MAGAZINE OF THE GRAPHIC ARTS TECHNICAL FOUNDATION VOL. 20 NO. 3 • JUNE 2008 • $15.00
Calculating and Reducing Your Carbon Footprint
by Paul Jakubski, Director of Environmental and Safety, Dow Jones & Co. Inc.
With all the talk in the media today of global warming The GHG Protocol uses five guiding principles when
and “going green” by lowering your carbon footprint, exactly developing a footprint:
how do you calculate your carbon footprint? Although cur- I completeness
rently there is no government mandatory standard to use in I consistency
the United States, there is an international, voluntary stan- I relevance
dard that stands out among others and has been accepted by
most major corporations and non-governmental organiza-
tions (NGOs) as the default standard: The Greenhouse Gas I transparency
(GHG) Protocol (www.ghgprotocol.org). Highlighting two of these principles, consistency is
This standard was developed by the World Resources important because a consistent methodology will be needed
Institute and the World Business Council for Sustainable as your operations change over time. Transparency is
Development, whose working committee includes organiza- important so that you can disclose assumptions and make ref-
tions such as the World Wildlife Fund, The United Nations, erences for a clear audit trail.
Ford, BP, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the U.S. EPA. This The GHG protocol requires six gases to be reported: (1)
accounting system is used by the European Emissions Trad- carbon dioxide (CO2), (2) methane (CH4), (3) nitrous oxide
ing program and in California’s voluntary Climate Action (N2O), (4) hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), (5) perfluorocarbons
Registry Protocol. Recognized by EPA (and used in a slightly (PFCs), and (6) sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). These are the
modified version in EPA’s voluntary Climate Leaders Pro- same six gases that were identified during the development
gram), most major corporations such as GE, Johnson & John- of the Kyoto Protocol. Of the six, only CO2, CH4, N2O (all
son, Wal-Mart, and News Corporation are using the GHG three are products of combustion) and HFCs (refrigerants)
Protocol. would typically apply to printing operations.
Adding pressure to report your carbon footprint, the The GHG Protocol divides the types of emission sources
EPA is expected to require businesses to begin reporting into three scopes. Scope 1 sources are direct emissions from
their greenhouse gases in 2009. the facility, such as:
I Emergency generators
What Do I Calculate? I Gas boilers/water heaters
When it comes to calculating your carbon footprint, I Company-owned or leased vehicles
there are basically two types to choose from: (1) calculating I Propane forklifts/clamp trucks
what you can operationally or financially control, or (2) cal-
I Refrigerants (HFCs)
culating the entire life cycle of your business. The life cycle
Scope 2 is the electricity purchased for your facility. Both
analysis is usually focused on a particular product and
Scope 1 and Scope 2 must be included in your calculations
is sometimes called the product or supply chain carbon
per the GHG Protocol.
Scope 3 covers the indirect emissions from your opera-
This article will focus on the operational control carbon
tions, such as:
footprint, which is the type that most companies report pub-
licly. For a list of companies that have publicly reported their I Product materials produced by your suppliers
carbon footprints, go to the Carbon Disclosure Project (newsprint/paper, ink, etc.)
(CDP) reference at the end of this article. The CDP is the I Contractor delivery vehicles
largest repository in the world for footprint data, formed by I Employee commuting to/from work
a number of financial investment companies, including Mer- I Business air travel
rill Lynch and Goldman Saks. The CDP uses the GHG Pro- Scope 3 emissions are optional and are not required to be
tocol for reporting. reported per the GHG Protocol. Some have argued that
The first task in developing your carbon footprint is to set including these would be double counting your emissions,
your boundaries. Determine what you can operationally con- since your Scope 3 emission sources could be considered
trol (such as owned and/or leased buildings, vehicles, and somebody else’s Scope 1 sources. However, many businesses
equipment) so that they can be included in the calculations. have chosen to include some Scope 3 emissions in their cal-
40 GATFWorld June 2008
culations. For example, News Corporation chose to include Scope 2 Electricity Calculations Are Similarly Derived:
business air travel. Usage (kWh) × CO2 emission factor (lbs CO2/kWh) /
Completing Scope 3 emissions would, by default, get you 2204.62 lbs/metric ton + (Usage (kWh) × CH4 emission
most of the information you would need to develop your life factor (lbs CH4/kWh) / 2204.62 lbs/metric ton) × 21 GWP +
cycle or product carbon footprint, since it includes a review (Usage (kWh) × N2O emission factor (lbs CH4/kWh) /
of your suppliers as well as disposal emissions. 2204.62 lbs/metric ton) × 310 GWP = CO2e Emissions
The emissions factors for electricity can be found using
Let’s take a look at some examples of calculating foot- the eGRID emission factors developed by the U.S. EPA.
