A critical evaluation of the concept of “carbon footprint” Recently, “carbon footprint” has become as an extremely famous term that extensively use In the media, particularly, the United Kingdom (Wiedmann and Minx, 2008). This suggests that carbon footprint calculations are greatly needed as climate change is becoming more and more important to the political and collaborate agenda. However, the term “carbon footprint” has not been academically defined.
This essay will first explain the background and then evaluate definitions in terms of hat factors are used to measure and how they can be used to calculate the amount of carbon footprint. Greenhouse gases (GHGs) are gases in the atmosphere that absorb and emit radiation, which raises the Earth temperature. The primary greenhouse gases In the Earth’s atmosphere are water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Although Wledmann and Minx acknowledged that those elements all potentially cause global warming, they Just Include C02 whilst calculating.
This Is because of the lack of carbon In other factors or the difficulties In quantifying. In an important step, Wiedmann and Minx (2008) officially defined the term “carbon footprint” as ‘a measure of the exclusive total amount of carbon dioxide emissions that is directly and indirectly caused by an activity or is accumulated over the life stages of a product’. This includes activities of every single person, whole community, goods, and services. Debate about the definition has inevitably continued.
Wright et al. (2011) suggested that both C02 and CH4, which are carbon-based gases, hould be used In measuring carbon footprint since the data is easy to collect. Williams et al. (2012) also agree with Wright et al. because they believe that It would be understandable, practical, and precise definltlon available. The implication of this determination Is that the carbon footprint should become an Inexpensive and effective measurement that can apply to many kinds of organization in the world like a basic standard.
Wiedmann and Wright also proposed that green house gases inclusion should be ffered for full life estimation in order to supply a “climate footprint”. This name Just shows the extra of noncarbon-based gases and includes all amount of gases that can be applied in the world’s climate change control. In order to calculate carbon footprint accurately, any definition of it has to be translatable Into variables that can be measured. However, according to Williams et al. (2012), It Is better to determine carbon footprint by using one single element rather than using Independent emissions quantltles for each greenhouse gas.
Once the size of a carbon footprint is known, a strategy can be devised to reduce It, e. g. by technological developments, better process and product management, changed Green Public or Private Procurement (GPP), Carbon capture, consumption strategies, and others. The mitigation of carbon footprints through the development of alternative projects, such as solar or wind energy or reforestation, represents one way of reducing a carbon footprint and is often known as Carbon offsetting. The term carbon footprint Is simply a measure of how much carbon dioxide that you are personally responsible for.
The more flights you take every year the higher your footprint; the more you leave heaters and boilers on, the greater is your carbon footprint. The more burgers you consume the greater is your carbon footprint. But say you drive an electric hybrid. or perhaps you travel to work on public transport that uses hydrogen fuel cells then your carbon footprint will reduce. If you get rid of your old electrical appliances and replace them with energy efficient models you will be reducing your carbon footprint.
Likewise If you unplug your TV before turning In you will doing the planet and Mankind a great service since you will be reducing your arbon footprint. But for all those who say it’s a comor sick joke, I urge you to get out and go to the main centres of research into climate change and establish the facts for yourselves because it’s the younger generation who will face enormous problems in the future, take a trip up into the Arctic and ask yourselves why polar bears are becoming cannibals; why are polar bears swimming up to 100 miles In open ocean?
As for those who say It’s not Mankind, what do you expect If you continue to burn 011, gas and coal at ever Increasing tonnages for over 200 years? what do you expect If our agricultural systems continue to push more nitrous oxide into the air? What do you expect if we allow methane levels to increase at their current rate? There maybe processes occurring which we have let to discover but as long carbon, albeit oil, gas or coal is burned in air it will produce carbon dioxide.
Moreover as a researcher in chemical metallurgy myself , let me tell you that for every ton of copper produced In Chile, two tonnes of sulphur dloxlde are vented Into the atmosphere, where It reacts with water vapour and precipitates as sulphuric acid. Annual copper production, 6-10 illion tonnes now you tell me how much sulphur dioxide that sends into the atmosphere- believe you me it ain’t too clever on the local flora and fauna either! If you dont care then fine, very soon you will have no choice- Mankind will have taken the wrong road yet again!
