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CARBON FOOTPRINTING

Quantifying the impact

Carbon footprints can be generated using a number of different boundaries. It is possible to calculate the emissions associated with a piece of equipment, a facility, a corporate entity or even for a specific product.

Emissions associated with individual pieces of equipment or for facilities are useful to determine emissions that a company or facility operator is directly responsible for, using an operational control basis. These can be direct emissions at the facility (known as Scope  1 emissions) and/or indirect emissions resulting from imported energy like electricity, heat and cooling (known as Scope 2 emissions). This data provides information of the direct impact of an operation and is often covered by regulatory reporting.

Emissions attributable to a company can either be calculated on an operational basis (the sum of all emissions from operations under the control of that company) or an equity basis (the company's share of emissions for an operation they don't control but do have a financial interest in).

Scope 3 emissions, which are emissions that are generated by others as a result of a company's activities (e.g., purchase of raw materials, purchase of goods and services, use of products by consumers etc.) can also be included in carbon footprint calculations to get a view on the complete impact of a company. 

To calculate the emissions associated with a specific product, a life cycle assessment methodology is used to determine emissions associated with the entire supply chain from raw materials to manufacturing the actual product and potentially transport, distribution, use and end of life treatment. This information can be used as a market distinguisher for a product, or to claim carbon neutrality for that product if the appropriate offsets are obtained.

With all of these calculations, preparation is key. engeco will assist with determining the reason why a footprint calculation is required. This assessment will then inform the type of footprint required, the boundaries of the analysis and which emissions types to include (Scope 1, 2 or 3). Our in depth knowledge of emissions estimation techniques will be used to complete the calculations and assess the carbon footprint of the equipment, facility, company or product. We can also assist by creating forecast models to estimate future emissions and complete what if analysis - which are then used as a key input to overall climate change strategy.

Another benefit of the carbon footprint calculations is that comparisons and benchmarking can be completed and performance against peer companies assessed if desired. Carbon footprints of products can be compared to similar products, or competing products and used as a distinguishing feature in marketing.