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FLEXO Magazine : March 2008
PLANTS & PROCESSES 58 FLEXO MARCH 2008 www.flexography.org of emission factors for various types of fuels. Some of the common ones are showing in Figure 6. Others have produced emission factors that can be used. The Waste Management Center found an emission factor for gasoline (19.564 lbs CO2 / gal) on a U.S. Department Energy website (http://www. eia.doe.gov/oiaf/1605/factors.html). A state-specific average emission factor for power generation could have been used if we did not have one from our local power company. This is on another Department of Energy website (http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/ ftproot/environment/e-supdoc.pdf ) Using the emission factor of 11.698 lbs CO2 per therm the calculation is as follows: (96,850 therms / yr) x (11.698 lbs CO2 / therm) / (2000 lbs / ton) = 566 tons /yr TRANSPORTATION The amount of fuel used by company vehicles in gallons for the year is needed. There are many different types of fuel such as ethanol, biodiesel and regular gasoline. Each type of fuel emits different amounts of greenhouse gases. There are methods for calculating emission factors for differ- ent fuel types in The Climate Registry draft protocol. For this example we assume regu- lar gasoline is used in our vehicles. For this calculation the basic equation is: Annual gasoline usage x gasoline emis- sions factor = carbon emissions The Illinois Waste Management and Research Center consumed (actually pur- chased) 6,125 gallons of fuel for its vehi- cles. The carbon emissions from burning this fuel are determined as follows: (6,125 gal / yr) x (19.564 lbs CO2 / gal) / (2000 lbs / ton) = 60 tons /yr Companies can include carbon emis- sions from flying to business meetings but most do not have good records of air miles traveled and there is no agree- ment on how to make this calculation. Companies may also choose to include employee travel to and from work. The employer has little control over where people live and how they get to work. But they can encourage car pooling, flexible work schedules, use of public transporta- tion, biking and walking as ways to reduce fuel use in their daily commuting. Good records on employee commuting fuel use are not common. Therefore, at this time, most companies do not include this in their carbon footprint. The total carbon emissions for Waste Management Center in 2007 were: Indirect 1,441 tons from CO2 Direct 566 tons from natural gas Transportation 60 tons from gasoline Total 2,067 tons WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? For most people the number has no con- text to give it much meaning. One way to get a better idea of the impact of this amount of carbon is to use an equivalency calculator. One developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection agency is very helpful. It is avail- able at www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy- resources/calculator.html. With this you can enter the results and convert it to CO2 emissions from: Annual emissions from passenger vehicles. Barrels of oil consumed. Tanker trucks' worth of gasoline. Electricity use of homes for one yea.r Energy use of homes for one year. Carbon sequestered (made unavailable to the atmosphere) by tree seedlings grown for 10 years. Acres of pine or fir forests needed to sequester this amount of carbon annually.. Emissions from propane cylinders used for home barbeques. Railcars' worth of coal. Emission from coal fired power plants. This Greenhouse Gas Calculator indi- cates that the Waste Management Center's annual carbon emissions of 2,067 tons is equivalent to burning 4,361 barrels of oil, which is also equivalent to burning more than 13 railcars of coal. It is also equivalent to the amount of carbon sequestered by 48,081 tree seedlings grown for 10 years. NEXT STEPS A company should use its carbon foot- print as a guide to reduce emissions, costs or achieve another organization goal. For example, the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center has received grant funds to install more energy efficient lights in its building. It is expected that this project will reduce carbon emissions by 58 tons per year (or nearly 3 percent of the total emissions). The project is also expected to save near $5,000 a year in electricity costs. Similarly, tracking carbon emissions related to business travel, might lead to considering lower cost alternatives, such as the use of more teleconferencing. Some printers are calculating the car- bon footprint of each job and supplying that information to their customers. In the future such product labeling may be required. It is a good idea to get a handle on your company's carbon footprint and to compare it with others. This may help you determine what steps are needed to truly be considered a green printer. ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Gary Miller is director of Printers' National Environmental Assistance Center. Riyaz Shipchandler is tech- nical assistance engineer for the Illinois Waste Management and Research Center. Anthracite 22.844 Lignite 21.259 Natural gas (weighted U.S. average) 11.698 Propane 13.904 Motor Gasoline 15.626 Residual Fuel Oil (#5&6) 17.372 FIGURE 6. CO2 EMISSION FACTORS (LBS CO2/100,000 BTUS) FOR VARIOUS FUEL TYPES.