How Our Carbon Emissions Are Calculated

Here at Ecologik, we aim to be as transparent as possible with how we're offsetting the emissions we create to become a net carbon negative company. Below, we will walk through the exact method we use to calculate how much carbon we owe back to the atmosphere after a product is delivered to the consumer. 

A note before we start: Because there are so many variations in the shipping process, we would have a hard time calculating exactly how much carbon is emitted from each sale. Because of that, we are going to use some maximums in some of the variables used in our equations. For example, instead of calculating shipping distance for each sale, we use the maximum possible distance from our furthest distributor to our furthest customer. This makes it easy for us, and in most cases lets us contribute more to the environment than quoted throughout the rest of our website.

The Method

We sell various types of merchandise in our store and are constantly looking for more eco friendly manufacturers and distributors. We aim to bring the numbers in the following list down as time goes on so keep checking back to see our progress. In the meantime though, based on averages defined in the sources at the bottom of the page, we calculate the carbon costs of manufacturing these goods as follows:

Cotton T-Shirt/Long Sleeve: ~2.1kg CO2 During Manufacturing

Mixed Material (50/50) T-Shirt/Long Sleeve: ~5.77kg CO2 During Manufacturing

Hoodie: ~6.25kg CO2

Sustainable Products: ~10.3kg CO2 During material mining and manufacturing for one item 

We also need to take shipping into account as that is the most emissions intensive part of the process. The largest distance between distributor and consumer is approximately 15000km. Now we know this next part is often not the case, but if we assume the shipping is done primarily by air with only local transport by truck, we take the larger of the two evils and it makes for simpler calculations.

The carbon emissions of one kilometer of flight, is on average 115 grams. We however are not the only thing travelling on the planes so we need to somehow account for our portion of the load. Being a small product company carrying light loads, I would say a generous estimation for one article of clothing would be 1.15g per km (1/100). Extrapolating that out to our 15000km, we get 17.25kg CO2 emitted for the air portion of travel. 

For the ground transport, we will assume that the average consumer lives at most 20km away from their local distribution centre (A major exaggeration). By using a load weight of 1 of our items on the truck (450g), 62g C02 per tonne-km and the 20kms we get a total kg CO2 emitted of 0.558

With all these numbers, you can come up with some totals yourself. The only real variation comes into play with the product being ordered. For example, ordering a cotton t-shirt from our store, you would expect us to offset:

2.1 +17.25 + 0.558 = 19.908kg CO2 

Multiplying that by 5 to abide by our removal of 500% of the carbon emitted, you end up with a grand total of:

99.54kg CO2 removed from the atmosphere through carbon offsets. 

We would love to hear from you if you have any questions about out method. Just contact us using the form on our page!

References

https://www.systain.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/Systain_Studie_Carbon_Footprint_English.pdf

https://www.ecta.com/resources/Documents/Best%20Practices%20Guidelines/guideline_for_measuring_and_managing_co2.pdf

https://www.asiaone.com/singapore/metal-straws-and-reusable-bags-may-not-be-eco-friendly-you-think

http://business.edf.org/blog/2015/03/24/green-freight-math-how-to-calculate-emissions-for-a-truck-move

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1876610214010492

https://www.carbonindependent.org/22.html

Kirchain, R., Olivetti, E., Reed Miller, T. & Greene, S. Sustainable Apparel Materials (Materials Systems Laboratory, 2015).