Carbon footprint term appeared almost around 1960 and 1970´s, it means the number of gases that cause climate change, exactly the ones that cause our temperatures to rise. With time the instrument was modeled and it became well known. There are many other footprints too, those include water, human, organization, and others.
On our days it has become an instrument that many businesses use to learn of their emissions, how to reduce them and add an extra to the products and
services they produce. Carbon footprint consists of making an inventory of all the things used during a process. According to standards the limits of the study are:
Bussiness to business: This means from cradle to gate or from where the production starts. For example, coffee since it is cultivated in the estate, you count on all the supplies required on this till the coffee is sold to another business. You do not count the emissions from the business on.
Business to the customer: It takes reference from the cultivation process or initial stage of creating the product or in case it is an organization you gather all the activities it makes, depending on the objectives the business has. The inventory, in this case, is made until the consumer uses and disposes of the product, as you see much longer and complicated.
The basic formula to calculate is: Data activity x emission factor
Data activity: Refers to all the things consumed and taken into account during the process to consider in the calculation. (kg fertilizers/year).
Emission factor: This means the amount of CO2 eq/kg fertilizer)
There are many standards or guides you can use to calculate your carbon footprint. Included in the list are:
- GHG Protocol
- IPCC (has a whole book in chapters available on the internet)
- Ecoinvent provides an emission factors database.
Carbon footprint is an extense an interesting theme, in case you are interested you can learn more on the links below:
- Cool Farm Tool an online calculator for carbon footprint on products score on biodiversity and water in the farm. LINK: https://coolfarmtool.org/coolfarmtool/
- IPCC has a lot of information on the theme of how this is working out and other themes related to the carbon footprint. http://www.ipcc.ch/