Calculating the carbon footprint

Calculating the carbon footprint of our products


Reducing the carbon footprint of products already seems to be a trend today - and some feel companies are forced to do so. However, we are thinking how we could do it better than others now and in the future.
To this end, we developed a carbon footprint calculator with the company Green Carbon, which allows us to determine the climate impact of all our products over their entire life cycle (Cradle-to-grave).
There is nothing technically revolutionizing, but the real reason for developing the counter is a whole new way of thinking in the consumer product market.
With the help of the counter, we want to determine the potential climate impact of new products that are still under design, and the results obtained allow us to make choices to achieve the smallest possible carbon footprint for the final product. Emissions are, of course, offset, but we believe that compensation is just a patchwork of the damage that has already occurred and that is why we want to learn first and foremost how to find solutions to reduce emissions from our products.
Comparison of carbon footprints
To help you understand from what the carbon footprint has accumulated, we’ve shown the emissions on the product pages using diagrams. When comparing the carbon footprints from different brands and companies, it is also good to know that different limits can be used in the calculation of emissions, which then affect the result of the calculation.
The most common restrictions are:
Cradle-to-factory gate - all emissions from the manufacturing of the product
Cradle-to-customer - all emissions associated with the manufacturing and transportation of the product till the customer has it
Cradle-to-grave - all emissions associated with the manufacture, transport, use and eventually disposal of the product
Due to these different limitations, the carbon footprints reported by different brands may differ and it may be difficult to compare them without going into more depth on each company's carbon footprint calculation methods.
We show the products full life cycle emissions on our product pages (Cradle-to-grave).

Calculating the carbon footprint of our products in practice
The carbon footprint of our products has been determined using the emission factors from the Ecoinvent 3.4 database, which have been selected by an expert. The emission factor tells us how much greenhouse gas is produced, for example, from producing one kilowatt hour of electricity or from processing 1 kg of wood used.
For example, the country in which the electricity used is produced also affects the specified emission factor. Greenhouse gases refer not only to carbon dioxide (CO2) but also to other gases such as methane (CH4), which affect to the greenhouse effect. The scientifically determined emission factors therefore take all of these into account and the specified factors are expressed in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e), i.e. all greenhouse gases are presented in relation to carbon dioxide, in order to make the total emissions easier to understand. 1 kg of carbon dioxide is thus the same as 1 kg CO2e and for comparison 1 kg of methane is 25 kg CO2e.
In our carbon footprint calculator, those emission factors are used so that the mass (kg) of each material and its waste factor have been determined from the products. From these values it is calculated the total material consumption. That is multiplied by the emission factor that results in the carbon footprint of each components material. Emissions from the use of energy in manufacturing have been calculated by dividing the manufacturer's annual energy consumption by the total amount of products produced, resulting in an average of the energy used to manufacture each product. This energy consumed is multiplied by the emission factor for that form of energy, resulting in a carbon footprint of the production of the product. Emissions from the transport of raw materials, storage of products and transport of finished products will be added to the carbon footprints of materials and energy, resulting in a complete product-specific carbon footprint.
Although carbon footprints and the climate impact of products have been discussed for some time, it is important to remember that not all emission factors and other data that affect the calculation are yet complete and will be updated with new, more accurate and better information. This is another reason why we wanted to have this carbon footprint calculator in our use. We don’t just want to “get it out of the way,” we want to update our own information as science gives us more accurate and better information. It is still not necessary to do so, but we think it is the right thing to do.