CO2 footprint

The carbon footprint is a key metric that quantifies the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by companies, private individuals, events, products or services.

How is the CO2 footprint measured?

The amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted, or the corresponding quantity of other greenhouse gases (in CO2 equivalents), is calculated over defined periods of time, usually one year or the lifetime of a product. The carbon footprint serves as a benchmark for determining emissions and the success of mitigation measures. It is based on the concept of the ecological footprint.

Types of CO2 footprints

In addition to the carbon footprint of individuals, two other concepts are widely used. The product carbon footprint looks at emissions over the entire life cycle of a product, whereas the corporate carbon footprint measures a company's total emissions. Corporate emissions can be divided into three scopes for direct (Scope 1), indirect (Scope 2) and value chain emissions (Scope 3).

CO2 footprint in supply chains

A significant proportion of corporate carbon footprints is generated in supply chains, often up to 80 percent or more. Depending on the industry, suppliers therefore offer enormous potential for mitigation and can considerably impact the total carbon footprint of end products. Measuring and collecting emissions data along the supply chain is a complex task due to the limited availability and accuracy of data.

Relevance of the carbon footprint for supply chain sustainability

The carbon footprint is increasingly in the spotlight, particularly in the context of supply chain sustainability. Legislation such as the EU Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), the EU Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD) and climate-related disclosure rules in many other countries requires companies to measure not only their own emissions, but also those of their suppliers.

Challenges for companies

Companies face complex challenges when calculating their carbon footprint, particularly in the area of supply chains. Indirect emissions caused by upstream suppliers are often difficult to measure. Companies must aim to identify emission hotspots and work closely with their suppliers.

Software supports the calculation of the CO2 footprint

The complexity of determining a company's carbon footprint can be effectively alleviated by the use of specialized software. It helps with data collection, automated calculations, the monitoring of progress, and analytical tasks. The IntegrityNext solution supports companies in identifying emission hotspots, fulfilling reporting obligations and implementing targeted measures to reduce their carbon footprint.