The concept of “environmental footprint” is based on the calculation and communication of the results of a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), adapting its scope to the reference parameter that is to be reflected with the environmental footprint.
The concept of Environmental Footprint was established in the market when the European Commission initiated to unify the existing methodologies regarding this calculation, developing methods for calculating the “Product Environmental Footprint” (PEF) and “Organisation Environmental Footprint” (OEF). With this method, various environmental impact categories associated with the product and the organisation are calculated, to communicate these and put said information on the marking accessible to all interested parties.
The Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is an international methodology that quantifies the environmental impacts associated with the goods and services that are designed and manufactured, detecting areas for improvement through the study of the complete life cycle of the product. The LCA is defined in the ISO 14040 and ISO 14044 standards.
The Environmental Product Footprint (EPF) encompasses the concepts of LCA.
The Corporate Environmental Footprint (CEF) calculates the environmental performance of a company. It starts with the same concept of LCA, but a particular scope is applied. It measures the environmental impacts associated with the company’s activity during a representative period (usually, one year), and the study includes activities, facilities, products and services that were used (depending on the use, it can focus specifically to any process of the company). The standard ISO / TS 14072: 2014 “Environmental management — Life cycle assessment — Requirements and guidelines for organisational life cycle assessment” aims to give CEF calculations and reports credibility and assurance.
The water footprint is an environmental indicator that defines the total volume of freshwater used to produce the goods and services we usually consume. It is a necessary variable that tells us how much water it costs us to make a product. In a country like Spain, it should be an indicator of utmost importance.
Traditionally, evaluations of water uses were carried out exclusively by measuring or estimating the catchments of surface or underground sources without considering the water used for the production of final goods and services. Products and services fabrication need production chains (many times long) with specific water consumptions and impacts.
The water footprint (WF) seeks to assess the impact on water resources that the production of a good or the provision of service requires throughout its entire production chain, including in the calculation, raw materials. Its measure is established in a modular way, adding the needs for water use and consumption of each stage of production from the origin to the final consumer.
OAK has been working on environmental projects for various companies for 20 years: waste managers, industrial and construction companies, passenger transport companies… We have been improving, evolving, and perfecting our work system to provide clients with professional and quality solutions during this time.
The projects we have developed have successfully passed audits by the leading certification bodies (Aenor, Applus, Bureau Veritas, OCA global, SGS…). This independent and multidisciplinary vision helps us in our work. Always a little better. We know that our success lies in a job well done and in our clients.
Companies of any type that want to enter into green purchasing programs or ecodesign projects, in sustainable certification schemes, in the improvement of Business to Business or Business to Consumer environmental communication and in advance of their environmental management systems (UNE-EN ISO 14001: 2015, EMAS) deepening the concept of Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of its products.