Why Carbon Footprint Labeling?

imageWith my colleagues at  Sherwood Group Consulting, our sponsor, we attended a seminar about a “Carbon Footprint and Labeling” project.

The project  now in it formative stage is jointly lead by the EU Commission users and Thailand-EC Cooperation Facility Program.

The meeting advised on how the project would proceed and some of the issues it would deal with including measurement standards, setting guidelines for labels  making recommendations for use and certification control.

This is initiative will draw on expertise and experience on already well advance constraints being exercised  in carbon aware markets and especially approaches taken by many large multi-nationals, including those in the food industries.

Speakers were:

Assoc Prof Vudtechai kapilakanchana – President Kasetsart University Thailand

Samuel Cantell – First secretary of delegation of European Commission to Thailand

Assoc Prof Dr ShabbirH – Gheewala JGSEE Thailand

Mr Stephen Reeson – UK Food and Drink Federation

Mr Claver Kanyarukoki  –Inst Nat Research France

Dr Alumudena Hopsido – University of Santiago de Compostela Spain

They all provided compelling reason for Carbon labeling and provided methodologies and approaches to costing. One of the bottlenecks highlighted by Mr Reeson was a general lack of good data for analysis and footprint measuring capability.

Either the data was not recorded, or too much data was housed without proper storage and data mining techniques. This lead to lower confidence when quantifying carbon emission with questionable accuracy of the the total life cycle footprint counts.

Many as is the project team, looking at ways to solve this issue with systematic multi-dimensional data capturing and warehousing together with analyzing capability using pre-built LCA/SFA modeling that is needed, regardless of the front end to do the calculation.

There’s is also a plethora of so called calculators out there already that are mostly hooks to entice traffic to a site. Even Google has a carbon footprint calculator, gadget which does simple weighted calculations based on data you need enter to see a result as it then takes you to the authors’  propriety site.

One innovation we have been investigating with some experts in France is, using simple BI tools to set up variable multi-dimensional model. Builds and testing in our laboratory, so  far,  have given us very satisfactory results to see if it may be quite easily used to determined and manage LCA hotspots and for labeling certification.

The areas of carbon measurement and labeling is quite new in Asia so Performance Controller will continue to work with our our sponsor and others to report progress as is relevant. We also plan to establish as Carbon Footprint category and a register of experts people can contact in this web site.

More on that as we progress.

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