Calculation of a product carbon footprint (PCF)

Our client is one of the largest producers of sportswear globally. They wanted to understand the carbon footprint of one of their sports shoes with a view to reducing its environmental impact with a focus on Carbon Emissions.

The Challenge

When calculating any product carbon footprint, it is very important to define the boundary. This can either be Cradle to Gate or Cradle to Grave. For the latter, the use and disposal phases must be considered. In this case, since our client was not able to fully understand the latter, a Cradle to Gate approach was chosen. The Gate was defined as the client’s own distribution centres.

Our Solution

A PFD was constructed which showed all stages of the manufacturing process from the procurement of the raw materials to the logistics involved in delivering the finished goods to the distribution centres. The functional unit was also defined. In this case this was the emissions per sports shoe.

The emissions related to each element of the manufacturing process were then calculated and presented in such away that the corporate, upstream and downstream emissions could be clearly identified and per emissions source.

The Outcome