The understanding and determination of carbon footprint is greatly evolving, and today, several accounting systems of carbon footprint are available. However, there has not been any methodology that is generally accepted or a regulatory guidance on how to calculate the product’s “carbon footprint.” This has resulted in the great variation in the carbon footprint of products depending on the methods used and the assumptions.
Carbon footprint is defined as a measure of the quantity or the amount of carbon dioxide which is emitted when fossil fuels are burned either during the manufacture and supply of a product, or during the manufacture, supply and operation of a process. In this work, I have considered the carbon footprint response of 3M Commercial Graphics.
The organization defines “carbon footprint” as the amount of the greenhouse gas, or the carbon dioxide equivalent, which is emitted as a result of a product’s whole life cycle. For an accurate use of the information on carbon footprint in the comparison of products and or processes, the organization believes that the analysis should be conducted through a standard method with very consistent score, assumptions, and boundary conditions. The organization supports further research on the assessment of different methodologies necessary for the determination of the product carbon footprint and also in the developing of the guidance on the product and supply chain accounting.
The organization is greatly encouraged by the great efforts of two organizations, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and World Resource Institute (WRI) which together develops the guidelines on the lifecycle greenhouse gas accounting and the supply chain. According to the Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard of WBCSD and WRI, 3M continues with the development and maintenance of inventory of the entire greenhouse gas emissions. The other processes and standards that the organization also considers are the British Standards Institute (BSI), the Carbon Trust, and the ISO Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Input/Output methods.
The company has put measures in place which have ensured corporate reduction in the emission of greenhouse gasses. This has greatly reduced the whole amount of the products’ carbon footprints. The organization encourages the use of energy efficient products, and at the same time promotes the energy efficiency within all of its operations. It also encourages its suppliers and customers to use the energy efficient products which reduce the emission of such gasses. In addition, the organization is committed in taking voluntary responsibility actions meant to reduce the emission of its greenhouse gases. It also manages the energy efficiency and the life cycle of its entire products. All these actions greatly help in minimizing the organization’s carbon footprint of its products. Apart from investing heavily in reduction of the carbon footprint, the company has also invested greatly in research and development aimed at creating the new products and technologies which promote energy efficiency (are energy efficient), and reduce the emission of greenhouse gasses for its customers.
The company is highly committed to measurable and continuous improvements in the environmental performance as a way of achieving its long term goal of sustainable development. As a global company, the organization is committed in the application of environmental standards and goals which includes those that concerns the carbon footprint accounting calculations.
As days go by, the earth’s ability to cope up with the emissions from various industrial processes raises great alarm. We, in general, must be mindful of the environment and the regulatory responses just in case we receive the warning on climate change as a result of the above. We must take precautionary measures to reduce the magnitude of the risks and the liabilities resulting from the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane to the environment.
3M Commercial Graphics. Carbon Footprint Response http://multimedia.3m.com/mws/mediawebserver?mwsId=66666UuZjcFSLXTtNXf6NXT6EVuQEcuZgVs6EVs6E666666–&fn=Carbon%20Footprint%20Response.pdf
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The Kyoto Protocol http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php