The purpose of the World Climate Day is to emphasize the fact that the pollution caused by people has dangerous effects on climate and to raise awareness on these effects in public. This process can simply be explained as follows; when fossil fuels are used, for example when coal is used for heating the home, carbon dioxide (CO2) is released as waste. This process increases the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of our planet to the levels more than it is supposed to be and prevents the Earth from sending out the solar rays to the space. As a result, our Earth becomes warmer. All of these events are called ‘greenhouse effect’. For this reason, carbon dioxide is called ‘greenhouse gas’.
What is Carbon Footprint?
Carbon footprint is the carbon dioxide amount that is released to the atmosphere as a result of individual or community activities. The unit of carbon footprint is ‘unit carbon dioxide’. In the simplest explanation, it is a measure of the damage that is given to the environment as a result of consumption habits of individuals and institutions. In the graph below, the percentage of emissions caused by institution activities are given.
We are now living in an age where consumption is much more than the world can compensate. If these habits continue, natural resources will be destroyed and we will leave a dead world for our children. In recent years, individuals have started to take responsibility along with increased awareness for the failure of this disaster scenario. Especially institutions have begun to take precaution to minimize their activities that increase carbon footprint and they began to neutralize their footprints.
How Is The Carbon Footprint Calculated?
Different calculation methods are used for sectors and institutions to calculate carbon footprint. For example; the carbon footprint of an office-based organization and the carbon footprint of a cement manufacturer are calculated differently. While making calculations for an office-based organization; electricity consumption, consumed natural gas, travel, paper consumption, water consumption, solid waste and food-beverage consumption are the principal points that are taken into consideration.
Calculations are made according to the limits defined as ‘scope’. Scopes are divided into three categories; Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3. Scope 1 is the carbon dioxide emission caused by the resources that the company owns or controlls. Scope 2 is the carbon dioxide emission that occurs during the production of purchased electricity for the consumption of the company. And Scope 3 specifies the amount of carbon dioxide that emitted by sources that the organization is using but does not control/own. For a better understanding of the scopes, the following table examples are given below.
Company A is an interior paint manufacturer.
The carbon dioxide emission which is released during the paint production process is in this scope.
Company B is a single-office company and pays 345 Turkish Liras of electricity bill in a month.
The carbon dioxide emission which is released during the production of this amount of electricity is in this scope.
Company C will go to another country for its meetings during the year.
Emission that released during the employee’s journey is in this scope.
How to Neutralize Carbon Footprint?
While the carbon footprint is neutralized, retrospective carbon footprint is calculated annualy. After the amount of emitted carbon dioxide specified as a result of calculations, certificates are purchased at the value of released ‘unit carbon dioxide’ amount. These certificates can be purchased from renewable energy producers to support clean energy production. There are 349 renewable energy producers which are registered in the voluntary carbon market in Turkey. Certificates can be purchased from these producers. Certificates are obtained from GS, VCS and similar organizations.
As a result, the carbon footprint is eliminated when the neutralization process is performed through the annual carbon footprint account. Thus, as “carbon neutral”, one of the most important steps that can be taken for a clean world is taken. All this effort is for leaving a better planet to our children.
As Life Enerji, we also calculate our own emissions and neutralize our carbon footprint every year. You can reach our related article from here.
Everything we do is for a more livable planet.