The project REBUILT is a two-year project co-funded by the European Union in the context of ERASMUS+ KA220-HED – “Cooperation partnerships in higher education” (Agreement number: 021-1-DK01-KA220-HED-000030127). The overall objective of the REBUILT project is to develop and cultivate an effective innovation ecosystem of Higher Education Institutions, Business Communities and Research Institutions that contribute towards achieving an urgent environmental turning point.

Action Plan

  1. Framework
  2. Best Practices
  3. Implementation & Monitoring

1. Introduction

The Rebuilt Action Plan aims to provide main guidellines to any user in order to evaluate the existing processes of any organisation and then to implement a reengineering process in this organisation in order to reduce the corporate carbon footprint.

This Plan contains specific methodologies, tools, and databases that can help any user to implement a corporate emission profile. Someone can choose among thousands of up-to-date and verified emission factors to accurately calculate the carbon emissions of any activity. All these emission factors are compliant with the GHG Protocol and expressed in CO2e (Carbon Dioxide Equivalent). The Emission Factors cover all the possible activities that take place in global regions ranging from countries to local regions and cities. These factors are described in sources of government-issued and scientifically audited data and refers to all the economic sectors such as energy, transport, supply chain, infrastructure, waste, and IT.

2. Carbon Footprint

2.1 What is a carbon footprint?

Carbon footprint is defined as “The quantity of GHGs expressed in terms of CO2-e, emitted into the atmosphere by an individual, organization, process, product or event from within a specified boundary” (Pandey, Agrawal, & Pandey, 2011).

Carbon footprints estimate the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted during the production, processing and retailing of consumer goods. The aim is to identify major sources of emissions in supply chains to inform relevant stakeholders so that actions can be taken to reduce emissions.

The Guide to PAS 2050 (BSI, 2008) suggests that: “The term ‘product carbon footprint’ refers to the greenhouse gas emissions of a product across its life cycle, from raw materials through production (or service provision), distribution, consumer use and disposal/recycling. It includes the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), together with families of gases including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs)”.

Mulvaney (2022) investigates the activities that take place in order to produce a product or a service. He mention that for the most consumers in developed countries, these products and activities tend to fall into four principal categories: household energy use, transport, food, and everything else, which is mostly the products we buy, from utensils to clothes to cars to television sets.

2.2 How is a carbon footprint calculated?

There are many methods to evaluate carbon footprint e.g., the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2022) or the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) (Lombardi et al., 2017). Lifecycle analysis focused on greenhouse gas emissions of a product(s) or service(s), which called Product Carbon Footprint (PCF). On the other hand, a Corporate Carbon Footprint (CCF) allows someone to understand the carbon emissions related to the business activities.

According to Mike Berners-Lee (2022),  it isn’t easy to calculate a carbon footprint. Consider, for example, the personal carbon cost of taking a commercial flight. On the one hand, the calculation is straightforward: take how much fuel a plane burns and how many greenhouse gases are emitted during the course of a flight and divide by the number of passengers. But the footprint is larger for first-and-business-class passengers, because they take up more space and because their higher cost creates an extra incentive for the flight to actually take place. Other considerations include how much cargo the plane is carrying, and the altitude at which the plane flies.

Even so, it is a relatively simple calculation compared to assessing the emissions involved in every step of, say, the manufacture of a car: the emissions that take place at the assembly plant, the generation of electricity to power that plant, the transport of all the component items, the factories at which the components were made, the creation of the machinery used at those factories and at the assembly plant and so on, all the way back to the extraction of the minerals that are the car’s building blocks.

Because of the complexity involved in such calculations, Berners-Lee concedes that in such cases it is “never possible to be completely accurate.”

3. Carbon Accounting

Carbon accounting, or greenhouse gas accounting, is the process of quantifying the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) produced directly and indirectly from a businesses or organization’s activities within a set of boundaries.

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most common greenhouse gas emitted by human activities. As a result, all other major GHGs are given a “carbon dioxide equivalent,” or CO2e. This is determined by multiplying the amount of a GHG by its global warming potential (GWP). A gas’s GWP is a measure of how much energy the emissions of 1 ton of that gas will absorb over a given period of time relative to the emissions of 1 ton of carbon dioxide. The higher the GWP, the more that GHG will contribute to global warming.

