Improving a company's carbon footprint through the proper use of the circular economy
Since the Paris Agreement, countries and companies have agreed on the importance of acting against global warming, i.e. acting on their carbon footprint by limiting their greenhouse gas emissions.
Solutions have been developed to help companies commit to these reductions and accelerate their ecological transition.
The transition from a linear to a circular economy is one of the most popular solutions.
What is the carbon footprint?
The carbon footprint of a company is defined by the measurement of the greenhouse gas emissions it generates. This quantity of greenhouse gases (GHG) includes all the gases emitted, expressed in CO2 equivalent (CO2e) for ease of reference.
The calculation of GHG emissions is based on the physical emission factors multiplied by the quantity consumed or generated for this activity.
In the field of air pollution, the emission factor is the ratio between the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted by an object or material and the characteristic value of the object or material, measured in the unit that best defines it.
Determined by specific studies and measurements, emission factors are used to evaluate a company's carbon footprint during its carbon assessment.
Why do a carbon assessment?
A carbon footprint consists in making an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the activity. It allows us to identify the most important items in order to reduce them as a priority as part of an ecological transition process.
The realization of a balance sheet is mandatory only for some companies but it is recommended for all of them in order to move forward together towards a global reduction of our impact on the environment, to transform and adapt their activities to remain competitive and ensure their sustainability.
Companies that choose to carry out their own GHG assessment do so in order to fight against global warming and to preserve biodiversity, but also to: respond to their clients' calls for tender, meet the expectations of their end clients, develop a committed and positive communication, reduce waste, anticipate regulations, and develop their carbon competitiveness. In other words, to make their business sustainable by connecting it to life.
Circular economy and carbon footprint
The circular economy is an economic model that aims to preserve the resources of our environment, our health, to allow the economic and industrial development of territories, to reduce waste and wastage. The challenges of the circular economy are environmental, economic and social.
In France, the transition to a circular economy is officially recognized as one of the objectives of the energy and ecological transition, and as one of the commitments of sustainable development. The development of the circular economy is therefore also a solution to reduce the carbon footprint of companies.
In order to implement it effectively, it is necessary to make progress in several areas.
- Sustainable procurement: taking into account the environmental and social impacts of the resources used;
- Ecodesign: to take into account the environmental impacts on the whole life cycle of a product, and to integrate them from the design stage;
- Industrial and territorial ecology : synergizing and sharing in order to optimize the use of resources in a territory;
- The economy of functionality: privileging use over possession ;
- Responsible consumption: taking into account the environmental and social impacts at all stages of the product's life cycle when making purchasing choices;
- Extending the useful life of products: by repairing, selling or buying second-hand, or by donating;
- Improving waste prevention, management and recycling.
In order to facilitate the implementation of these reduction solutions, a GHG assessment is the ideal solution. It allows both to quantify, but also to determine avenues of reduction, and thus to implement solutions adapted to a circular vision of the economy of a company.
Thanks to GCI, carry out your GHG assessment and integrate the benefits of your commitment to the circular economy
The GCI calculator is an online tool that covers all the steps involved in carrying out a GHG assessment in order to make it easy, but above all, accessible to everyone. The platform allows any user to carry out a balance sheet in compliance with regulations and to identify priority points for reducing emissions in line with the implementation of a circular economy.
For example, the platform enablessuppliers' emission factors to be taken into account, thus responding to the first point of a circular economy. By taking discriminating account of the emission factors of incoming materials from suppliers, a company will be able to assess the environmental and societal impacts of the resources it uses, and change them if it considers that they do not fall within the scope of sustainable sourcing.
The GCI solution also allows the creation of composite emission factors. The company can thus, free of charge, on the GCI platform, enter all the elements that make up a product that it offers. By choosing more environmentally friendly elements from the design stage, a company manager will be able to respond to the two points of eco-design, but also responsible consumption, which requires the carbon competitiveness of partners.
Finally, the carbon inventory that the GCI platform allows by classifying data in specific categories, allows the company to become aware of its purchases and energy expenses, including the waste it produces, and thus act for a better management/reduction.
The GCI platform is a complete solution that allows any organization to not only reduce its carbon footprint, but also to integrate an associated action: the transition from a linear to a circular economy.