FootBalance team mapped out the sustainability theme and considered where they should start. They quickly concluded that to measure progress, you need to know where you stand today. The company's carbon footprint was chosen as the first indicator to determine the current situation.
FootBalance System Oy is a Finnish company that focuses on the health and well-being of active people’s feet. FootBalance provides personalized solutions through 3D foot scanning technology and products, and one of their product groups is personalized insoles. FootBalance requested offers from different companies for carbon footprint calculation. "We had become familiar with OpenCO2.net after using the Finnish Textile and Fashion Association's emissions calculator built by OpenCO2.net. In addition, when we looked at the offers, we got the impression that this could be a suitable partner for us, having a clear understanding of emissions calculations," says Milja Havusela, Design, Product & Sustainability Manager at FootBalance.
FootBalance's goal was to confirm their understanding of the main emission sources in the company, and to find out emissions they had not thought about. They also wanted to have a baseline against which to compare progress in coming years. According to Havusela, the organization’s carbon footprint calculation has also been a good internal sales tool in sustainability. "Often sustainability issues can seem distant to people who are not directly involved in the topic. Concrete emission figures have made it easier to discuss the issue with people who think primarily in terms of numbers, for example," says Havusela.
Before starting the project, FootBalance had already collected data on purchasing and transportation, and the existing data sources made it easy to move forward with the calculation. "I thought that the data collection would be more laborious and that we would have more uncertainties in the calculation," says Havusela.
According to Havusela, the most difficult part of the project was collecting data for scope 3, i.e., emissions from the value chain and purchases. Big part of the data in this area relates to collaboration with partners, and the goal is that so-called primary data, i.e., emissions data from suppliers, could be used in the calculation. However, there is still very little primary data available, and this is why average emission factors from reliable sources are used in the calculation. FootBalance’s calculation was carried out on the OpenCO2.net carbon footprint platform, using the comprehensive emissions database available there. In the future, FootBalance aims to obtain more emissions data directly from suppliers.
"Overall, the calculation of the company's carbon footprint was a positive and easy project. If we had calculated the carbon footprint ourselves, it would have been more difficult to trust that the data is reliable. Having experts to do the calculation also meant that we had their support in collecting the initial data and we were reassured that we had the focus on the right things. Carbon Footprint calculation made by an expert is also certainly credible."
With the OpenCO2.net carbon footprint platform, it is also possible to calculate a company's carbon footprint independently. Even then, it is possible to get support from OpenCO2net experts, who can, for example, check the completed calculation. Especially when an expert has done the first carbon footprint calculation of a company, it is much easier to do the next year's calculation independently with the OpenCO2.net tools.
There were no big surprises in FootBalance's calculation, but Havusela says the high share of business travel emissions in total emissions surprised many people working in the organization. Having clear figures on the different sources of emissions helps to understand the emissions produced by a company and helps to plan future emission reductions. FootBalance's main product, the insole, is a small product, but the foot profile scanner used in stores adds some emissions to the insole. "Once we know this, we can think about how to reduce emissions from the scanners," Havusela says.
In the future, FootBalance will focus on the largest emission sources, and the carbon footprint calculation will make it easier to determine where to start reducing emissions first.
"The carbon footprint calculation is a really important tool for our sustainability work. We have identified three areas of sustainability that we will focus on in the future. One of these is to make an emission reduction plan and implement the reductions. This would be difficult to do without a reliable carbon footprint calculation," says Milja Havusela.
The other two sustainability areas chosen by FootBalance are increasing people's well-being through their products and services. This is the underlying idea behind FootBalance's whole business concept and is something they want to promote further. In addition, FootBalance focuses on improving people's well-being in its own operations, i.e., in the workplace and in the value chain.
FootBalance aims to expand its sustainability work. With the carbon footprint project, they have been working much more on sustainability issues as a team than before, and they intend to continue to do so.
"OpenCO2net has been a really important partner in providing concrete emissions data on which to base future plans. For us, this project has a larger meaning than just a carbon footprint calculation," says Havusela.
According to Havusela, the cooperation with the OpenCO2net team went very well. "I have nothing but positive things to say about the collaboration. The communication was good and seamless, and we had the feeling all the time that our carbon footprint calculation is in good hands."
Havusela hopes that other companies will also start calculating their carbon footprint, so that businesses can learn from each other. "In general, I would like to see more information shared and discussed openly in the whole sustainability sector. Let's work together rather than in isolated groups," she adds.
OpenCO2.net offers companies help in calculating their carbon footprint and positive carbon handprint. Carbon footprint calculation made by experts is an easy and reliable way to determine a company's emissions. The OpenCO2.net carbon footprint platform also allows companies to independently calculate the carbon footprints of both their company and their products using standards-based calculators and an extensive emissions database. By using the calculator, the company will gain knowledge on carbon footprint calculation and emission reduction planning.
Picture: FootBalance System Oy
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