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Our carbon footprint

What is carbon footprint?

Carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused directly or indirectly by an individual or organization during production of goods. It is mostly expressed as a carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent or tons of CO2.

Other greenhouse gases (GHGs) that can deplete ozone such as methane might alsobe emitted due to human activity. Other GHGs are considered when determining the carbon footprint. They are converted into an amount of CO2 and referred to as equivalent CO2—an amount of CO2 that would cause the same effects on global warming as the GHGs does.

 

The purpose, standard and steps of the footprint study

Orthex Group decided to conduct a study to analyse the footprint of its operations and products with the main goal to understand how the carbon footprint can actively be reduced.

The study has been prepared in accordance with the PAS 2050 standard, a widely used specification that provides a method for assessing the lifecycle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of goods and services.

The project was broken into a series of steps:

1. Scoping (scope 1 & scope 2 included)

2. Data collection

3. Footprint calculations

4. Interpreting footprint results and driving reductions

5. Verification of the results by a 3rd party independent expert (Gaia Consulting Oy)

 

Products included in the study

The calculation quantifies the carbon footprint of:

-          Food storage containers (PP+LLDP and BIO) with 0,8 L capacity manufactured by Orthex Group in Lohja, Finland;

-          SmartStore 15 storage boxes (Recycled and Classic) manufactured by Orthex Group in Tinsgsryd, Sweden;

-          Kitchen Utensils, 7 varieties (polyamide and BIO polyamide) manufactured by Orthex Group in Gnosjö, Sweden.

 

LCA (lifecycle assessment) methodology

The environmental performance of different products was evaluated using lifecycle assessment (LCA) methodology. Lifecycle assessment (LCA) is the guide to estimate carbon footprint of any product based on LCA-defined stages that are consecutive and interlinked. The LCA stages are raw material extraction, manufacturing, distribution, usage, and final disposal.

Carbon footprint (CF) estimation of products requires a comprehensive multidimensional approach that includes every stage of a product’s GHG emissions from cradle-to-grave. This calculation has been done for a comparative purpose where some of the stages are excluded. The reason for exclusion is that some of the stages contribute with exactly the same amount of emission, and hence does not impact the comparison. Excluded stages are: raw material packaging, labelling, packaging, distribution and the usage stage.

 

Results

Based on the calculation of emissions from the GastroMax food storage containers*, the carbon footprint of the container made from bio-based plastic from sugarcane is more than 80% reduced compared to the one made from fossil-based plastic. 

The carbon footprint of the bio-based GastroMax kitchen utensils** made from bio-based polyamide based on castor bean oil is more than 50% reduced compared to the one made from fossil-based PA.   

The carbon footprint of the SmartStore 15 box*** made from recycled material (post-consumer plastic waste) is up to 60% reduced compared to the one made from fossil-based plastic. 

The raw material has the biggest impact on the carbon footprint of the products. It is therefore increasingly important to use more recycled and bio-based materials in the production to reduce the carbon footprint of products. This is a key goal in our strategy and during 2020 we aim to produce 20% of our products using these raw materials. It is very important for companies and consumers to recycle all the plastic they use, since it can be re-used many times as raw material for new products.

The second biggest impact on the amount of carbon footprint is the electricity used in production. Orthex is continuously investing in new machines that consumes less electricity and Orthex will switch to using only green electricity during 2020. The third largest impact comes from transportation. Orthex focuses on environmental efficiency in the design, the logistics and the packing of products and goods.   

All Orthex Group’s products are durable and made for long-term use. At the end of their lifecycle the products can be recycled and the raw material re-used for new products.

 

*The raw material data for sugar cane PE is based on the supplier’s verified calculations.

** The results are preliminary and based on test run production.

*** The study uses secondary data for the raw material of the SmartStore Recycled box. Primary data was not available for calculations.

 

In case you need more detailed information about the study please contact us via e-mail: hanna.kukkonen(a)orthexgroup.com