Bottom-up product carbon footprint calculation

The bottom-up calculation approach - a chance to become truly sustainable?

Bottom-up product carbon footprint calculation

A multitude of factors (CO2 pricing) will push companies in the future to make the CO2 emission of their products and services transparent. In order to make this not only a burden, but also an opportunity, sustamize has developed a bottom-up footprint calculation, which makes it possible to determine not only the CO2 value for each production step, but also CO2 and cost saving potentials.

The market for sustainable products is expanding strongly.

Time and again, companies are portrayed as the cause of climate change. Therefore, many companies are already talking about emission reduction and offsetting projects. However, in order to implement sustainable measures, the first step is to analyze the current situation, identify optimization potentials and initiate effective measures.
This means not only more effort and costs for companies, but also potential opportunities. Sustainability is not a flash in the pan; in the long term, more and more consumers, employees and other stakeholders will opt for sustainable products and employers. Providing CO2 labeling of products and improving their position compared to the benchmark is therefore a clear competitive advantage. Yet 79% of respondents to a BCG study have difficulty calculating their service and product footprint.

Product Carbon Footprint or rather Scope 3?

For manufacturing companies in particular, more than 80% of CO2 emissions are located at the production, logistics and packaging level, as well as upstream supply chains. Performing and evaluating the measurement for each individual area at this level is time-consuming and complex. Depending on the company structure, it may therefore make sense to move immediately to the product level instead of a complex or extremely superficial calculation of Scope 3 emissions. This is because a CO2 footprint analysis for products analyzes all processes, raw materials and production steps in order to identify optimization potential. The methods for determining the CO2 footprint of products are described by different standards (e.g. EN 14067, GHG, PAS 2050:2008). The challenge is to perform these analyses efficiently and in detail, even for a larger number of products, despite the demanding methodological requirements. worldwatchers has laid the foundation for this with a bottom-up method adapted to practical applications.
With the bottom-up method, a very accurate and comparable CO2 footprint of products can be created along the product life cycle. Processes are modeled with all individual process steps, just as they occur in industry, instead of aggregating them and reducing them to a single input or output, as is usually the case in life cycle analysis.
Let's take a process we are all familiar with as an example: cooking. Normally, as a process, a life cycle assessment would simply review the amount of energy consumed by the entire cooking process and calculate CO2 on that basis. However, with sustamize, each step of the lifecycle would be modeled with the information of the corresponding step, e.g., mash for 30 seconds, stir for 2 minutes, boil in the pot for 15 minutes, etc. This makes it possible to understand from when and at which point emissions occur so that they can be better optimized. This approach is particularly interesting in product design.

Calculate PCF efficiently with sustamize

Product Carbon Footprints are therefore a good way to establish and enable CO2 measurement throughout the company. sustamize offers you an efficient calculation of your Product Carbon Footprints and can also show targeted improvement potentials through a large network of experts. Feel free to contact us.