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What is Carbon Footprint?

  •   November 18th, 2014
  •   Category: News
  •   Posted by: Ecodyger

Carbon Footprint represents the impact that human activities produce on green house effect, expressed in equivalent carbon bioxide tons (CO2).

We are not physics, but we need to accustom to this complex measure unit because you will often hear about Carbon Footprint, in companies, on paper magazines and all Green Economy related communication.

Today, advertisement of major brands in evolved Countries talk about their low impact in terms of Carbon Footprint.

Carbon Footprint and Greenhouse effect

Before explaining in details Carbon Footprint, it is necessary to recall what greenhouse effect is.
It should be noted what the much- cited greenhouse effect is. It is a process by which the thermal radiation from a planetary surface is absorbed by atmospheric greenhouse gases , and is re- radiated in all directions . In our case the planet into account is the Earth.

The contrast to green house effect theme is the object of the scientific world and European institutions. The UE proposed an integrated action in terms of energy and climatic changes, which marks new objectives for 2020.

2020_limits_en

Explanation of the graph: bars represent the goal of reducing CO2 emissions for European countries . Example: Italy (IT ) aims to reduce its CO2 emissions / year 13% respect to the annual CO2 emissions produced in 2005. If the bar is positive it means that the country can increase its CO2 emissions .

The aim is to direct European and World Society towards a sustainable development model, developing a low CO2 emission economy (carbon dioxide), through the following measures:

Reduce green house gases by 20%;

Reduce energy consumption by 20 % through increased energy efficiency;

expand up to 20% the share of renewable energy sources;

Carbon Footprint is a useful tool

In a few words, Carbon Footprint is an indicator of human activities on global climate. 

The application of the indicator carbon footprint is an important opportunity to be able to provide a synthetic and meaningful indicator. Carbon Footprint allows each organization to monitor the effectiveness and efficiency of management policies undertaken to achieve the sustainability objectives in Europe.

Nowadays, on a business level, Carbon Footprint is a valid tool:

  • to achieve a greater control of the environmental performance of a product and / or process
  • as a synthetic indicator to determine internal target
  • to enhance the corporate image to stakeholders (all those who have an interest in the company ), which can detect indirect emissions related to activities carried out by the company as a contingent liability that still need to be managed and possibly reduced.

Real examples of CO2 emissions

Carbon emissions may be express in kilos to be better understood by citizens

carbon-emission-food

(Image Source: Data Visualization)

Example: 1 kg of local oranges issues 1 kg of CO2, while 1 kg of imported oranges (by air) issues 5,5 kg of CO2. So, transport makes a big difference.

carbon-emission-household_02

carbon-emission-global_03

What is ” Zero Emissions ?”

At this point of our short and interesting journey to the discovery of Carbon Footprint, we must introduce the concept of “Zero Emission”. It is a slogan that now belongs to the common language and indicates a product, a service or an activity which emissions of CO2 are zero (or limited). 

Speaking of Zero Emission, it can be referred to technologies able to generate Energy without using fossil sources. Fossil sources examples are carbon and petroleum. A renewable energy system generates energy (kWh) virtually considered “emission free”. Zero emission is also the result of carbon assessment processes. Carbon assessment  is the quantification of green house gases emissions, also GHG.

Carbon management is the reduction and compensation of CO2 realized to improve the environmental compatibility of a product, a process, events, mobility, … up to a whole company!

Ecodyger is Zero Emissions

In our small way, with our Ecodyger technology we want to give a significant contribute to the CO2 emissions’ reduction. With Ecodyger, many kilos of CO2 are saved thanks to:

  • NO waste collection at users
  • NO transport of waste. Sometimes also for hundreds of kilometers.
  • NO delivery of waste at treatment plants. Be them incinerators, biomass power plants, composting plants or even landfills.

Ecodyger was born to be a modern sustainable management of organic waste at the source. Ecodyger reduces organic scraps volume from a minimum of 70% up to 90%. The 90% reduction is obtained with organic waste high in water, like fruit and vegetables.

Zero Emissions to Zero Waste

UE with its Directive on waste 2008/98  is very clear and with the definition of Waste Hierarchy. Under UE, the best approach for CO2 emissions reduction is to prevent and reduce the maximum of waste at the source.  Any other successive activity has always a relevant impact of  CO2 emission. From here, Zero Waste philosophy was born.

Due to the importance and the great relevance of this topic, we refer to a forthcoming article in the Blog entirely dedicated to the Zero Waste philosophy.

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