The demand for robust greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting is rapidly growing as investors and businesses seek to demonstrate their commitment to decarbonization. The most commonly used approach to calculate GHG emissions is the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. As defined by the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard  emissions are classified into three scopes:

Scope 1 emissions

Also called “direct emissions,” Scope 1 emissions are released directly from sources that are owned or controlled by an organization. Examples include emissions produced from manufacturing processes, fugitive emissions (e.g., methane emissions from coal mining) or the onsite production of electricity by burning coal.

Scope 2 emissions

“Indirect emissions,” or Scope 2 emissions, are released from the electricity, steam, heating and cooling purchased by an organization. In 2015, GHG Protocol guidance was revised to recommend that both location-based (grid-based) and market-based methodologies be used when calculating Scope 2 emissions.

Scope 3 emissions

Often referred to as “supply chain emissions,” Scope 3 emissions are indirect greenhouse gas emissions that occur as a consequence of the activities of a facility, but from sources not owned or controlled by that facility’s business. Accounting for 5.5 times more emissions on average than a company’s direct emissions, Scope 3 emissions present a significant opportunity for organizations to engage their suppliers to accelerate decarbonization globally.

 

4. Sectors

This paragraph presents an analysis of the business sectors based on which we can identify the area of activity of a company and then determine the factors that affect its carbon footprint.

  1. Agriculture/Hunting/Forestry/Fishing
  • Agriculture/Hunting/Forestry/Fishing
  • Arable Farming
  • Fishing/Aquaculture/Hunting
  • Livestock Farming
  • Timber and Forestry Products
  1. Buildings and Infrastructure
  • Construction
  • Housing
  • Infrastructure
  • Maintenance and Repair
  • Pavement and Surfacing
  • Real Estate
  1. Consumer Goods and Services
  • Clothing and Footwear
  • Consumer Goods Rental
  • DIY and Gardening Equipment
  • Domestic Services
  • Food/Beverages/Tobacco
  • Furnishings and Household
  • General Retail
  • Health Care
  • Paper Products
  • Personal Care and Accessories
  • Professional Services
  • Professional Services and Activities
  • Recreation and Culture
  • Textiles
  • Vehicle Maintenance and Services
  1. Education
  • Education
  1. Energy
  • Electricity
  • Energy Services
  • Fuel
  • Heat and Steam
  1. Equipment
  • Electrical Equipment
  • Electronics
  • Equipment Rental
  • Equipment Repair
  • Machinery
  • Office Equipment
  • Storage
  1. Health and Social Care
  • Health Care
  • Health and Social Care
  • Social Care
  1. Information and Communication
  • Cloud Computing – CPU
  • Cloud Computing – Memory
  • Cloud Computing – Networking
  • Cloud Computing – Storage
  • Information and Communication Services
  1. Insurance and Financial Services
  • Financial Services
  • Insurance Services
  1. Land Use
  • Land Use Change
  1. Materials and Manufacturing
  • Building Materials
  • Ceramic Goods
  • Chemical Products
  • Fabricated Metal Products
  • Glass and Glass Products
  • Manufacturing
  • Metals
  • Mined Materials
  • Mining
  • Organic Products
  • Other Materials
  • Paper and Cardboard
  • Plastics and Rubber Products
  • Textiles
  • Vehicle Parts
  1. Organizational Activities
  • Government Activities
  • Homeworking
  • Non-profit Activities
  • Operational Activities
  • Organizational Activities
  • Professional Services and Activities
  • Wholesale Trade
  1. Refrigerants and Fugitive Gases
  • Refrigerants and Fugitive Gases
  1. Restaurants and Accommodation
  • Accommodation
  • Food and Beverage Services
  • Restaurants and Accommodation
  1. Transport
  • Air Freight
  • Air Travel
  • Rail Freight
  • Rail Travel
  • Road Freight
  • Road Travel
  • Sea Freight
  • Sea Travel
  • Tickets and Passes
  • Transport Services and Warehousing
  • Vehicles
  1. Waste
  • Construction Waste
  • Electrical Waste
  • Food and Organic Waste
  • General WasteGlass Waste
  • Metal Waste
  • Paper and Cardboard Waste
  • Plastic Waste
  • Waste Management
  • Waste Product

 

  1. Water
  • Water Supply
  • Water Treatment

 

5. Recommended Data Sources

In order to determine how much an activity and ultimately a production process as a whole affects the environment, one should retrieve data from specialized databases. These data represent the carbon dioxide emissions produced by each production activity. Typical cases of such bases are the following.