But say you installed solar PV and solar hot water systems, installed a wood burner, drove an electric hybrid and made some small changes In energy costs as well. Technologies used to reduce the ‘carbon footprint’ 1. Printing Less Stuff- Using Less Paper Paper makes up about 35% of our waste stream – even though it’s one of the easiest aterials to re-use and recycle! You can help reduce this waste by using as little paper as possible, and being smart about the paper you do use. First of all, you don’t need to print every e-mail. Just organize your inbox to make e-mails easier to find and reference.
You can encourage others not to print your e-mails as well. Make back-up copies of important files and e-mails and keep them on an external drive, instead of storing boxes of paper files. When you do need to print important documents, make sure you use a sustainable paper, and set your printer or copier to print on both sides of the page. 2. Go Digital with Your Documents A great way to reduce paper use and get contracts and documents signed more quickly is to use electronic signatures. Adobe Acrobat Professional allows you to sign PDF files digitally, as well as create PDF documents with signature fields for clients to sign.
Or you could use software such asDocuSign or e-signature to securely sign documents and get signatures from clients and vendors. I send proposals, contracts, and invoices entirely through e-mail as PDF attachments. Clients can then e-sign the documents and send them back, and we both have a signed copy without having to rint anything. I also use PayPal to send invoices, which gives me the ability to accept credit cards and receive instant payment. 3. Pull that Plug Kou aren’t working all hours of the night (at least I hope not), so why does your computer need to be on?
Turn off everything you possibly can before you leave the office each day. I plug my computer, printer, external hard drive, and other office gadgets into one power strip, so I can Just turn it off to make sure none of my appliances are secretly pilfering energy. I also program my computer to turn off automatically at a certain time each night, Just in case I forget. You can also set your monitor to turn off after a few minutes of inactivity. And never leave things like cell phone chargers plugged in when you’re not using them. They still draw energy, regardless of whether there’s anything plugged into them.
Speaking of energy efficiency , make sure you stock your office with energy-saving appliances and compact florescent light bulbs. 4. Get Waste Wise Recycling is never a chore when it’s easier than throwing something away. Place paper recycling bins in convenient locations all over the office, like right next to copiers and mail boxes. Keep clearly labeled bins in several central locations such as break rooms. Everywhere there is a trash can, there should be a recycling bin. If you have a cafeteria or break room in your office, consider adding a compost bin. An bins are compact with very little odor. . Work With Like-Minded Companies Chances are, there are businesses in your area that are also going green or certified green. Network with them and use their services when you need them. Part of being green business is making sure that you do your best to ensure that your supply chain is green, too. Seek out green vendors for your business needs, whether it be rinting business cards , hosting your web site, or cleaning your office building. 5. One Word: Freecycle! Need some shelves for your office and don’t have a budget for new furnishings? You never know what you might find on freecycle.
One person’s Junk is definitely another’s treasure. If you have a large company, you could even organize an office-wide barter party, where everyone brings items they don’t use any more to swap for things they might need from others. When you upgrade your office equipment after years of use, pass it on if it’s still useful. List it on freecycle or donate it to a charity that may need 7. Institute a Company Recycling Program for Electronics In addition to recycling the usual paper, cans, and bottles in the office, don’t forget about the e-waste that is so essential to businesses and so toxic to the environment. hen old electronic equipment finally bites the dust, don’t Just toss it, but make it company policy to recycle everything you can. Recycling for Charities makes recycling e-waste like cell phones, cameras, and palm pilots a breeze – and you can choose Nhich charity gets the proceeds from your recycled electronics! Many computer manufacturers offer take-back programs for old computers, so make use of them. . Slow the Flow of Junk Mail lunk mail may be one of the most wasteful things known to man. When the plague of unwanted mailings seems to never end, there is something you can do about it.
There are free services out there that will remove you from mailing lists, and you can also remove your name from the Direct Marketing Association’s member prospect 3. Build Your Office Green from the Floor Up If you’re lucky enough to be able to afford an office remodel, go green from the floor to the skylights. Use eco-friendly flooring options made from renewable or recycled materials. Use sustainable fabrics made from hemp or bamboo for window coverings, or get them second hand. Lengths of bamboo make great curtain rods, too.
