A carbon footprint is the total sum of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person. As we are aware, the increasing concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere can accelerate climate change and global warming, it is very necessary to measure these emissions from our day to day activities. The first step towards managing GHG emissions is to measure them. There are some standards and guidelines to measure GHG emissions like GHG protocol, ISO 14064, the more comprehensive one Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), market based mechanisms like Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and Voluntary Carbon Standards (VCS), etc. Out of them, ISO 14064 is an offset protocol and independent, voluntary GHG project accounting standard help to quantify GHG emission of the organization, event, product or person.
Following schematic shows how ISO14064 help to calculate carbon footprint of organization, event, product or person;
Calculate your home Carbon footprint;
Our day to day activities are moreover dependent on electricity which is mostly coming from coal based power plants, Diesel and Petrol for our vehicles and LPG for cooking in our kitchen. All of the energy we use is derived from these fossil fuels which are GHG intensive. Following methodology helps you to calculate your carbon footprint resulting from the use of Electricity, Petrol, Diesel and LPG.
Step 1- Data collection;
- Electricity: Collect data on your annual electricity bills. You can find number of power units (In India, one unit = 1KWh of electricity) consumed in your home from the monthly electricity bills issues by State Electricity Board/ Distribution/Collection companies. Take monthly consumed units and then multiply them by 12 (No of months in a year).
- Petrol/Diesel: Add number of liters of petrol/diesel you used in your car/motorcycle in a year. If you do not remember the exact value right now, please add average values.
- LPG: Generally one LPG cylinder has around 14 kg of liquefied petroleum gas. Multiply number of cylinders used in a year by 14 and add the resulted value in the calculation.
Step 2 – Calculation Methodology;
- Electricity : Input value (in KWh/Yr) X 0.85 (Emission Factor) = Output value in (Kg of CO2)
- Petrol: Input Value(In Litres/Yr) X 2.296(Emission Factor) = Output value in (Kg of CO2)
- Diesel: Input Value(In Litres/Yr) X 2.653 (Emission Factor) = Output value in (Kg of CO2)
- LPG: Input Value(In Kg/Yr) X 2.983 (Emission Factor) = Output value in (Kg of CO2)
- Your Carbon Footprint : Add (1+2+3+4) = Output value in (Kg of CO2)
Divide final value (no 5) with 1000 so that you get total carbon footprint in ton of CO2.
Final Carbon footprint should be in tons of CO2 (tCO2.).
Know more about the source of emission factors;
- Electricity = 0.85 kg CO2 per KWh, Source: CO2 emission factor database, version 06, CEA (Government of India), http://www.cea.nic.in/reports/planning/cdm_co2/cdm_co2.htm
- Motor gasoline/ Petrol = 2.296 kg CO2 per liter, Source: Emission factors are taken from the file “Emission factors from across the sector -tool”, extracted from http://www.ghgprotocol.org/calculation-tools/alltools
- Diesel= 2.653 kg CO2 per litre, Source: Emission factors are taken from the file “Emission factors from across the sector -tool”, extracted from http://www.ghgprotocol.org/calculation-tools/alltools
- Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) = 2.983 kg CO2 per kilogram, Source: Emission factors are taken from the file “Emission factors from across the sector -tool” extracted from http://www.ghgprotocol.org/calculation-tools/alltools
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