas emissions at all stages of the production of goods - Track&Trace. This solution helps to get a better understanding of the carbon footprint at all stages of the production cycle by:

  • Automatic Consolidation, a unique carbon accounting mechanism that automates the costly and time-consuming process of collecting and calculating data.
  • A single methodology - a transparent system based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.
  • Real-time reporting - regularly updated environmental impact assessment data based on an automated solution.

The main distinguishing feature of the solutionis that at all stages of the life cycle of a product, without harming the business, it becomes possible to track the carbon footprint as the product moves along the entire supply chain - not an average, but a specific number for each unit of the product. Thus, it is possible to determine the optimal logical chain in terms of emission levels.

Technology is able to visually show buyerscontribute to addressing current climate challenges and provide them with data on the full carbon footprint of the products they consume. It turns out that both the consumer and the manufacturer can trace their carbon footprint, and their joint efforts are the basis without which it is impossible to achieve zero emissions.

This method is a potentialmore accurate measurement, which is necessary in our time, including for the further development of eco-friendly production methods. When building a dialogue with consumers, it is important to create an understanding of the product value process, explaining exactly how they can contribute to reducing their carbon footprint by choosing products with a lower level of production emissions. Only the joint work of producers and consumers will help reduce emissions to zero.

Read more:

Physicists have proposed a new theory to explain the mass of the Higgs boson

Omicron and children: how the smallest get sick with a new strain and what to look for

Look at the flying motorcycle from Japan. It costs $777,000 and flies for 40 minutes.