What do one kilo of meat, a plastic bag, an email, a person and a company have in common? The answer is that they all generate an environmental impact known as carbon footprint.
To a greater or lesser extent, all products, processes, people and organizations generate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions directly or indirectly. In other words, the carbon footprint is the mark we leave on the planet.
The main purpose of finding out the carbon footprint is being able to reduce it and in case it is not possible, compensating it. How? For example, through mitigation and adaptation initiatives. In the case of organizations interested in knowing their footprint, they analyze their GHG emissions and keep a register through a standardized system. The most used are GHG Protocol and ISO 14064-1.
When talking about products or services, the measurement takes into account the whole life cycle of the product or service itself. In this case, the most commonly used standards are: PAS 2050:2011 and ISO / TS 14067:2013.
How is a person's carbon footprint calculated?
To discover someone’s impact on the planet there is a calculation method accessible to everyone and devised by the French engineer and expert on climate change Jean-Marc Jancovici.
This method includes a set of variables that collect daily data from the user to calculate the level of direct and indirect CO2 emissions that their activity implies. The questionnaire is divided into four parts and each of these parts corresponds to ¼ of the individual's total emissions: housing, transport, food and consumption.
Following this model, there are different options for calculating the carbon footprint of a person, such as this one launched by the English company Carbon Footprint, endorsed by the ISO, Sustainable Business Network and IEMA (Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment).
Complete it and find out your carbon footprint to start reducing it and collaborate in the fight against climate change.