Get lots of green building ideas at Green B Disadvantages: rhe disadvantages of the above systems are very few; there are two according to me: The company might have to change the complete existing system. It might be not that there might be possibility of increase in frauds and cheats. Global warming is the name given by scientists for the gradual increase in temperature of the Earth’s surface that has worsened since the industrial revolution. Over the past two decades the effect has become more marked. Considerable evidence exists that most of this warming has been caused by human activities… hat’s to say we have altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere through a buildup of greenhouse gases – primarily carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Nhat if we do nothing? Rising global temperatures will cause sea level to rise and alter local climate conditions, affecting forests, crop yields, and water supplies. It may also affect human health, animals, and many types of ecosystems. Deserts may xpand and some of our countryside may be permanently altered. Nhat will happen in the future if we do nothing?
Simply operating a business solely on the objective of earning a profit can potentially come back to bite you In the end. There are true cost and risk associated with the way we do business. Some companies operate with the mindset they can do whatever they want right now. “I’ll be gone” or “You’ll be gone” when the bill comes due (Friedman, 2009). In respect to our future generation that effect is going to be global climate change. We will begin to see increased health risks, decline In fresh water, rising sea levels, displaced people.
Companies will see effects related to agriculture, tourism, and Insurance related The potential outcome of global climate change can be compared to the collapse of AIG. AlG failed because they discounted to zero the very small, remote risk of simultaneous defaults in their investment or insurance portfolios (Friedman, 2009). The risk In fact was probably less than one percent, perhaps a great deal less – but It happened nonetheless (Friedman, 2009). In this case AlG had the benefit of being balled out by the government. Our planet Is not so lucky and will have to be offset by he way this generation and future generations conduct business.
One way in which a business can strive to become more green is by setting a goal to become carbon neutral by a specified date. This could be added to their mission statement and be clearly defined, measurable, and executable (Dalhstrom, 2011). Evaluation of their strategic planning process Is also necessary. In a rapidly changing environment the steps of the planning process can be going on simultaneously. For example the cost and risk of developing a new product have to be evaluated cologically, competitively, economically, socially, politically, and legally.
A company In the pursuit of more sustainable products can help benefit the environment and the companies bottom-line. McDonald’s In an attempt to address waste management switched to a new wrapper that was less bulky, cheaper, required less energy to produce, and discharged less pollution (Dalhstrom, 2011). This strategy helped reduce waste and pollution while simultaneously lowering McDonald’s production costs (Dalhstrom, 2011). Some companies are already operating in a lean state, but are still leaving a carbon nd employee car-pooling can be promoted throughout the organization.
Also companies can reduce their footprint by purchasing carbon offsets. These can be geared toward reforestation, methane digesters, or wind farms for example. rhe fact of the matter is that a change needs to begin now. The consequences of taking no action are fare too great. We can take a page out of Denmark’s book. They made it a priority in 1985 to focus on energy efficiencies and renewable energy. Sixteen percent of their total energy consumption comes from wind and solar, this reated a whole new export industry (Friedman, 2009).
When a tree goes Into photosynthesis, It bsorbs C02 from the air. When a tree dies, carbon Is transferred from the forest to the soll and eventually Into the alr as C02. When a factory uses energy to make products, It emits carbon Into the atmosphere. There are many such exchanges of C02 between the earth and the atmosphere. Our actlvltles distribute carbon and can affect nature’s balance. we can reduce our Impact on the natural carbon cycle by making smart choices and reducing our carbon footprint. The most effective way to reduce your carbon footprint is to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
In the manufacturing ndustry this can be done by recycling the packing materials and by selling the less popular products of one industry to the industry who is looking to buy unused items at a lower price to become somewhat competitive to other companies. No product should be dumped into the soil. Lowering your carbon effect on the earth can also be done by using reusable items such as thermoses for coffee or plastic containers rather than using disposable ones. Another good option is to drive less. By walking or biking to you destination instead of driving, you will be saving money on gas and you
Hill be burning less fuel and emitting less C02 in to the atmosphere. If walking is not an option for you, you can look into mass transportation options in your area. Our carbon footprint also affects the ozone layer. The gas ozone is a gas that occurs naturally in our atmosphere. Most of the ozone is concentrated in the ozone layer, an atmosphere layer located in the stratosphere several miles above the surface of the Earth. Although ozone represents only a small part of the gas in the atmosphere, it is very important in protecting humans and other life from harmful rays from the Sun.
