Trust and transparency is key for us, hence we are always happy to explain the details behind our work
On this page, you’ll find the general principles from which we work. Please do contact us, if you have additional questions.
The Målbar tool calculates the total climate footprint emitted from the product. This is calculated according to the EU Product Environmental Footprint (EU PEF) rules.
The results from our tool represent a conservative estimate, and the accuracy depends on the amount of production data which the customer has access to.
If requested by the customer, Bureau Veritas can offer a third party verification following the PEF rules.
Life Cycle Screening
Our climate footprint assures that the total quantity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the full lifecycle of the product are taken into account. In this case, that includes the impacts associated with raw materials and emissions from manufacturing (materials and resources), transport, in use (cleaning and energy consumption) impacts and impacts at end of life (reuse, recycling, incineration, landfill etc.).
To make a fast calculation and sum up these emissions is what we call a life cycle screening.
Emissions of multiple GHGs are included in the data the tool uses. These are gasses like; carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide (N2O) and other effects. The impact of these gasses and effects are measured using a single unit known as carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). This takes into account the relative impact on the atmosphere over a 100-year period of each climate gas and sums them up as if they had the same effect as CO2. Therefore they are called CO2-equivalents – in short CO2e’s.
Type of data
Our tool uses data from two of the world’s largest environmental databases – Ecoinvent and EF 3.0 PEF data. These databases posses emission levels on most materials and processes used in industrial production. We calculate data according to the EU PEF method.
In some cases where the finished footprints are not available in the databases, we model the climate footprint data from base raw materials and energy consumption. Our modelling follow inventories from scientifically recognized and peer reviewed litterature.
Accuracy of calculations
The tool calculations reflect the geographical location of the production processes and our results are based on conservative estimates for energy consumption. Calculations will become more accurate when the product data are collected for level 2 and level 3 screening.
It is possible to use more specific material data like EPDs as input for our screening tool. But the EPD calculation standard is not recognized by PEF. So in these cases a PEF result can only be calculated from the inventory of the EPD.
Most LCA’s calculate transport solely based on the weight of the goods. This is a source of inaccuracy for many assembled products as their density usually are usually so low that weight is not the limiting factor for filling a truck. In these cases, our tool automatically calculates a volume based transport calculation.
Environmental sciences are still in their infancy and therefore data are constantly corrected and improved. Furthermore, the green transitions (in mostly the energy and waste sector) is gradually leading to lower climate emissions. This development is mirrored in our data which are automatically updated once screened.
Details about footprint assessment and LCA
For the interested reader who wants to know more about how to calculate climate footprint we can recommend the book LCA – A practical guide for students, designers and business managers by Joost G. Vogtländer.
For danish readers who are not LCA experts we can recommend Concitos danish report on how to make the ideal calculation of a carbon footprint (in Danish) Here Concito also describes the need for product group specific carbon foot print tools. Such a tool which we now have developed.