  1. BEIS

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy is the UK Government agency that issues emission conversion factors for use by UK and international organisations to report on greenhouse gas emissions.

  1. Ecoinvent

Ecoinvent is a Swiss not-for-profit association that provides a Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) database that supports various types of sustainability assessments. This data enables users to gain a deeper understanding of the environmental impacts of their products and services.

  1. EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the United States government agency that provides regularly updated default emission factors for organisational greenhouse gas reporting in the United States.

  1. EXIOBASE

EXIOBASE is a global, detailed Multi-Regional Environmentally Extended Supply-Use Table (MR-SUT) and Input-Output Table (MR-IOT). It was developed by harmonizing and detailing supply-use tables for a large number of countries, estimating emissions and resource extractions by industry. Subsequently, the country supply-use tables were linked via trade creating an MR-SUT and producing MR-IOTs from this. The MR-IOT can be used for the analysis of the environmental impacts associated with the final consumption of product groups.

  1. GHG Protocol

The GHG Protocol is the de-facto standard-setting organisation for greenhouse-gas accounting. As well as producing guidance on estimating and categorizing emissions, it also provides a set of the most commonly-used emission factors including energy consumption, transportation, waste management, and industrial processes.

  1. GLEC

The Global Logistics Emissions Council (GLEC) is a partnership between industry, government, and non-governmental organisations that aims to develop and promote a standardized approach for measuring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions from logistics supply chain activities, including freight transport by road, rail, air, and sea.

 

6. Methodology

The goal of the Action Plan is to develop a framework and describe a specific process for determining the emmission profile either for an existing production process or for the whole organisation, for the reengineering of this process and the implementation of changes and finally for the final evaluation of the carbon footprint of the organization.

The Action Plan, provide the following organized process which include the next steps:

  1. Measure carbon footprints
  • Calculate the corporate carbon footprint to understand the company’s emissions and lays the foundation for a carbon management plan.
  • Gather background information on existing GHG inventories and reduction efforts.
  • Interview key internal stakeholders to understand success & barriers.

 

  1. Set reduction targets
  • Set ambitious and science-based reduction targets.
  • Establish baselines for scope 1, 2, and/or 3 GHG emissions, if they don’t already exist.
  • Evaluate which options are feasible within the company’s context and compared to the peers.

 

  1. Implement reductions
  • Evaluate reduction initiatives and provide specific recommendations..
  • Create a strategic roadmap for implementation.
  • Re-organise the processes and implement reduction measures.
  • Evaluate the outcome of the reengineering process with sepcific metrics.

 

  1. Communicate transparently
  • Share progress through internal and external ESG reporting.
  • Communicating how you are taking climate action should be transparent, clear, and credible.

 

7. Online Platforms / Tools

In recent years, many startups have been created to help companies calculate the carbon footprint of their individual processes or the entire organization. These companies provide accurate data for each production process based on analytical methodologies and research findings found in the literature. The database can be provided either as special software purchased by each interested business or as an online platform that can be used by each interested user. Typical cases of such tools are presented in the following Table.

