A lifecycle product carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted over the complete lifecycle of a product. This includes every emission producing activity from the extraction of raw materials, through production of intermediate and final goods, through distribution & storage, through product use, and finally to product disposal.
Depending on the inclusion (or exclusion) of supply chain steps, the lifecycle product carbon footprint can go by a few names.
The concept of product carbon footprint has gained widespread attention in recent years as consumers have become more aware of their impact on the environment and seek ways to reduce it. The significance of product carbon footprints lies in the fact that the production and consumption of goods and services is a major contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.
The product carbon footprint of products within the same category can vary drastically. For example, some beef products have 10% the carbon footprint of equivalent products.
However, this information is not shown to consumers and they cannot take environmental factors into their purchase decisions.
By optimizing supply chains and production steps of products we can significantly reduce the overall carbon emissions of industry and mitigate the impact of climate change.
Access to high-quality and transparent lifecycle product carbon footprints across many businesses and industries will be an essential step in the fight against climate change. You can't control what you don't measure.
Once a company understands their own product carbon footprints and where their emissions come from, they can then take action to reduce it. Below are a few levers that can have a significant impact on a product carbon footprint:
Widespread implementation of the strategies mentioned above, across all sectors, is how we can ALL work towards a more sustainable future.