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Product Carbon Footprint: Concept and Application

Defining Product Carbon Footprint (PCF)

From a very small product to big corporate organizations, SEMTRIO conducts all carbon footprint projects.


Defining Product Carbon Footprint (PCF)

A Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) is a process of measuring impact of goods in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It is method to evaluate goods in terms of their environmental standing and therefore impact. For instance, PCF focuses the single issue that is ‘global warming’ and is based on the comprehensive process of life cycle assessment (LCA). Product Carbon Footprint hence means evaluating products in their different life cycle phases such as extraction, as raw materials, manufacturing, distribution and consumption.

In the larger context carbon footprint is assessment of product’s climate change impact. This means observing the impact in different activities- product as a vision, product becoming a company, product being run as a lifestyle, product as a common commodity in society.



Why PCF is important?

A small step for you, a big step for the World…


Why PCF is important?

Currently Product Carbon Footprint is a global concept in light of the global challenges prevailing today. For instance, we see climate change as the biggest of all problems, we see earth quakes, flooding, unusual ecological changes, there is resource depletion, energy crisis and clean water shortage. Because of these hard-hitting environmental challenges we also see overwhelming sociological challenges such as unemployment, poverty, starving, crime, violence and consistent economic instability. They both are connected. To respond these challenges the world surely requires ‘sustainability’ which comes from enlightening concepts like the Product Carbon Footprint itself.

According to United Nations Brundtland Commission 1987, sustainability is means to fulfill needs of the present without compromising the ability of the future. The idea is to secure and in no way compromise future generations’ ability to fulfill their needs would define sustainability (United Nations, 2019). Product Carbon Footprint therefore works in this scale- a concept that ensures a future that is sustainable and reliable for upcoming generations. At the larger scale, PCF is an essential concept to establish sustainability at the global scale. PCF starts from companies and organisations and then it reaches out to the society and global level. For all such reasons PCF remains crucial and it comes obligatory (Wels, 2013).

There are different dimensions in which Product Carbon Footprint works and help the companies/organisations to ensure a safer brighter future. These significant dimensions are basically steps of PCF and they progress in the sequence as follows (BMU, 2019).

  • Step 1: Companies want to quantify the carbon footprint of their products and they find PCF as a vital way forward. Product Carbon Footprint helps companies in measuring greenhouse gas emissions. The method helps companies to calculate, define, visualise and analyse the carbon footprint.
  • Step 2: Regulatory institutions need to check how companies are doing on the carbon footprint. PCF provides institutions as a metric to introduce new laws and a metric to check and regulate the existing ones. PCF provides a guiding roadmap for follow up and ensure effective regulation.
  • Step 3: PCF by calculating the exact levels of GHG emissions enables companies to make their value-chains more sustainable. Definitely, when a company gets to know the environmental standing of its value-chain, it is nicely able to bring changes that bring improvement. Product Carbon Footprint assists companies in this process- in the value-chain assessment and enhancement.
  • Step 4: PCF assist companies in building sustainable network in which all stakeholders come together to ensure sustainable actions. For instance, using PCF a company could develop strategic framework in which suppliers, clients and all relative stakeholders mutually coordinate. Everyone moves to sustainable actions because of the PCF-policy implemented. PCF improves hierarchy of the company. It improves the structure of corporate governance. Overall, PCF provides reason to coordinate and work on high-sustainability vision.

How to calculate Product Carbon Footprint?


How to calculate Product Carbon Footprint?

How to calculate Product Carbon Footprint?

To explain it simple, Product Carbon Footprint is calculated by estimating CO2 emissions which may include other greenhouse gas emissions such as nitrous oxide and or methane. To make the estimation profounder, in some cases the calculation may also involve other types of impacts like the condensation trails from aircrafts’ engines. The final expression is then the single number in terms of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) which means adding all impacts together and then expressing it in single form (Clark, 2012).

What we learn from Product Carbon Footprint?

SEMTRIO is a fully authorised company for Carbon Offset Trading in OTC Marketplace.


What we learn from Product Carbon Footprint?

According to Mike Berners-Lee who wrote a book ‘How Bad are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything’, even in the simplest ways of calculation available today, expressing carbon footprint precisely is a complex thing (Clark, 2012) . There are always some uncertainties in final results of Product Carbon Footprint calculation. For example, emissions caused by burning of litre petrol could be easily known through conventional methods, but the emissions in associated activities like extraction and refinement are still not known. For more complex activities these uncertainties grow even more. Hence, the conventional methods/standards need to be improved to calculate carbon footprint as precisely as we need today for bringing sustainable value-chains and products (Clark, 2012).

References List

BMU, 2019. Product Carbon Footprint. [Online] Viewed at: https://www.bmu.de/en/topics/economy-products-resources-tourism/products-and-consumption/product-carbon-footprint/ [Accessed 2019].

Clark, D., 2012. What's a carbon footprint and how is it worked out? [Online] Viewed at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2012/apr/04/carbon-footprint-calculated [Accessed 2019].

United Nations, 2019. Sustainability. [Online] Viewed at: https://academicimpact.un.org/content/sustainability [Accessed 2019].

Wells, G., 2013. Sustainable Business: Theory and Practice of Business Under Sustainability Principles. New York: Edward Elgar Publishing.


Beyond Carbon Footprinting

SEMTRIO perform the communication of your carbon footprinting and PR operations to all your stakeholders.


We aware…

Carbon footprint is beneficial in terms of accounting and reducing emissions, sustainability, cost saving, Environmental responsibility and meeting the international Customer demands. However, those are not enough…

We know more of this is demanding, therefore SEMTRIO is not only a sustainability consultancy company. Making your carbon management more efficient, making a great PR and communication, making your products and services known better are our goal and we work with your customers, affiliates and stakeholders together.

Beyond Carbon Footprinting

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