What is a carbon footprint? Why is it vital and how to reduce mine?
A carbon footprint corresponds to the whole amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced to, directly and indirectly, support a person’s lifestyle and activities.
Carbon footprints are usually measured in equivalent tons of CO2, during the period of a year, and they can be associated with an individual, an organization, a product or an event, among others. According to WHO, a carbon footprint is a measure of the impact your activities have on the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) produced through the burning of fossil fuels and is expressed as a weight of CO2 emissions produced in tonnes.
As we can tell from above, it’s hard to get someone’s exact carbon footprint. Besides this, in order to accurately reduce CO2 emissions, it’s also important to use numbers that approximately mirror someone’s local reality.
1. TRANSPORTATION: Avoid polluting car journeys (each liter of fuel burnt in a car engine emits over 2.5 kg of CO2) and favor walking, cycling or using public transport, especially trains
2. FOOD: Eat local and seasonal produced food: short trips mean less pollution from transportation
3. WATER USE: Collect the cold water from the first seconds of your shower to water your garden or plants
Carbon footprint measurements are a very effective method for businesses to differentiate their products in the marketplace and part of their corporate responsibility (CSR) strategy.
That’s why it’s increasingly important to assess emissions and mitigate them using methodologies like the lifecycle analysis or guidelines from the ISO 14067:2018.