The carbon footprint measures the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced directly or indirectly by humans.
The carbon footprint measures the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) that humans produce directly or indirectly, either individually, in their daily activities or at a corporate level. These gases that accumulate in the atmosphere are associated with the greenhouse effect and, therefore, are the main drivers of climate change. In other words, the carbon footprint refers to the impact of human activities on the environment over a specific period of time (usually one year) and is expressed in tons of equivalent CO2 generated. Knowing and analyzing the carbon footprint is essential in the fight against climate change.
Greenhouse gas emissions increase is directly related to climate change, causing sea level and global temperature to rise, contributing to extreme weather conditions, the extinction of species and the spread of diseases. According to World Bank data, carbon dioxide emissions increased by 60% between 1990 and 2013, causing global temperature to rise by 0.8°C compared to pre-industrial times. Furthermore, in 2019, global GHG emissions reached an unprecedented record and it is estimated that if we continue this way, during this century we will reach a global temperature increase of 3ºC.
Getting to know the carbon footprint allows measuring the level of environmental sustainability, by analyzing the impact that an individual, company or product has on the environment.
- The individual carbon footprint determines the greenhouse gases generated by a person based on his or her daily actions; means of transportation, energy services or consumption habits.
- The carbon footprint of a company or organization measures greenhouse gases generated directly or indirectly from all its activities.
- The carbon footprint of a product takes into account the greenhouse gases generated during its entire life cycle, from the extraction of raw materials, through production and distribution, to the use, reuse or recycling and end-of-life stages.
Calculating the carbon footprint is essential to know how our activities impact the environment and thus limit the consequences of climate change. In addition, measuring the carbon footprint allows establishing different corrective measures for its reduction and compensation.
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