The carbon footprint is a measure that expresses the total greenhouse gas emissions associated directly or indirectly with a product, organization or service in CO2 equivalent.
In accordance with the Kyoto Protocol, the greenhouse gases to be included are: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs ). The tCO2e (tons of CO2 equivalent) allows us to express the greenhouse effect produced by these gases in reference to the greenhouse effect produced by CO2, considered equal to 1 (for example methane has a greenhouse potential 25 times higher than CO2, and for this one ton of methane is accounted for as 25 tons of CO2 equivalent).
The measurement of the carbon footprint of a product or process requires in particular the identification and quantification of the consumption of raw materials and energy in the selected phases of its life cycle. In this regard, the experience of recent years suggests that the carbon footprint label is perceived by consumers as an index of the quality and sustainability of companies. The companies, in addition to conducting the analysis and accounting of CO2 emissions, undertake to define a carbon management system aimed at identifying and implementing those interventions to reduce emissions, economically efficient, which use technologies with low carbon content. carbon. The reduction measures can be supplemented by measures for the neutralization of emissions (carbon neutrality), achievable through activities that aim to offset the emissions with equivalent measures aimed at reducing them with economically more efficient or more expendable actions in terms of image (e.g. planting trees, renewable energy production, etc.).