What is a Carbon Footprint?

Emisiones de CO2 The Planet App

The fight against climate change and society’s commitment to mitigate its consequences have undoubtedly led to the creation of a “glossary” of terms under sustainability.

These are concepts that we hear daily, as this information is currently latent.

We have already explained in previous articles what CO2 emissions are, global warming, and its relationship with climate change; in this post, we will explain the concept of carbon footprint.

Definition of carbon footprint

The carbon footprint is an environmental indicator that reflects the number of greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted directly or indirectly by a person, a service, or a product.

The result is expressed in tons* of CO2 equivalent, a measure used to compare the global warming potential of the other greenhouse gases with carbon dioxide.

As we can extract from this explanation, there is a carbon footprint in everything we do, from the actions we take as individuals: what types of transport we use to the responsibility as a company: how much energy do they consume and which type of energy it is: renewable or non-renewable.

Relationship of carbon footprint, global warming, and climate change

We have just mentioned that the carbon footprint is the result of the set of greenhouse gases that are released with a certain action.

GHGs are naturally present in the atmosphere, although the increase in their presence in recent decades is due to human activity. Releasing them in large quantities into the atmosphere intensifies the greenhouse effect, allowing less heat to escape and producing what we know as global warming, one of the causes of climate change.

As it is related to our lifestyle and consumption habits, knowing our carbon footprint is really important. Discovering this data will make us understand those aspects that we can improve to reduce our environmental impact.

A climate-neutral Europe by 2050

In November 2018, the European Commission presented a long-term strategic vision with the ambition of becoming the first continent to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

What does this mean? To achieve a zero-emissions economy. According to the European Commission, to achieve this goal the strategy will focus on 7 areas: energy efficiency; deployment of renewable energy; clean, safe and connected mobility; competitive industry and the circular economy; infrastructure and interconnections; bio-economy and natural carbon sinks; carbon capture and storage to address remaining emissions.

Do you know your own carbon footprint?

After reading this introduction to the term carbon footprint, do you want to know yours and how to reduce it? The Planet App have the perfect tool: download the app and we will become your sustainability coach helping you to achieve your sustainability goals.