Carbon Footprint Calculation

Carbon Footprint Calculation

Carbon footprint calculation helps to identify the environmental impact generated by products, services, buildings, or systems throughout their lifecycle. In addition to providing a quantitative number, carbon footprint studies provide a comprehensive understanding of the significance of different factors contributing to the total carbon footprint.

Key Benefits
Identifying the impact of the most significant emission factors
Identifying development areas
Improving the understanding of the impact of climate change of products, companies, or buildings
Enables reaching low-carbon or carbon neutral operations

Carbon footprint of a product 

Companies are increasingly interested in the carbon footprints of products. Carbon footprints describe the amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated during the life cycle of a product. The calculation typically considers the entire life cycle of a product – from cradle to grave. However, it can also be calculated e.g., with cradle to gate system boundaries, which means the carbon footprint of the production and transportation of raw materials as well as the manufacturing of a product. This enables you to identify points of improvement in your own operation. 

The results can be used e.g., to support research and development work as well as in communication and marketing showing potential and current customers the company’s responsibility/sustainability activities in practice. The intended use of the study usually defines the extent of the calculation, and the service can be customized for specific needs. 

We calculate carbon footprints according to international standards: ISO 14040 and 14040 for life cycle assessment, and ISO 14067 for product carbon footprints. Our experts will recommend the most appropriate methods of calculation for your needs.  

Carbon footprint of an organization 

Carbon footprint of an organization describes the annual climate impact from operations. The climate impact consists of all greenhouse gas emissions caused by the organization’s own activities, as well as the activities in the value chain that are directly related to the organization (e.g. the transportation of sold products and treatment of waste generated in production). With the aid of carbon footprint calculation, organizations can identify the factors causing the most significant greenhouse gas emissions and determine how the carbon footprint can be lowered. 

The results of carbon footprint calculation can be used as a part of sustainability reporting, to support emission reduction target setting, to identify reduction measures, and for emissions monitoring purposes (e.g. as a part of ISO 14001 and 9001 systems). The carbon footprint calculation is typically done in line with the guidelines of Greenhouse gas protocol (GHG Protocol) and ISO 14064, which supports taxonomy re-porting.  

Setting a climate target both concretizes and brings credibility to the organization's climate work and enables the continuation of successful business operations. Science-based targets refer to emissions reduction targets that are in agreement with the latest climate science, i.e. the Paris Climate Agreement. The science-based targets of an organization are practically climate targets set and submitted in accordance with the criteria of the Science-based targets initiative (SBTi).

We tailor climate road maps to organizations that describe the ways to reduce the carbon footprint and the progress towards the set climate target. We organize workshops, where we together with the key experts of the organization identify and brainstorm measures, define the timeline for implementation and identify the responsibilities to reduce the carbon footprint. The emission reductions achieved by the actions are estimated numerically by using scenarios. Updating the road map along with emissions monitoring, sup-ports organization’s climate work, as it highlights the successes and shows the areas for development.

The climate targets of organizations can be tracked with the aid of tailored monitoring systems: annual carbon footprint calculation, monitoring the progress of actions and tracking of the essential metrics. Customized carbon footprint calculation and tracking tools help to ensure that the right things are done and emission reductions and other targets are achieved on time. The simplest tools are spreadsheets, but we also develop systems that can be integrated tightly with any other monitoring system already in use in the organization (powerBI, financial monitoring systems, etc.).

Carbon footprint of buildings 

Carbon footprint calculation reveals the environmental burdens of buildings in different life cycle phases. Production of the materials, construction of the building, use phase and end-of-life (deconstruction), including material and energy recovery of the building materials are all included in the calculation. 

Carbon footprint studies can be used e.g., when selecting suppliers, materials or construction methods. In practice, this means that you can identify the impact of different materials and carbon-neutral construction sites to the total carbon footprint of the building. 

The carbon footprint results can be presented per different parts of a building in order to identify which has the most significant impact on the total carbon footprint. This enables the prioritization of actions that strive towards more low-carbon buildings. For example, material choices may have notable impact on the total carbon footprint. 

We carry out carbon footprint calculations according to your information needs in different construction phases, be it project planning or construction phase. We always consider your information needs and value a flexible and customer-driven mindset. 

Credible calculation methods ensure the quality of calculation. We typically calculate carbon footprint for buildings according to EN 15978:2011. We also calculate carbon footprints according to calculation method developed by the Ministry of the Environment in Finland and European LEVEL(S) method.  

Trainings related to carbon footprint calculation  

In addition to carbon footprint calculation, we offer training tailored to your needs, so that decision making based on facts and conversation with stakeholders would be easier.  

We have held general level training days about the main features of carbon footprint calculation but also trained companies for more specific topics, for example LCA for Experts (former GaBi) and EoL modelling and methods. Training can be held for individual companies, or they can be tailored for one field or industry. 

Our customers have thanked us for our clear presentations, that have given a substantial info package on carbon footprint calculation and helped them to understand what carbon footprint means, and which factors are behind the formation of carbon footprint. Through our training, our customers have also gained a better understanding of communication and aspects related to the carbon footprint.  

Maija Mattinen-Yuryev

Team Leader
+358 41 731 7991
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