Carbon footprint takes all the six greenhouse gases (GHG) into account. They are regulated by Kyoto Protocol, namely: carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), hydrofluorcarbons (HFC), perfluorcarbons (PFC).
A carbon footprint has been defined as the total set of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused by a person or an organization. Even a product or an event has a carbon footprint. It is best calculated in carbon dioxide equivalent.
Carbon dioxide equivalency
A carbon dioxide equivalent is a metric measure used to compare the emissions from various greenhouse gases on the basis of their global-warming potential (GWP), by converting amounts of other gases to the equivalent amount of carbon dioxide with the same global warming potential. The total emissions are derived by the sum of equivalent of CO2 emissions.
Carbon neutral is a generally accepted term for having net zero emission. Even an organization or a product is responsible for a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions. By neutralizing its emissions, the organization or the product reaches carbon neutrality.
The party responsible for neutralization is charged with neutralizing the direct and/or indirect CO2 emissions of an individual or a company (emissive). The emissive party selects a neutralizing project he is in most sympathy with, pays the cost of neutralization and from that point on the party responsible for neutralization arranges the rest. There are several types of neutralizing projects including
– preventing deforestation
– renewable energy investments (wind, solar, geothermal, biomass)
– supporting projects to improve energy efficiency
– conversion of combustion power plants or factories to have less GHG emission