A 15% reduction of our carbon footprint?

In our post today we would like to announce that in Rieusset, between 2017 and 2018, we have reduced our carbon footprint by more than 15%: 24.09 g CO2/m2 printed in 2018 as compared to 28.51 g CO2/m2 printed in 2017.

But: what is the carbon footprint?
The carbon footprint is known as the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) released into the atmosphere, directly or indirectly, as a result of the activities of an individual, organization, event or product.

For a company, as is the case of Rieusset, this refers to the carbon footprint of the organization and indicates the greenhouse gas emissions released by the organization due to its activity over a period which is habitually of one year.

For those of you who don’t know what these so-called greenhouse gas emissions are, I would like to tell you that they are very diverse and include, among others, the following:
• water vapor (H2O)
• carbon dioxide (CO2)
• methane (CH4)
• nitrogen oxides (NOx)
• ozone (O3)
• chlorofluorocarbons (CFC)

Why is it important to measure the carbon footprint?
Although we could quite easily discuss at length on the causes of climate change, it seems sure that greenhouse gases are one of the main causes thereof. Therefore, through measuring the carbon footprint we are able to determine the origin of the gases that are responsible for this effect, and by knowing its cause, we can carry out actions to reduce it. We want to save the planet, don’t we?

How do we measure the carbon footprint?
The carbon footprint is measured through the activities that generate these gases and which are organized according to the following 3 scopes:

• Scope 1. Direct GHG Emissions. These are the emissions coming from the combustion generated by gas boilers, ovens, vehicles, etc., owned or controlled by the company.
• Scope 2. Indirect GHG Emissions. For example, those associated with the generation of electricity purchased and consumed by the company.
Scope 3. Other indirect emissions. These are indirect emissions that are a consequence of the activities of the company, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the company.

How do we measure in Rieusset?
In Rieusset we measure the 3 scopes –not everybody does it this way– and, each year we learn more about how we need to measure, since we either discover ways to improve the measuring system or we learn to measure some activity that we did not previously include.
At present,
• for scope 1 we mainly measure the combustion generated by boilers, our own vehicles and the emissions
• for scope 2 we mainly measure electricity consumption
• for scope 3 we measure waste and water

This has resulted in our carbon footprint for 2018 being 2,718 tons of CO2eq.

And is this value high or low?

Actually, we don’t have a clear answer for this, but we can say that we have arrived at the conclusion that it should serve as a guide so that we may see where we stand. It is pointless to compare it to other companies because each one may measure their carbon footprint in quite a different way.

What we do know clearly is that it is a value which we want to reduce, and therefore we are working on this goal. As we have said in the first paragraph of this post, during 2018 we reduced our carbon footprint by 15.5% with regard to that of 2017, and this tells us that we are on the right track.

So what about you? Do you know what your carbon footprint is?

Jordi Lopez