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An improved approach for drawing up a climate footprint

: Clausen, U.; Geiger, C.; Schmied, M.

Transport Research Arena 2010. Proceedings : Brüssel, 07.06. - 10.06.2010
Brüssel, 2010
ISBN: 978-961-6527-11-8
9 pp.
Conference "Transport Research Arena Europe" (TRA) <3, 2010, Brüssel>
Conference Paper
Fraunhofer IML ()
Klimawandel; Treibhausgasemission; Klima Abdruck; Greenhouse Gas (GHG)

Ever since the publication of the Fourth Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the economy raised its awareness of the alarming climate change and is now faced with the question which contribution it can make to climate protection. For logistics companies, this paper provides an answer by explaining climate footprints as the essential basis for emission reduction and describing an approach for drawing them up.
Corporate climate footprints comprise a statement of the shares that single business units take in the whole greenhouse gas (GHG) emission of a company. Thus they allow to identify strong emission drivers and to serve as a starting point for setting mitigation aims. Drawing up the climate footprint regularly, it will show if the taken mitigation measures have the desired impact.
Drawing up a corporate climate footprint for all modes of transport, TU Dortmund University and the Öko-Institut - Institute for Applied Ecology are calculating the complete GHG emissions according to a distance based approach, which is provided by the GHG Protocol. However, the approach does not provide a strict guideline for the calculation.
For this reason the distance based approach is improved by constituting adequate emission factors and the transport performance of road, rail, sea and air transports as calculation factors. To accurately determine the latter factor, the approach prescribes the usage of track and trace data and of transport-mode-dependent rules. For road freight transport the approach regards the traffic mode of every shipment, e.g. direct or break-bulk traffic. This enables to figure out the real-driven pickup and delivery routing of break bulk. For sea and air freight transports, the approach considers for instance that loading of ships does not correspond to their full capacity use and that detours are made due to round-trips of ships or base airports of airlines.
By the use of this improved approach, a more precise and reasonable calculation of GHG emissions caused by transports can be achieved. Being applicable independent of transport and traffic mode, the improved approach further veers toward standardization.