P7. Intensity of greenhouse gas emissions from products

 

Calculation

P7: Intensity of GHG emissions from products =

Sum for each product (Average annual GHG emissions per product unit x Units produced)

 / Normalisation factor

Unit of the indicator: tCO2e/normalisation factor


Why this indicator is important

As with energy consumption, the total greenhouse gases (GHGs) created in producing and using a product may be concentrated in the materials, production or use phase. To reduce GHGs overall, it is important to concentrate efforts on the phase that contributes the most. This indicator focuses on the GHGs produced in the use of the product. GHGs released in the creation of materials and in the production process are or can be covered in the Indicator O4. With respect to the WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocol definitions, this indicator covers part of “Scope 3” (the supply chain).

In many cases, this indicator will be proportional to annual energy consumption of products compiled for the Indicator P6, especially for products that consume mainly fossil fuels. Products that consume low-carbon energy such as electricity generated from nuclear power, however, will have a different GHG profile. Some products such as refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment continually release small quantities of GHGs. Organic materials in products will also release GHGs when they decompose.

This indicator measures the annual GHG production of the product mix produced during the reference year per unit of output. It represents the part of the facility’s total “carbon footprint” that it creates through the use of its products.

 

Interpretation

As with the Indicator P6: Intensity of energy consumption of products, improving performance on this indicator will require design changes in the products or in their use patterns. For some products, GHG production can be reduced by reducing energy consumption. In the case of products that contain GHGs, improvements to prevent releases and measures to capture the GHGs at the end-of-life phase would help reduce the GHGs released.


Related issues

This Toolkit does not provide detail on the GHG production of individual product components or use patterns. That is, the data included here are not sufficiently detailed to analyse which components of the product (e.g., motors, lights or heat-exchange coils) are the main source of the GHGs. To address improvements, rather than this overall measure, more detailed research on the product itself would be required.