prints in different scopes. These factors are regionally derived based on the mix of elec-
Scope 1 Example: Emergency Generators tricity sources used (i.e., coal, gas, nuclear, and renewables)
Usage (gal) × CO2 emission factor (kg CO2/gal) × 0.001 in the region. Figure 2 (on the next page) shows how the
metric tons/kg + (Usage (gal) × CH4 emission factor (kg regions are divided, with each region having a unique factor.
CH4/gal) × 0.001 metric tons/kg) × 21 GWP + (Usage (gal) × Electricity emissions will most likely be the majority of
N2O emission factor (kg N2O/gal) × 0.001 metric tons/kg) × your facility emissions.
310 GWP = CO2e Emissions (metric tons) Note that since the eGRID factors are regional, you may
Since emergency generators (and most petroleum-based want to ask your local utility if they have specific CO2e emis-
combustion) give off CO2, CH4, and N2O, the first line is the sion intensity data to get a more accurate factor (per GHG
equation for the CO2 component, the second is the CH4 Protocol). This is especially true if your utility recently added
component, and the third is the N2O component of the emis- new renewable sources to their grid, such as solar, wind, or
sion. The emission factors vary depending on fuel type and hydro. The CO2e intensity data should be in the form of lbs.
can be found in the GHG Protocol documents on its website. CO2e/kWh from your utility so you can apply it for your
The GHG Protocol website also provides sample Excel usage.
spreadsheet calculators you can download and use. Scope 3: Emissions
The Global Warming Potential (GWP), as defined in the See Figure 3 for an example of how to calculate business
GHG Protocol, is a factor describing the radiative forcing air travel, using a spreadsheet template from the GHG
impact (degree of harm to the atmosphere) of one unit of a Protocol:
given GHG relative to one unit of CO2. For example, see As you can tell, the shorter flights have a larger effect on
Figure 1 for some gases and their GWP. the emissions than longer flights. This is because a large part
This chart shows that methane (CH4) is 21 times more of CO2 emissions from air travel occurs during takeoff and
harmful than CO2, nitrous oxide (N2O) is 310 times more landing, therefore emissions per mile traveled for short
harmful, and the HFC-23 refrigerant is almost 12,000 times flights are higher than emissions for long flights.
more harmful! When calculating carbon emissions, these Including Scope 3 sources is a decision that each busi-
other gases need to be included in the calculations and ness will need to make.
related to an “equivalent” CO2, hence the “e” after CO2e.
Gases and Their Global Warming Potential eGRID Emission Factors
Figure 1. Gases and their respective Global Warming Potentials
Figure 2. eGRID Emission Factors
June 2008 GATFWorld 41
Sample Calculation of Scope 3 Emissions
Figure 3. A sample calculation of Scope 3 Emissions
Other considerations when developing your footprint is carbon footprint intensity as CO2e/ton of newsprint or paper
that the baseline year of your footprint will change if you consumed, or CO2e/sales, or CO2e/employee.
divest businesses, or outsource/insource activities in Scope 1
if not reported in Scope 3 (i.e., delivery of your product). The Reducing Your Footprint
baseline footprint will not change for any “organic” growth or The Newspaper Association of America (NAA) devel-
declines (i.e., production changes, office closures, etc.). oped an “Energy Management in the Newspaper Industry”
Those changes would be counted for the year in which they (2003) document that could apply to many printers. Figure 4
occurred. You can’t use divestures or outsourcing to show shows a summary of typical energy sources and potential
reductions in your footprint! energy savings.
