What’s on your mind
How do I calculate the greenhouse gas emissions for my products, what is important and what are the necessary steps to become carbon neutral?
Step 1: Definition of system boundaries & sample group
The basic step for each GHG emissions calculation is the definition of system boundaries for the respective supply chain and production pathway to determine which inputs and resulting emissions need to be included in the calculation. For the GHG emissions calculation of a coffee supply chain MCS considers all steps from cultivation to port of export including transportation and all interim processes like washing, drying, packing until the green coffee beans are ready to be exported. The final production stage at the roaster in the target country can be added on a voluntary base. The GHG calculation is based on a defined sample which represents the whole farm group in hectare & size, location, distance to mill, cultivation practices, yield and certification status. The results for this sample can be later used as basis to be upscaled to whole farm group level.
Please see below a figure of a typical system boundary for this work case.
Step 2: Data collection and analysis
Based on the defined system boundaries of the supply chain and the group of sample farms, resulting necessary information and data by the coffee producer is collected via individualized data templates for each step of the supply chain. The process of data collection is flexible and can be conducted in different ways e.g. via paper-based templates per farmer up to a mobile app if necessary digital conditions are available. Once received, MCS checks the data on completeness and detects potential missing data necessary to do the GHG calculation. Such data gabs are filled by intensive communication and feedback loops with the company and the farmers.
Step 3: Development of GHG calculator
MCS uses the collected company information and process data to develop the individual GHG calculator for the whole coffee supply chain including all production steps from cradle-to-gate which means cultivation, process and transport emissions.
Step 4: Provision of results and discussion of improvement measures
At the end of the project MCS provides to the coffee producer an open, transparent and audit-ready GHG calculator including results and emission values for each supply chain step and the final green coffee. The calculator in its form can be used to apply for a certification under a sustainability certification scheme requiring a GHG calculation in the audit. In addition, MCS consults the coffee producer in selecting the optimum improvement measures to effectively reduce emissions and thereof improve the carbon footprint of the final green coffee.