What Is Carbon Footprint?

Carbon footprint is the number of greenhouse gases and mainly carbon dioxide emitted to the atmosphere by certain human activities.

Carbon footprint can be a wide measurement or can be applied to an individual, family, event, organization or even to an entire nation. The product or service lifecycle is calculated by adding all the emissions at every stage (material manufacturing, manufacturing, usage and lifecycle).

One carbon footprint corresponds to the entire greenhouse gas (GHG) amount created to directly or indirectly support the lifestyle and activities of an individual. Carbon footprint is generally measured in terms of equivalent ton CO2 per year and can be related to an individual, organization, product or event.

How Is Carbon Footprint Measured?

Carbon footprint is an important tool to understand the impact of an individual’s behaviors on global warming. Therefore, anyone who wants to contribute to stop global warming at the individual level should measure and monitor the carbon footprint.

Various factors are considered when carbon footprint is calculated. For example, you need to consume fuel to go to a market and fossil fuels are the primary sources of greenhouse gases. But this market is running on electricity, the employees probably drove to work and the market itself has its own carbon footprint. Additionally, all the products sold in the market are dispatched with a vehicle and these details should be included in the carbon footprint.

How Can You Decrease Individual Carbon Footprint?

Ways to reverse this situation include using vehicles that are less harmful to the environment (or ensuring your vehicles are regularly maintained), using public transport, using energy-efficient appliances, insulating your home to reduce heating and air-conditioning costs, and consuming harmless food.

This requires consuming less meat which has a higher carbon footprint than fruits and vegetables. Carbon footprint can be decreased by improving energy efficiency, changing lifestyle and purchasing habits.

Methods to Decrease Carbon Footprint for Businesses

If you want to reduce this situation in your business, you should avoid disposable products and packaging. At the same time, use email instead of regular mail, purchase durable goods which can be repaired and use the raw materials in the most efficient way possible. Equipment usage plays an important role for businesses to gain advantages. You can turn this around by purchasing multitasking equipment that completes different tasks at the same time.

Decreased efficiency is one of the factors that increase the carbon footprint. Efficiency loss not only impacts the performance and productivity but also the amount of energy use and carbon footprint.

  • Equipment failure
  • Planned halt
  • Idle cycles or machinery
  • Decreased speed
  • Production flaws

The manufacturers have various options to handle these losses from data-driven maintenance strategies to automatizing production lines.

Energy efficiency

An energy-efficient production facility means changing incandescent bulbs with LEDs (LEDs use 80% less energy and have 20 times longer product lifecycle), installing motion-sensitive illumination systems and purchasing energy-efficient machinery and equipment. Sustainability and renewable energy use also play an important part here.

Since fossil fuels, coal, nuclear and natural gas are limited, these are not renewable energy sources. Additionally, these sources emit CO2 to the atmosphere which contributes to climate change and global warming. Sustainable and renewable energy meets the existing needs of the manufacturer without compromising the capability of the next generations to meet their needs. Solar, wind, hydroelectricity and biomass energy are generally accepted as sustainable.

Sustainability for a Healthy Future

Sustainability is meeting your own needs without compromising the capabilities of future generations to meet their needs. This approach aims for protecting nature, the environment, biological diversity and climate.

Industry and manufacturing sectors, transportation systems, energy generation power plants and agriculture sector must be well-equipped and efficient to use raw materials, energy, water and soil. Using energy carefully, encouraging sustainable and renewable resources is the responsibility of everyone to leave a healthy planet for future generations.