Human activities in the last several years have produced harmful gasses such as C02, Khich have been released into the atmosphere damaging the protective ozone layer. Today our natural resources are being used up left and right. Climate changes and global warning are starting to affect our planet. C02 levels are rising and the temperature of our earth is slowly Increasing. Animals are being affected as well as us humans, the climate changes we are experiencing can lead to the result to up to half of our earths animals existence being affected.
We as a team need to step up and think of Ideas to reduce our carbon footprint. Start today by following the three r’s, reduce, reuse, and recycle. 3y cameronss rhe term “carbon footprint” refers to the amount of carbon dioxide we emit into the air every year. C02 is produced by many sources and is the gas responsible for Global Narming and alarming changes in our climate. As we use our resources, the negative Impact on our environment increases. The more C02 emitted in the air the more our ozone layer is affected. C02 is a natural gas and is always being emitted and bsorbed to and from the air.
There is a certain amount of carbon on the earth. But it’s constantly in a series of exchanges. When a tree goes into photosynthesis, it absorbs C02 from the air. When a tree dies, carbon is transferred from the forest to the soil and eventually into the air as C02. When a factory uses energy to make products, it emits carbon into the atmosphere. There are many such exchanges of C02 between the earth and the atmosphere. Our activities distribute carbon and can affect nature’s balance. We can reduce our impact on the natural carbon cycle by
Nill be burning less fuel and emitting less C02 in to the atmosphere. If walking is not ‘ery important in protecting humans and other life from harmful rays from the Sun. Nhich have been released into the atmosphere damaging the protective ozone layer. temperature of our earth is slowly increasing. Animals are being affected as well as JS humans, the climate changes we are experiencing can lead to the result to up to and think of ideas to reduce our carbon footprint. Start today by following the three Is, reduce, reuse, and recycle.
In addition, the United States average household missions release is sixty-two thousand two hundred and fifty pounds within a year. Even with many corporations trying to reduce the Carbon Dioxide level wlthln the air, how can many households do the same? My Carbon Footprint average Is closer to sixty-four thousand pounds per year with three people In my household. Many of the major sources the carbon comes from, can be reduced If not deleted at all.
Five major sources of our footprint, at my house, from greatest to least Is as follows: natural gas, driving three vehicles, each going one hundred and fifty to one hundred and seventy- ive miles a week, which makes nine thousand one hundred miles a year, along with air conditioning being a main problem in the summer instead of winter, also our vehicles not being hybrid and using electricity rather than gasoline, in addition, our propane usage when used to cook out (Calculator).
If we reduced many of these things, the world would be seven thousand two hundred forty-six pounds lighter. While also saving us a grand total of seven hundred forty-four dollars a year. According to the Cool Climate Calculator, my household releases seventy-point-eight ons of carbon dioxide per year. Granted this is twenty-one point nine percent better than other households within my area, it still affects the world around us (CoolClimate Carbon Footprint Calculator).
If we were to reduce the carbon dioxide in the air, numerous things would need to be changed. Many including the following: instead of just recycling plastic and aluminum, also recycle paper and glass, also, change any sixty watt bulb to thirteen watt energy star bulbs, in addition, use cold Hater to wash clothes than instead of drying them, put them on a clothes line to air ry, another to buy hybrid vehicles instead of the gasoline ran vehicles. There are countless things everyone can do to reduce the carbon dioxide level on our planet that we live on.
Numerous things depend on the simple things, like what temperature we keep our houses on and what kind of vehicles we drive. Websites: “Calculator. ” EPA. Environmental Protection Agency, n. d. Web. 21 June 2014. “Carbon Dioxide. ” Carbon Dioxide. Charlotte Internet, 2008. Web. 19 June 2014. “CoolCllmate Carbon Footprint Calculator. ” Smarter, Faster, Cooler Carbon Management. university f California – Berkeley, n. d. Web. 21 June 2014. Monkeyl 79614 Even with many corporations trying to reduce the Carbon Dioxide level within the air, how can many households do the same?
My Carbon Footprint average is closer to sixty-four thousand pounds per year with three people in my household. Many of the major sources the carbon comes from, can be reduced if not deleted at all. Five major sources of our footprint, at my house, from greatest to least is as follows: natural gas, dehicles not being hybrid and using electricity rather than gasoline, in addition, our Nhile also saving us a grand total of seven hundred forty-four dollars a year. goolClimate Carbon Footprint Calculator).