Carbon Footprint Improvement

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?

GHG calculation methodology & standards

  • Calculation Standards: Renewable Energy Directive (RED), ISO, Greet
  • Reporting: Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), GHG Protocol
  • Assessment: Life Cycle Assessment
  • Databases: Ecoinvent, Biograce, …

GHG emissions calculations & LCAs

  • Calculation and analysis of product, process or supply chain footprint
  • Land use change emission calculation and accounting
  • Development of GHG emission calculation tools
  • Based on international calculation standards such as RED, GHG protocol and GRI

Carbon Neutrality

  • Detection of unavoidable emissions in the supply chain
  • Carbon footprint reduction projects/ insetting
  • Carbon trading & offsetting projects
  • Supporting with investment decisions and project implementation

Work Case

Climate friendly coffee & carbon footprint reduction


MCS conducts the project in 4 basic steps:

  1. Definition of system boundaries & sample group
  2. Data collection and analysis
  3. Development of GHG calculator
  4. Provision of results and discussion of improvement measures


A coffee producer in Asia cultivates robusta coffee on its plantations and would like to get its supply chain emissions calculated to be able to define its carbon footprint and implement mitigation measures to reduce the emissions generated by its coffee production process. As a voluntary market the coffee sector is not regulated by defined governmental laws with regard to emissions thresholds, but more and more producers and companies dealing with coffee want to get active and do set individual voluntary goals and reduction targets for their business and products. 

The coffee producer has asked Meo Carbon Solutions to do the initial GHG emissions calculation for its company from cradle-to-gate, meaning from the cultivation of the coffee cherry to the processed and dried green coffee bean ready for distribution.

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.

Economic Result

New market advantage by claiming as climate friendly coffee

Ecologic Result

Calculated GHG emissions as basis for reduction measures

Social Result

Improving smallholder coffee business