Increasingly often the purchasing departments of the automotive or fashion sector ask their suppliers for precise information on the CO2 emissions of the raw materials or semi-finished products they intend to purchase.
These requests are often related to the environmental policies that the major brands of reference introduce in response to the increasingly alarming appeals of scientists against climate change and to trying to anticipate the new regulations, now in preparation in many countries.
The value that summarises the CO2 emissions generated throughout the life cycle of a product is known with the mix of English and Italian words “Carbon Footprint of Product”, or more briefly CFP.
Considering all the CO2 emissions generated along the entire life cycle of the product, effectively represented with the evocative words “from the cradle to the grave”, means collecting all the contributions of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) that occur at the extraction of raw materials, their processing, transport, production of a good, the subsequent transfer to the market, use stage and end of life. The quantification of CFP is carried out following the dictates of the international standard UNI EN ISO 14067, published in 2018.
The values calculated in this way are then subjected to a third-party verification by an accredited Verifier, in Italy by Accredia, which issues a certificate that entitles you to request registration in the Carbon Footprint Italy (CFI) programme we talked about in the previous issue.
The CFI label can directly be affixed on the product packaging or on the technical data sheets, according to the different needs, together with a QrCode that sends you to the dedicated page of each product containing all of CFP data (see the Dani tannery spreadsheet), thus being able to satisfy every possible customer request. This information will therefore be quickly and effectively available to other customers, although not as sensitive on the subject, demonstrating the achievement of a result that helps to differ from competitors.
The development of a single CFP represents a non-negligible commitment in terms of company resources and undertaking a similar path for each different product could be an excessively demanding challenge for a medium-sized company.
To overcome this problem and allow the development of CFP to be systematised within each company, UNI EN ISO 14067 has dedicated a specific attachment to the CFP Systematic Approach (CFP SA).
By applying the CFP SA, a company is able to calculate the CFP of each of its individual products in less than one day, rather than over the course of several months.
A further advantage of CFP SA is the ability to evaluate how the overall impact of a product varies with the variation of some specific input data such as, for example, raw materials.
CFP SA thus becomes a very powerful tool in the hands of Research and Development to better understand the implications in terms of CO2 and of new products and to be able to provide, in this direction, increasingly efficient answers to the most demanding customers.
Edited by Daniele Pernigotti
Carbon Footprint of Product
The Carbon Footprint of Product (CFP) is the quantification of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) calculated on the basis of the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) method. In the count are therefore considered both the emissions related to the extraction and processing of the raw material, as well as those related to the production, transport, use and final disposal of the product. Introducing CFP means understanding which of these phases are most critical in terms of GHG emissions, making it possible to implement effective measures to reduce them.
GHG: Greenhouse gas. Examples of GHG are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20), as well as a number of other synthesis gases.
ISO: International Organisation for Standardisation headquartered in Geneva. It is structured in several Technical Committees (TC 207 manages environmental management regulations) and the various national standardisation bodies participate in it, UNI for Italy.
CFI: Carbon Footprint Italy is the Italian programme for the communication of the Carbon Footprint, or Climate Footprint. It allows the release of brands related to the product, organisations, the reduction of emissions and carbon neutrality. It also acts as a carbon credit registry.
CFP: Carbon Footprint of Product. Sum of GHG emissions that occur during the entire life cycle of a product.
CFP SA: CFP Systematic Approach. A tool specifically developed for each company, able to quantify the CFP of each product made within the same company.
PCR: Product Category Rules. Specific rules for conducting LCA studies within a certain product category. They must be used to calculate the CFP of all products belonging to that particular category.
Daniele Pernigotti, Sole Administrator of Aequilibria Srl, he has been representing Italy for over 15 years at the ISO tables that develop environmental management regulations (ISO/TC 207). In addition to being part of the Strategic Leadership Group of ISO/TC 207, he has been the Coordinator of the international working group that developed ISO 14067, the international standard to quantify the CFP.
Having personally guided the development of this important standard allowed him to apply it in the course of work with a series of case studies, managing to complete the verification of the first 3 CFP SAs in the world, just a few weeks after the publication of the standard.
Aequilibria Srl has also developed and updated the specific sectoral standard for leather studies, called PCR or Product Category Rules, which is the only reference for the development of CFP.
The extensive experience of Aequilibria Srl is extended to various sectors, with many references in the tanning sector and is also attested by the numerous training courses provided in many countries of Asia, America and Europe.
For information visit the website www.aequilibria.com