Sustainable development is one of the basic goals of our company’s strategy.
Achieving this goal, also on a global scale, is increasingly threatened by the problem of climate change as a result of the greenhouse effect. For this reason, Grupa Kęty, in order to keep pace with its increased ambitions in the field of greenhouse gas reduction, decided to calculate and reduce the carbon footprint of its products and the entire organization.
A “carbon footprint” is a calculation of total greenhouse gas emissions during the life cycle of a product or company operation. These gases include not only carbon dioxide but also methane, ozone, nitrous oxide and, above all, industrial gases used in cooling devices. For simplicity, the emissions of these substances are expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent per unit product (CO2e).
Knowing the carbon footprint of our products shows, on the one hand, our impact on climate change, and on the other hand, it shows the factors and possibilities of reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. This information helps our clients calculate the carbon footprint of their own projects. This knowledge is becoming more and more important, and there are many indications that it may soon become a legal requirement.
We calculated the carbon footprint of our aluminum profiles in accordance with The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. In the scope of reporting, we took into account both direct emissions (scope 1) and indirect emissions (scope 2). Direct emissions are greenhouse gases produced by the combustion of natural gas in our facilities and installations, fuels in the engines of internal vehicles and company cars, and the release of refrigerants. Indirect emissions are releases that took place at the stage of generating the electricity and heat we have purchased.
We set the limits of the Carbon Footprint calculation as “cradle to gate”, ie we took into account the emissions generated at the stage of producing the profile extrusion ingots and ending with the emissions related to the shipment of our products. The emission calculated in this way per ton of products was 1.6 tCO2e. For comparison, the production of 1 ton of primary aluminum in the world is associated with an average of 16.7 tCO2e emissions.
The total carbon footprint of Grupa Kęty SA in 2019 amounted to 113,681 tonnes of CO2 equivalent, with direct emissions accounting for only 12% of this value. Purchased electricity and heat had the largest share in the total greenhouse gas emissions. The heat that we purchase from the ECO SA CHP is mainly generated by burning hard coal, so it is burdened with a high carbon footprint.
Paradoxically, however, this is an opportunity for Grupa Kęty SA to significantly reduce its carbon footprint in the near future. All thanks to the planned construction of a high-efficiency gas cogeneration system. The project includes a combined heat and power production system with a natural gas engine. It will be connected to our plant’s heating network and refrigerators, and electricity will be sent directly to the plant’s switching station.
This means that we will be able to cover part of the demand for technological heat on our own, and also for heating part of the plant during the heating season. Thus, we will limit the supply of heat from an external coal-fired boiler room, which will result in lower emissions. The implementation of this task alone will result in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the amount of 12798 tons CO2e / year. It constitutes over 11% of the total carbon footprint of Kęty SA.
Other ideas for reducing emissions involve the use of renewable energy or even planting forests. One ha of forest absorbs about 25 tons of CO2. Thus our annual direct emissions from the combustion of natural gas in buildings and installations would be covered by the forestation of 542 ha of land.
We have calculated and presented the carbon footprint of Grupa Kęty. Time for you to calculate and start reducing your own. You can do the calculations yourself using the calculator:
What can you do to reduce your carbon footprint? We prompt and keep our fingers crossed:
1. Reduce the weight of packaging by selecting products packed in one, not several layers of foil.
2. Instead of buying bottled water, filter the tap water.
3. Pay attention to the origin of the product – those from the local supplier took a shorter distance from the field to the plate, and thus – less fuel was burned, so less CO2.
4. Use public transport, carpooling or bicycle.
5. Sort waste, make a home composter for organic waste (you will get fertilizer for flowers), maybe it is also worth growing vegetables yourself?
6. Buy reusable batteries – ones that can be recharged.
7. Invest in renewable energy such as solar panels on the roof.
8. Pay attention to the certificates of the products you buy.
9. Choose energy-saving electronic devices.
10. You can always plant a tree.