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Product carbon footprinting
 

Product carbon footprinting

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    Product carbon footprinting Product carbon footprinting Document Transcript

    • Product Carbon Footprinting - A Golden Middle Path? 1
    • Global Product Carbon Footprinting - A Global Middle Path? ContentReality of emissions – whoʼs emitting? ................................................3What is Product Carbon Footprinting?................................................3 Benefits.......................................................................................................4Whoʼs doing it......................................................................................5Way ahead..........................................................................................5Sources...............................................................................................6EcoLogic Insights 2
    • Global Product Carbon Footprinting - A Global Middle Path?Reality of emissions – who’s emitting?The whole premise of Kyoto Protocol and Emission Reduction targets is based onthe fact that emissions, wherever they occur, are added to the same atmosphereand are going to cause the same increase in the CO2 concentration in theatmosphere. For Emission Reductions to become a reality, the emissions must bereduced globally and not just relocate from a developed country to a developingcountry, which seems to have been the case of result of outsourcing activity. Nodoubt outsourcing has an economic incentive, but from an emissions accountingpoint of view, it places developing countries in bad light to an extent much morethan they should be.For example - reality of China’s emissions is that though they are created in China,they are disproportionately consumed in the developed world. So is the case formany developing countries for which exports to developed world are a significantsource of income. Driven by their consumption pattern shift, many developingcountries may in fact be becoming bigger and bigger net importers of emissions,while claiming to have reduced emissions locally. This creates a situation where thedeveloping countries are asked for reducing their emissions, significant portion ofwhich may not be consumed or utilized by them (for their own development).The debate on worldwide emission reduction fluctuates between developedcountries funding the emission reductions in developing countries and developingcountries managing all the reduction (whatever they can and choose to) bythemselves. Between these extremes exists the possibility of carbon footprint ofproducts becoming universal knowledge and the world consumers graduallymoving towards low-carbon footprint products.What is Product Carbon Footprinting?Product Carbon Footprinting allows the businesses and the consumers to take aunique view of the product in terms of the individual product impact on climatedriven by carbon emissions created by manufacture, distribution, consumption anddisposal of the product. It identifies the true drivers of GHG emissions in the entireEcoLogic Insights 3
    • Global Product Carbon Footprinting - A Global Middle Path?life cycle and the supply chain of the product. Taking a view of the product life cycleoverlap with GHG emissions can enable more targeted emission reduction and costsaving initiatives. The steps in calculating Product Carbon Footprint are shown in the schematic This approach is known as the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2050. It provides a supply-chain oriented approach to carbon accounting by building a robust and consistent method of product level GHG assessment. PAS 2050 is based on process Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), an approach that isProduct Carbon Footprinting - Process commonly used in supply chain analysis to identify opportunities to reduce wasteand increase efficiencies across an entire product system. The approach is notrestricted to efficiency improvement measures limited to the boundaries of a singlecompany but requires an understanding of the processes involved in theproduction, distribution, use and final disposal of a given product. Due to this cross-boundary nature of impact, the awareness created across the supply-chain, theefforts taken across the supply chain would have a multiplier effect and realignworldwide supply chains to low-carbon processes and technologies. Wal-mart hasrecently initiated efforts in a similar direction by demanding environmentaltransparency and performance improvement from all its suppliers. The modalitiesmay be slightly different, but the aim remains the same – to influence the entiresupply chain to integrate “green” thinking into multiple aspects of its business. Thisapproach has greater impact and lasting effects.BenefitsComing back to the Product Carbon Footprinting, some companies who have usedthe PAS 2050 method have already reduced product-level GHG emissions byEcoLogic Insights 4
    • Global Product Carbon Footprinting - A Global Middle Path?15-20%. Considerable cost savings have also been achieved due to energy andwaste efficiency measures across the supply chain. Product carbon footprintingalso helps companies strengthen relationships with suppliers, particularly if it revealscost savings opportunities up the supply chain. Another benefit that will accrueslowly over time is due to rising consumer awareness and demand of carboninformation of the products they choose. By communicating the carbon impact ofits products, an organization would also be able to differentiate it’s products inincreasingly cluttered markets and build an reputation of excellence.Who’s doing it20 leading companies in the UK have worked with CarbonTrust (an independent company set up in 2001 with thesupport of the UK Government) to measure and reduce thecarbon footprints of their products. These companiesrepresent diverse industry sectors, from food and drink tobuilding materials and financial services, diverse classes ofproducts from simple to complex in different channels, bothbusiness-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). There is alsodiversity in the sizes and scale of operations. The benefits have been in revealing true sources and drivers of emissions, leading to more effective carbon reduction strategies. The companies could also identify high-impact cost- saving opportunities across their supply chain. The companies include multi-billion dollar multinational corporations such as Cadbury’s, Coca-Cola, morphy richards, PepsiCo, TESCO and Kimberley-Clark.Way aheadFor the adoption of Product Carbon Footprinting to become widespread,businesses will need to answer for themselves - Whether low carbon products arenecessarily costlier compared to their high-carbon counterparts? How willEcoLogic Insights 5
    • Global Product Carbon Footprinting - A Global Middle Path?companies compete on the “Green” image when more than a few players enter thisarea? World clearly needs clean products and cleaner information to enableconsumer choices to drive us in the right direction. Low carbon is the future, weneed a quick and efficient path to it.Sources1. Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), 20082. Product carbon footprinting: the new business opportunity, The Carbon Trust.3. The Right Green Metrics – And the Wrong Ones, Harvard Business PublishingEcoLogic Insights 6
    • Global Product Carbon Footprinting - A Global Middle Path? EcoLogic Consultancy is a start-up consulting firm in the field of Environment Management. It provides services in wide spectrum of environmental field to help our clients to identify the opportunities, harness the potential, and solve their environmental challenges. For further details and discussion, you can reach us at enquiry@ecologicconsultancy.in / ecologicconsultancy@gmail.com 020-400 96 279 / +91-90287 88430 www.ecologicconsultancy.inEcoLogic Insights 7