In December of 2019, Chile will host the COP25 (Conference of parties of the United Nations), event bringing 197 Nations to discuss and define the actions needed to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
In order to contribute to the achievement of the goal of mitigation taken by Chile to United Nations, 2013 is born the HuellaChile program, an initiative of the Ministry of the environment which encourages organizations, public and private, to measure and manage their corporate carbon footprint.
HuellaChile supports organizations in capacity-building and delivery stamps of recognition of participating institutions, depending on the level of advance accredited under the program. In this way it can help to meet the overall objective of the Paris agreement of keeping the temperature increase global average below 2 ° C compared to pre-industrial levels, but what about the carbon footprint?
Mariana Brüning, Cyclo Sustainability project engineer exemplifies: «think of a product, as a pair of shoes, to measure their environmental impact, is not enough to know how much in its manufacturing process, must also consider what materials» they are made, where are those materials, the productive process and then what happens when shoes meet life».
«If we add all these flows of matter and energy, and carry them to the same unit – carbon dioxide equivalent CO2 eq – get the so-called carbon footprint», adds Bruning. However, CO2 is not the only factor of measurable impact, also you can calculate the impact of acidification on the ocean, the use of water (water footprint) and eutrophication of waters, among others.
There are several ways of measuring and verifying environmental footprints at the corporate level, being the international standard ISO 14064, which collects and standardizes all methodological processes around the world. «The footprint calculation is a complex process and consists of two major stages: measuring the footprint and its subsequent verification», ratify from Cyclo Sustainability.
Gabriela Quintana, head of projects of the company, confirms that this measurement requires a gathering information to calculate the footprint as required by the methodology to be used (in the case of HuellaChile used the NCh ISO 14.064:2013). «Back to the calculation of mark – whose complexity will depend on the size of the institution and its activities – it is necessary to validate the calculation to meet the principles of consistency, accuracy, transparency, among others, for which it is necessary to pass by a» process of verification by an independent third party,»details.
To address the lack of knowledge of how the calculation or with whom the measurement, and then who order verification, the HuellaChile program, as well as provide tools to make the footprint calculation, makes available a list of related institutions to make footprint calculations and verifications of these calculations.
Measurement of traces is a concrete and effective way to visualize the environmental impacts which we generate every day, and it is important that every institution and company know that it has tools and support from the Ministry of the environment in order to reduce the emissions which generates, directly and indirectly, to the environment.