Trust and transparency is key for us, hence we are always happy to explain the details behind out work.
Below on this page you'll find some general principles we work from. Please do contact us, if you have additional questions.
M Å L B A R D A T A
The Målbar tool calculates the total climate footprint relating from the product.
This is calculated according to the new EU Product Environmental Footprint (EU PEF) rules and presented
according to EN 14067 (Carbon footprints of products). Some simplification in the presentation has been made
though in order to make the results more understandable for readers who are not environmental professionals.
There is no single unifying standard which covers our screening tool.
Therefore the guiding principles behind the standards have been used as good practice for the development of the tool.
You can get a short introduction to the EU PEF project here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHPq0vPTu2M
L I F E C Y C L E S C R E E N I N G
Our Carbon Footprint is the total quantity of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with
the full lifecycle of the product. In this case, that includes the impacts associated with raw materials
and emissions from manufacturing (materials and resources), transport, in use (cleaning) impacts
and impacts at end of life (reuse, recycling, incineration, landfill etc.).
To make a fast calculation and sum up these emissions is what we call a life cycle screening.
C 0 2 - e
Emissions of multiple GHGs are included in the data the tool uses.
These are gasses like; carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide (N2O) and other effects.
The impact of these gasses and effects are measured using a single unit known as carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).
This takes into account the relative impact on the atmosphere over a 100 year period of each climate gas and sum them up as if they had the same effect as CO2.
Therefore they are called CO2-equivalents – in short CO2e’s.
T Y P E O F D A T A
A key issue when creating the tool was the level of detail at which to compile the data.
This essentially came down to two options: either to use process level impact data, that has been calculated elsewhere (e.g. taking the carbon footprint of 1 kg of wood from a report and using that to represent a part of the raw materials for the production of a wooden chair); or to disaggregate each process into the material and energy flows required at that stage and then model the impact of each of these separately, i.e. collecting data for average fuel, electricity, heat etc. for wood production and modelling the impact of this process based on these data.
We have chosen the first; to collect process level LCA data from existing sources. This in order to simplify the otherwise very large task of modelling all materials and manufacturing situations common to furniture making.
The data we use for our calculations rest on life cycle assessments where we try to pick data which are compliant with the new EU PEF rules - or if not accessible - ISO 14040 and ISO 14044. In a few cases where data is important for the tools ability to screen important materials or processes we have had to accept that the documentation for compliance is not good enough. In this case we pick data from scientifically recognized double sources.
D A T A C O L L E C T I O N & V A L I D A T I O N P R O C E S S
There were four stages to the data collection and validation process in the Målbar tool:
A C C U R A C Y O F C A L C U L A T I O N S
The tool calculations are very accurate but they rest on average material and process data. Therefore calculations will become more accurate when the product data are collected for level 2 and level 3 screening.
It is possible to use more specific material data like EPDs as input for our screening tool. But EPDs can be difficult to compare as functional unit, product lifetime, bio carbon credits, recycling credits, transport and waste scenarios are not fixed by the EPD standard.
The final result of our calculations does not have this problem. We keep the values constant by applying the EU PEF calculation rules and by fixing values like a uniform functional unit, product lifetime and transport in the tool. This way we ensure a fair comparison between different product footprints.
If an EPD on the specific material is available we first have to access if it is calculated in such a way that it fits the EU PEF rules. If applicable we can probably only use the phase A (raw material, production and construction – A1-A5). The other phases our tool will calculate.
Most LCA’s calculate transport only based on the weight of the goods. This is a source of inaccuracy for assembled furniture as their freight is so light that weight is not the limiting factor for filling a truck. Therefore our tool uses a volume based transport calculation of assembled furniture.
Environmental sciences are still in their infancy and therefore data are constantly corrected and improved. Further the green transitions (in mostly the energy sector) is gradually leading to lower climate emissions. This development is mirrored in our data which are automatically updated once screened.
Benchmark screenings are used in our validation-process. We use the EU PEFs own calculation examples as a calculation test in the tool. Two calculation examples have so far been published - one on a plastic packaging and another on a wood and aluminium window. We insert the materials of these products in our tool and compare the result of the screening with the correct values of the calculation examples. They always have to fit.
D E T A I L S A B O U T F O O T P R I N T A S S E S S M E N T A N D L C A
For the interested reader who wants to know more about how to calculate climate footprint we can recommend Concitos report on how to make the ideal calculation of a carbon footprint (in Danish) https://concito.dk/sites/concito.dk/files/dokumenter/artikler/rapport_gcfr_endelig.pdf
Here Concito also describes the need for product group specific carbon foot print tools. Such a tool which we now have developed.