The entire volume of greenhouse gases (GHG) generated by economic and routine activities is known as the carbon footprint. Understand how to calculate and mitigate.
Do you know the term carbon footprint? Associated with greenhouse gas emissions, humanity’s carbon footprint is the main cause of global warming and climate change.
In recent years, the term has gained relevance and many companies have already started to develop actions to reduce their footprint. To prevent the global average temperature increase from reaching 2ºC by the end of the century, the average annual carbon footprint per person must be below 2 tonnes by 2050. However, achieving this target will not be easy. An American, on average, has a tax of 16 tons per year.
What is carbon footprint?
The term carbon footprint comes from the English translation “carbon footprint” and makes an analogy to footprints. As we walk, we leave marks and the same thing happens when we consume things, we leave marks on the planet in the form of carbon emissions.
The expression was created in 1990, in the book “Ecological Footprint – Reducing the impact of human beings on Earth” and works with the idea that when calculating the carbon footprint, that is, the impact of our consumption on the planet, it is easier understand and care about climate change. After all, a hundred years ago, the carbon footprint was a very small fraction of the entire ecological footprint. But since 1970, our total carbon footprint has more than tripled.
Thus, the carbon footprint is the calculation made of the total emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs), including carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) associated with human activities on the planet, including from production to disposal. of products.
The carbon footprint is one of the indicators taken into account in the Life Cycle Assessment. This method is a technique for evaluating and quantifying possible environmental impacts associated with a product or process.
How to calculate and reduce the carbon footprint?
One of the great challenges of reducing the carbon footprint rate is that it requires simpler living habits, such as food reduction and exchange, less air travel and the use of means of transport that do not use fossil fuels. In addition to the need to change habits, many of the options that are sustainable alternatives have a much higher cost than standard models, such as the electric car.
It is possible for citizens to also discover the average carbon footprint considering their habits, type of housing, lifestyle, meat consumption and energy use. Both the UN and WWF Brazil offer calculators to know the impact value caused.
Usually, companies carry out an inventory to quantify their greenhouse gas emissions according to the activity performed and propose ways to reduce them. Since the corporate world carries out many activities that generate GHGs during their manufacturing, transmission or energy consumption processes, organizations need to reduce or offset their carbon footprint. In fact, this is a demand that has already begun to be demanded by society and consumers.
For this, it is possible to implement several actions, such as improving energy efficiency, changing the energy model used, moving from fossil fuel to renewable options, investing in recycling and circular economy and increasing the use of technologies that drive sustainability. In cases where it is not possible to change the internal system, companies can buy carbon credits to financially make sustainable actions that offset the emission caused.
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