How to Calculate Your Manufacturing Carbon Footprint
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is crucial to tackling climate change. For manufacturers, calculating a carbon footprint provides key data to inform sustainability efforts and emission reduction strategies. Here we’ll walk through the main steps to quantify your facility’s carbon footprint.
Calculating Energy Emissions:
A big chunk of manufacturing emissions comes from energy use. Tally all electricity, natural gas, and other fuels consumed in your operations. Multiply energy use by emissions factors to get tonnes CO2e. Emissions factors estimate the CO2 emitted per unit of energy from each source, available from government data or energy providers.
Quantifying Process and Transportation Emissions:
Many manufacturing processes directly emit greenhouse gases. Inventory emissions from chemical reactions, onsite vehicles, and refrigerant leaks from cooling systems. Also, include the transportation of raw materials and finished products. Fuel use data and mileage figures can be converted to tonnes CO2e using emissions factors for different transportation modes.
Tracking Purchased Goods and Waste Emissions:
Extracting and processing raw materials for parts and packaging contributes to emissions before those materials reach your facility. Estimate emissions from purchased goods using spending data and emissions factors per dollar spent on different material types. Disposing of manufacturing waste also produces emissions. Tally waste volumes and multiply by emissions factors for disposal methods like landfilling.
Understanding Product Use Emissions:
The end use of products can contribute significantly to lifetime emissions. Estimate product use phase emissions using data on expected lifetime usage and energy consumption. This helps identify priorities for product design improvements.
Sum It Up:
Add up emissions from energy use, processes, transportation, purchases, waste, and product use. Voila – your total manufacturing carbon footprint! Identify the biggest contributors to prioritise reduction initiatives. Track over time as you implement solutions. Quantifying emissions is the first step to managing and lowering your manufacturing footprint.