Trust and transparency is key for us, hence we are always happy to explain the details behind our work
Below on this page you’ll find some general principles we work from. Please do contact us, if you have additional questions.
The Målbar tool calculates the total climate footprint relating from the product. This is calculated according to the new EU Product Environmental Footprint (EU PEF) rules and presented according to EN 14067 (Carbon footprints of products). Some simplification in the presentation has been made though in order to make the results more understandable for readers who are not environmental professionals.
There is no single unifying standard which covers our screening tool.
Therefore the guiding principles behind the standards have been used as good practice for the development of the tool.
Life Cycle Screening
Our Carbon Footprint is the total quantity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with the full lifecycle of the product. In this case, that includes the impacts associated with raw materials and emissions from manufacturing (materials and resources), transport, in use (cleaning) 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 sum 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 one of the world’s largest environmental databases – Ecoinvent. This database 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 Ecoinvent we model the carbon footprint data from base raw materials and energy consumption. In other cases we rely on LCAs from scientifically recognized double sources. If available we choose those which follows the EU PEF calculation rules.
Accuracy of calculations
The tool calculations are very accurate and will also reflect the geographical location but they are based on average material and process data. 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 EPDs can be difficult to compare as functional unit, product lifetime, bio carbon credits, recycling credits, transport and waste scenarios may differ depending on the specific EPD.
If an EPD on the specific material is available we first have to assess if it fits the EU PEF rules. If applicable we can probably only use the phase A (raw material, production and construction – A1-A5). The other phases our tool will calculate based on customer data.
Most LCA’s calculate transport only based on the weight of the goods. This is a source of inaccuracy for assembled furniture as their density is usually so low that weight is not the limiting factor for filling a truck. In these cases our tool uses a volume based transport calculation.
Environmental sciences are still in their infancy and therefore data are constantly corrected and improved. Further 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 Concitos 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.