Companies should also consider securing an indepen- The table shows that there are four main drivers of
dent party to audit your footprint calculations. This is part of energy usage in a printing operation: lighting, heating, venti-
the transparency principle and is expected under the GHG lation and air conditioning (HVAC), air compressors, and the
protocol. motor drives used in the presses. Efforts should be focused
Finally, carbon footprints are normally reported in abso- on reducing the energy used by these four groups of equip-
lute numbers, but you should consider developing a carbon ment in your plant.
footprint intensity to normalize your data for changes in pro- Here are a few simple, low-cost energy reduction
duction or sales. For example, you can determine your solutions:
I Audit your plant for energy efficiencies using
local universities (see the Industrial Technologies
Potential Energy Savings
Program link in the references section).
Source Typical Energy Average Average I Remove bulbs (and ballasts) where not needed.
Savings Payback ROI I Shut off equipment when not in use
(PCs, machine shop equipment).
Lighting 12–66% 2.5 years 40% I Insulation, weather stripping, and window film
coverings still work!
HVAC 10–30% 3.9 years 26% I Use LED, T8s/T5s, or CFL lighting
Air 20–50% No data No data (no incandescent bulbs!)
Compressors I Use occupancy sensors (dual infrared/ultrasonic
Motors/Drives 25–75% 2.5 years 40%
I Increase thermostat one degree in summer, decrease
Natural Gas 30% No data No data one degree in winter.
Chillers I Buy variable speed drive motors when replacing old
Reflective 20–70% No data No data standard motors—a Six Sigma project at Dow Jones
Roofing showed a 21% energy savings when running a VSD
compressor during non-production times and 12%
Adjusting 5–20% No data No data
Power Factor (cost savings) savings in production mode.
I Maintain your HVAC system (change filters, lube
Figure 4. Typical energy sources and potential energy savings bearings, clean coils).
42 GATFWorld June 2008
I Plug compressed air leaks—an energy audit at one of our
plants found we were losing 15% of our air due to leaks, References
and that one quarter-inch hole can cost us $8,700/year.
The following references were used to develop this article that you
I Reduce your hot water heater temperature to 115°F. can also use to help develop and reduce your carbon footprint:
I Schedule battery charging or baling equipment only
during off-peak periods (typically 10pm–8am). G GHG Protocol (www.ghgprotocol.org)
I Review number of motors used on a newspaper press—a G CA Climate Action Registry (www.climateregistry.org)
Six Sigma project showed that the most energy efficient G Carbon Disclosure Project (www.cdproject.net)
setup was running two more motors than the number of G Environmental Leader (www.environmentalleader.com)
sheets being run, saving us an estimated $100,000/year. G EPA Climate Leaders (www.epa.gov/climateleaders)
I Review your local utility rebate offers to new energy G EnergyStar (www.energystar.gov)
G LEED (www.usgbc.org/DisplayPage.aspx?CategoryID=19)
I Buy “EnergyStar” rated equipment.
G Industrial Technologies Program (DOE)
Paul’s department is responsible for developing environmental,
G Sustainable Green Printing (SGP) Partnership
safety and energy management guidelines, procedures and poli-
cies for the company’s seventeen Wall Street Journal/Barron’s
G News Corp Energy Initiative
printing plants and eight Ottaway community newspapers, along
with numerous office locations. He is also the secretary of Dow
Jones’ Corporate E&S Committee, chaired by the Vice President G Wall Street Journal Environmental Capital Blog
of Production. Paul can be reached at 609-520-4865 or (http://blogs.wsj.com/environmentalcapital)
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June 2008 GATFWorld 43