As shown in the picture above, the ideal emission-to-sink process starts with creating transparency.
An independent, trustworthy third party should check and verify the values provided. Data exchange along the value chain takes place based on a decentralized approach using common data formats and methods, considering requirements such as data protection and security.
In the second step, the determined Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) must be reduced as far as possible. This can be done both by taking measures to reduce emissions in one's own production environment and by engaging upstream suppliers to reduce their emissions. Only when it is no longer possible to implement measures to reduce the PCF, the remaining emissions should be compensated by investing in CCUS projects. For this purpose, it currently is recommended to give preference to projects that remove CO2 from the atmosphere and transform it into products that are as durable as possible (e.g., construction materials), as this enables the decarbonization of other value chains.
In the fourth and final step, unavoidable emissions can be compensated by investing in long-term stable carbon reservoirs (e.g., deep sea or geological injection). In both the third and fourth step, it is essential that the carbon sinks are audited and verified by independent, trustworthy third-party institutions and that the information about which product is linked to which sink is stored in a safe and trustworthy environment. To achieve this vision, several technical challenges still need to be solved – ESTAINIUM wants to address these with recommendations from our three technical working groups presented in this publication. The ESTAINIUM association is part of the World Economic Forum initiative „Industry Net Zero Accelerator” and is a neutral platform to accelerate solutions for getting to net zero. The first publications have been released with the title “The “No-Excuse” Framework to Accelerate the Path to Net-Zero Manufacturing and Value Chains” in collaboration with Capgemini, University of Cambridge, Rockwell Automation, Siemens and ESTAINIUM. Furthermore, ESTAINIUM contributes to the initiative in addressing the Scope 3 challenge.
- Minimize emissions in own facilities
- Engage suppliers to minimize their emissions
- Transforming captured CO2 from unavoidable emissions into products
- Reduce climate impacts of other value chains
- Store CO2 from unavoidable emissions in high quality carbon sinks
- Verification of sink quality by third parties
- Interoperability by common data format and technology
Carbon Footprint Management (status: implemented)
In this proof of concept, Weidmüller and Siemens demonstrated the exchange of Product Carbon Footprints using the SiGREEN software of Siemens. The PCF of a component was requested by Siemens from the supplier Weidmüller. There the PCF was calculated with actual data from production and shared with Siemens. The calculation took place in accordance with ISO 14067 (PCF) and the product category rules of EN50693 and PEP-Ecopassport. SiGREEN is based on peer-to-peer communication whose trustworthiness is secured using cryptographic keys.
Verified Product Carbon Footprints (status: implemented)
Using SiGREEN, Siemens requested a PCF for a specific part at ACCOMPLAST GmbH, a supplier for plastic injection molding parts. ACCOMPLAST calculated the product carbon footprint according to ISO14067. To get a higher level of reliability ACCOMPLAST sent the calculated PCF with metadata to TÜV SÜD Product Service GmbH. TÜV Süd verified it regarding the applied methods and background information and then issued a verifiable credential to ACCOMPLAST via SiGREEN. Now ACCOMPLAST shared their 3rd party verified PCF with the customer Siemens. Siemens finally received a primary data-based PCF for calculating their products’ carbon footprint.
Live calculated Product Carbon Footprint (status: implemented)
ATS Automation Tooling Systems GmbH is an industry-leading automation solution provider. On the automation lines, live calculation of PCF was realized by measuring the energy consumption, especially electrical energy and compressed air. The values are displayed and can be used for different evaluations like the trend of PCF over time or the amount of carbon emissions caused by scrap parts.
PCF Data Exchange Across Supply Chain (status: initiated)
The Green x Digital Consortium, which NTT DATA is part of, has created a carbon visualization framework and technical specifications for data exchange for the Japanese industry while facilitating communication with the WBCSD Partnership for Carbon transparency (PACT). Solution providers and user companies participate in a proof-of-concept experiment. These 35 participants check that emissions data calculated with the same methods by companies from diverse industries can be exchanged among different solutions to gauge supply chain emissions accurately and effectively.
Cross-solution PCF data exchange (status: implemented)
Within the PACT (Partnership for Carbon Transparency) framework of WBCSD, the ESTAINIUM members Siemens and CircularTree demonstrated how product-specific carbon emissions can be transferred between different technological solutions. The developed specifications were tested in a pilot for a liquid laundry detergent value chain.
Reducing Product Carbon Footprints (status: initiated)
The solution provider CircluarTree and experts on Life Cycle Assessment from Sustainaccount work with pilot customer project luna on calculating product carbon footprints using a combination of primary and secondary data. The goal is to demonstrate the positive impact of measurements for reducing the product carbon footprints, e. g. by using electricity from solar power generation or the use of waste for heating. After solving the challenge of gathering consistent and holistic LCA data for all scopes, the design of a robust and transparent accounting methodology for carbon sinks is planned ensure comparability of declarations.
Circular Economy Measures (status: initiated)
Merck is working to reduce its own greenhouse gas emissions by introducing circular economy measures. For example, an ammonium phosphate nutrient solution is offered on a digital platform based on funding project “DigInForm”. This platform takes up the guiding idea of data spaces and aims to provide an ecosystem for the secure, verifiable and cross-organizational exchange of data in the network of manufacturing companies and their waste management service providers. The product offered can either be purchased as a technical grade product from other companies or, in case of no request, recycled by waste management companies.
MeetZero (status: implemented)
MeetZero, which NTT DATA is part of, is a blockchain platform that supports the creation of a carbon market, from project database to the carbon trading, including monitoring, reporting and verification procedures. The platform was established to help public administrations and/or private cooperations to create carbon markets according to article 6 of the Paris Agreement. In this way, regional carbon markets in developed countries can be created and the needs of corporations demanding local carbon credits can be satisfied.
Real-time connection between Emission and Sink (status: implemented)
The electrical energy consumption of a laser etching machine at Siemens in Amberg was measured and multiplied by an emission factor to calculate the live CO2 emissions associated with the machine’s operation. To demonstrate real-time compensation for the affected emissions, an algal carbon capture system at the University of Technology Sydney removes carbon from the atmosphere by photosynthesis. The amount of CO2 removed is measured, and data is matched using an IoT platform to link emissions to the sink in real-time.
Tokens for carbon credits (status: initiated)
Solutions for transparent and trustworthy data exchange are needed to prevent carbon credits from being duplicated or otherwise misused. Facing this challenge, the Friedrich-Alexander University, Steinbeis Institute and Siemens are working on a cryptographic token to track compensation spending through a public blockchain network.
Linking PCFs to regional and international compensation projects (status: initiated)
BayWa and Siemens cooperate on linking the calculation and management of Product Carbon Footprints to the investment in high quality regional and internationally validated projects to compensate in a combined way remaining carbon emissions, which are ideally left over, after several carbon emission avoidance and reduction projects. Therefore, a connection between Siemens SiGREEN Software and the BayWa platform Combayn will be established in a first Proof-of-Concept to gain experiences regarding required data interfaces and methodologies. Future cooperations will focus on securing the exchanged data by verifiable credentials.
CO2Sink - Offsetting with high-quality forest carbon credits (status: initiated)
NTT DATA has developed a solution for accurately accounting, monitoring, and tracking carbon credits in forestry sequestration projects and is issuing a marketplace based on blockchain technology. The carbon accounting and monitoring methods are based on inventory and on-field flux measurements combined with remote sensed data. NTT DATA has requested for integration of the methods – if not yet included – in the currently adopted methodologies of the main standards (Gold Standard and Verified Carbon Standard).