We believe that carbon footprint management is an essential part of responsible operations. Only by regularly tracking and measuring our carbon footprint, we can analyze the impact we have on the environment and take measures to reduce it. Carbon footprint intensity is also equally important, especially in a growing company and when you consider material use.
So how does Herrmans calculate the carbon footprint? Which parts are included? Here we try to break down the way we reason in our follow-up and reporting.
Carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused directly and indirectly by the operations. It is measured in units of mass of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).
Scope 1 includes direct emissions from own activities, such as fuel from own vehicles and machines.
Scope 2 includes indirect emissions from own activities, such as purchased electricity and heat.
Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions such as raw material procurement and their logistics, waste treatment, water consumption, business travel etc.
To have a carbon neutral production facility, you only need to include scope 1 and 2 in your calculations. Scope 3 is not compulsory, but as you see from the description above, scope 3 is where almost all the impact lies for most manufacturing and assembling companies.
We want to be as transparent as possible and try to make the often-difficult changes that make real difference. Therefore, we included all 3 scopes in our strive to carbon neutrality.
Our calculations show that scopes 1 and 2 are already Zero for our manufacturing plant in Finland, thanks to the minimal use of fuels and the use of renewable energy. We are replacing our entire vehicle fleet to electric models during a 3-year period, and in the meantime we are offsetting the small remaining part until all vehicles are renewed. We have chosen the Verra certified project Rimba Raya Biodiversity Reserve in Borneo. The certificate can be found here: Herrmans Certificate of Verified Carbon Unit (VCU)
The largest source of emission in Herrmans’ carbon footprint are found in Scope 3 and more precisely the materials that we use in our products. For this reason, we are currently focusing on including the upstream items in scope 3, as we see that is what we can influence directly ourselves and where we can make the biggest impact. We recognize this as the biggest challenge to tackle, and we will be sharing the lessons we learn along the journey.
Measuring total emissions (=carbon footprint) is important because of the ultimate need to reduce overall emissions. But the footprint does not say anything about the efficiency of an organization’s use of resources, and whether changes in total emissions are due only to positive or negative economic growth.
That is why you need to measure carbon footprint compared to your business volume as well. When you include all 3 scopes with all the raw materials you use, it means that as the company grows, the carbon footprint will logically also grow with it.
The key to real improvement is to keep the business growing, but doing it more efficiently, with “greener” materials and thereby causing less and less greenhouse gases in relation to growth. That is why Herrmans also keeps track of carbon footprint intensity.
Carbon footprint intensity is measured as total carbon emissions divided by the number of units produced, or by the total economic activity. Herrmans’ carbon footprint intensity is measured by dividing the total carbon footprint with the revenue from the same period: CO2 eq. e / revenue
In two years, our carbon footprint index has decreased from 0.32 to 0.25 CO2/€. That is a 23% reduction in intensity.
The journey towards carbon neutrality is ongoing, and we will be sharing more results and research soon!