Table of contents
- Concept of carbon Footprints:
- Classifications of carbon footprints:
- Overview of GHG Protocol scopes and emissions
- Methods of carbon footprints:
- Assessment standards for carbon footprints:
- Carbon footprint reduction and mitigation:
The entire world is facing an enormous problem that is Global Warming. Global warming evolves into issues of politics, economics, society, technology, environment, and ecology on a global scale. It becomes one of the major challenges for a human being. On a global level, countries are trying to reduce emissions and made an action plan. The innovative concept of the low carbon economy, low carbon city, low carbon life, carbon trade, and carbon tax, means to reduce carbon emissions has become an important goal of the whole world.
Concept of carbon Footprints:
In the present time, carbon footprint does not have a generally acceptable academic definition. The carbon footprints term originates from the concept of ecological footprints, which is a measure of human demand on earth’s ecosystem. It is a standardized measure of demand for natural capital that may be contrasted with the planet’s ecological capability of regenerating.
However, one of the most accepted concepts of carbon footprint proposed by Wiedmann stated that carbon footprint is a measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide emissions directly and indirectly caused by an activity or accumulated over the life stages of any product.so basically carbon footprint is a measure of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. due to daily human activities. Such activities range from driving vehicles to using heavy construction machinery, from doing basic work like laundry with a washing machine to cooking food in the microwave, and many more.
The generally accepted view is that carbon footprint represents the specific quantity of gaseous emissions that have been considered significant to climate change, it is also associated with the everyday production as well as consumption activities of a human being. But the whole CO2 can be substantially measured in mass units. based on this, there is no conversion available to an area unit (m2, km2, etc).
Classifications of carbon footprints:
The carbon footprints majorly apply to personnel, product, organizations, villages, cities, countries, etc. A personal carbon footprint can be defined as carbon dioxide caused by each person’s daily activities i.e., clothing, food consumption, housing, and uses of vehicles in daily life. Unless a person lives in a cave, he is responsible for carbon emissions. A product’s carbon footprint means the greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions over the entire life of the product (goods or service), from the extraction of product raw materials to the manufacturing process of the product to its use and the final reuse, recycling, or disposal. An organizational carbon footprint measures the emissions of Green House Gas from all the activities, across the organization, including the energy sued in buildings, industrial processes, a company transport vehicle for mobilization, generation of waste from the organization, and all other activities which are source of carbon emission other greenhouse gases. A village’s carbon footprint measures the emission from all daily activities like wood (cow dung) burning for
Overview of GHG Protocol scopes and emissions
Source: World Resources Institute (WRI)
cooking of food, farm waste burning, and other activities. A county’s carbon footprint mainly focuses on carbon dioxide emission in the entire country generated by overall consumption of materials and energy use, vegetation, and other carbon sequestrations, as well as the direct and indirect emissions caused by transport systems, export and import activities analyze the overall carbon dioxide emission of the whole country.
Methods of carbon footprints:
carbon footprint can be analyzed for a different functional unit at different types of scales and various methods. There are three most important methods to calculate carbon emission: input-output analysis, life cycle assessment, and IO -LCA.
The above methods depend on a functional unit by scale in practice. Consumer products mostly prefer bottom-up LCA, in the case of national-level analysis top-down IO method, nowadays hybrid methods which combine the strength of both LCA and IOA are being increasingly used in practice.
Assessment standards for carbon footprints:
For accounting carbon emission comparison, governments and many international organizations such as The World Resource Institute (WRI), the International organization for Standardization (ISO), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the British Standard Institute (BSI), have introduced many different kinds of carbon footprints assessment standards mainly for organization and products through many research studies. there are ISO14064, GHG Protocol, PAS2050 has been created after long awareness.
But still, there are many problems with the application of standard methods, such as the carbon emission method being uniform in nature, the carbon emission factors are not certain and the boundary definition is not scientific. like produced elsewhere are transported and consumed elsewhere.
Carbon footprint reduction and mitigation:
Organizations and individuals can take many steps to reduce their carbon footprints and thus contribute to global climate mitigation. They can purchase carbon oof-set (a major investment step in a carbon-reducing activity or technology) to recompense for part or all of their carbon footprint. If they purchase enough to counterbalance their carbon footprint, they become effectively carbon neutral.
Carbon footprints can be reduced by improving energy effectiveness and changing lifestyles and buying habits in day-to-day activities. Switching one’s energy use and transportation use can have a major impact on primary carbon footprints. For example, using public transportation, such as buses and railways, cycles reduce an individual’s carbon footprint when compared with private individual driving.
Individuals and corporations can reduce their particular carbon footprints by connecting energy-efficient lighting, adding insulation in buildings, or using renewable energy sources to generate the electricity they require, for example, electricity generation from wind power would not produces direct carbon emissions. Additional lifestyle choices that can lower an individual’s secondary carbon footprint contain reducing one’s consumption of animal meat and switching one’s purchasing habits to products that require lower carbon emissions to produce and transport.
So, it is clear that the carbon footprint analyses the emission of GHG over the life cycle stages of any product or activity. The carbon footprint utilized by the organization to cut down their emission and product carbon to meet green consumer expectations. it encourages enterprises to improve the efficiency of production and reduce waste, and resource consumption, and promote business opportunities and social responsibility to achieve sustainable development.
Strong measures and methods for the global problem of climate, research on carbon footprints, and assessment standards should be carried out within the global scope.