 

Logo Company Link

 

11 Carbon Footprint https://www.carbonfootprint.com/
12 WWF https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/
13 United States Environmental Protection Agency https://www3.epa.gov/carbon-footprint-calculator/
14 e-on integration https://www.e-on.gr/
15 One click LCA https://www.oneclicklca.com/
16 CNaught https://www.cnaught.com/
17 Climatiq https://www.climatiq.io/

 

8. Summary

Τhe aim of the Action Plan was to describe a process based on which entrepreneurs or business executives will be able to carry out a process of redesigning the processes with the aim of reducing the company’s carbon footprint. The Action Plan includes a theoretical description of the carbon footprint and the methodologies for its calculation. In addition, it describes the three main scopes in which the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard emissions are categorized. In addition, an analysis of all sectoral environments is presented, so that the user can identify the field of activity of the organization he is interested in and then determine the emission factors that affect the specific field. The following are the most important databases that one can refer to in order to locate accurate data on the values taken by the specific factors in order to implement their calculations. Then there are specific methodological steps that one must follow in order to assess the current situation and develop the emission profile of a business and then develop a process redesign plan. Finally, specific online tools and platforms are presented for the calculation of emissions which the user can use to help in the planning and implementation of the changes.

 

References

Berners-Lee, M. (2022). The carbon footprint of everything. Greystone Books Ltd.

British Standards Institution 2008 (BSI, 2008), The Guide to PAS 2050:2011, How to carbon footprint your products, identify hotspots and reduce emissions in your supply chain.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2022), IPCC Sixth Assessment Report Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability.

Lombardi, L., Tribioli, L., Cozzolino, R., & Bella, G. (2017). Comparative environmental assessment of conventional, electric, hybrid, and fuel cell powertrains based on LCA. The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment, 22, 1989-2006.

Mulvaney B. (2022), What is a carbon footprint—and how to measure yours, National Geographic.

Pandey, D., Agrawal, M., & Pandey, J. S. (2011). Carbon footprint: current methods of estimation. Environmental monitoring and assessment178, 135-160.

https://www.ibm.com/topics/carbon-accounting

RESULT M SORA Joinery

RESULT 3L Ludvigsen A/S

RESULT CSR Innovative Solutions

RESULT SPIRA NORDIC

RESULT Vejrø

RESULT Daphne’s Club Hotel Apartments

RESULT Rommtech 3s

RESULT Chillax Yachting MCPY

RESULT RAYMETRICS S.A.

RESULT Cheh Plast Ltd

RESULT Olympic Repairs

RESULT Precious Plastic Cyprus

RESULT University of the Aegean

R3 Rebuilt – Olympic Repairs

Rebuilt Database Resources_CSI

RESULT 3 – A1 – TOTAL ENERGIES

RESULT 3 – A1 – GEORGIA MODITI

Monitoring the implementation of the action plan & Exchange of experience

The monitoring and implementation phase of the action plan in the REBUILT project is an important stage that ensures the practical realization of outlined strategies. Implementation involves the translation of concepts and goals into tangible actions, such as the collection and filtering of the best practices gathered concerning the low carbon transition and action plan of the enterprises and the development of a targeted Action Plan for Business, the ultimate result of the REBUILT project.

At the same time, rigorous monitoring mechanisms are put in place to track the progress of these activities. Continuous assessment allows for real-time adjustments, ensuring that the project remains adaptable to emerging issues.

Also, multiplier events conducted, at least one at each partner country: Denmark, Belgium, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Cyprus and Greece, to allow further dissemination of the project.

This repetitive process is important for maintaining alignment with the objectives of the REBUILT project and contributing to the development of an innovation ecosystem for environmental sustainability within the targeted institutions and communities. Reminder: Everything concerning the REBUILT project is available in 6 languages EN, FR, DK, BG, SI, and GR.

Action Plan Implementation (BE) – TOTALENERGIES

Action Plan Implementation (BG) – Agro KP Ltd

Action Plan Implementation (BG) – HADJIISKI AND FAMILY

CACLULATIONS OF EMISSIONS OF GREEN ENERGY GROUP (CY)

CACLULATIONS OF EMISSIONS OF RESET ORGANIZATION (CY)

Action Plan Implementation (CY) – GREEN ENERGY GROUP

Action Plan Implementation (CY) – RESET Organization

Action Plan Implementation (DK) – SPIRA NORDIC

Action Plan Implementation (DK) – Trendlog.io

Action Plan Implementation (GR) – OLYMPIC REPAIRS

Action Plan Implementation (GR) – Chillax Yachting MCPY

Action Plan Implementation (SL) – ELVEZ, D. O. O.

Action Plan Implementation (SL) – TECOS, RAZVOJNI CENTER ORODJARSTVA SLOVENIJE