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Current as of: 04.01.2023

Over the past decades, the public's awareness of the dangers of ongoing climate change has increased significantly. Some of the changes caused by human activity have become one of the most important environmental problems that industry and government officials around the world are trying to tackle. One of the terms that is often on the map of public discourse in this context is carbon footprint. What does it mean and how can you influence the reduction in its value?

What is a product's carbon footprint and why do you hear so much about it?

The idea of a carbon footprint ( carbon footprint) arose from the desire to find metrics that would determine a product's impact on the environment and its processes. This indicator was created to make processes such as testing one's operations or products for greenhouse gas emissions much simpler and more measurable for different conditions. The carbon footprint determines the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular company, country or person.

Currently, the concept of carbon footprint is used by a wide variety of entities. Companies in many industries are examining their energy consumption and taking steps to optimize their internal processes. Operating in some countries (such as the UK) automatically imposes a reporting compulsion on company representatives and an obligation to calculate the carbon footprint for a specific product. This value is also beginning to translate more and more into consumer choices. They note how their individual actions and purchasing decisions can benefit a good cause and help stop climate change.

How is the carbon footprint value of a product or process determined?

Carbon footprint is expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent per functional unit of product. The value obtained relates to total gas emissions and the full life cycle of the product. Calculating the carbon footprint can take many forms. This state of affairs is due to the different conditions in each company or industry. In addition to standardized calculations and general methodologies, conversion factors that take into account the specifics of an industry are sometimes used.

How to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in transportation processes?

More businesses working towards an efficient but low-carbon economy will accelerate the region's environmental transformation, and globally reduce greenhouse gas emission values and fossil fuel consumption, reducing the impact of climate change effects. Environmentally friendly solutions are slowly becoming the standard used by both small companies and multinationals. A problem often faced by companies wishing to care about environmental protection and energy efficiency is the issue of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from transportation processes.

The need to maintain an efficient circulation of goods within the market activity makes this task extremely difficult - after all, it is impossible to dispense with the transportation of goods. Fortunately, thanks to modern technologies created for environmental protection, more and more solutions to this problem are appearing on the market. They are talking, for example, about using electric cars or giving up large vehicles where possible. Companies operating in small areas can use scooters, bicycles or even public transportation vehicles.

Online stores and other mail-order businesses can also compete for a lower carbon footprint. They can do this, for example, by establishing a partnership with a courier company that is aware of the environment and the problems that climate change entails. DHL eCommerce is actively reducing its carbon footprint as part of DHL's GoGreen policy, which aims to become zero-carbon by 2050. It is doing this, for example, by developing an energy-efficient electric fleet that includes cars and bicycles, and sourcing energy from renewable sources.