CO2 – The Wild West

The confusion is total—perhaps you’ve heard of “CO2 mapping” and other assessments regarding a company’s energy footprint on the environment. It’s a conceptual realm where there’s uncertainty about methods, different approaches to calculations—but still no comparable standard.

Sustainability strategy

As long as the world is changing, there will be a need for adaptation.

EPD

An EPD is an environmental product declaration about products’ environmental impact throughout their lifecycle.

LCA

Life cycle assessments (LCA) have been around for over 50 years.

Sustainability

According to the Consumer Ombudsman, it’s unlikely that a clear and unambiguous definition of “sustainability” can be established.

The solution to the Wild West

When you start working on your company’s footprint on the environment, keep in mind that the method should be standardized, data should be replicable and verifiable, and documentation is needed when you begin communicating about your company. If the standard is lacking and the method is unclear, it leads to methodological confusion and misleading assessments of the environmental footprint.

The method must be consistent, standardized, and verifiable by an independent third party, allowing you to tell a transparent story while also withstanding scrutiny of your approach, business processes, and method.
In this way, you can both communicate what is currently working well and address areas where further efforts are needed to improve the environmental footprint. This transparency is crucial not only for attracting the best employees with the right mindset but also for fostering trust and credibility among stakeholders.

Multiple environmental and human impacts on the surroundings

If you only focus on CO2, there may be other impacts that are negatively affected if they are not mapped out for the company and thus included in the strategy and action plans for the best product mix or component development.

Linking Sustainable Development Goals, environmental impacts, and strategy

The corporate strategy should be data-driven, and the mapping data should be replicable. There needs to be knowledge within the organization to understand how to utilize the mapping of impacts in communication, as well as a management team that allocates resources and funds for changing impacts.