How We Calculate the Carbon Footprint of Our Products

Carbon Footprint tree tops

In this blog post, we'll explain how we calculate the carbon footprint of our products. For more information on what a carbon footprint is, visit our related blog post: Making Strides: Comparing the Carbon Footprint of our Bamboo and Steel Easels.

How we calculate a product footprint

Our Product Footprint Analyses are from cradle-to-gate which includes the production of raw materials, transportation from the supplier to the manufacturer, product assembly, and packaging. All other product-related emissions are included in our overall Scope 3 Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions or Carbon Footprint inventory. These include warehouse product storage, downstream transportation, product use, and end-of-life management. We have allocated the emissions in this way because we only have larger scale data at this point, not by individual product data, at this point in time for these Scope 3 categories.

Carbon Footprint Chart

How we measure the carbon footprint of our products:

Measurement Components

Steps to measure

Upstream product and transportation 

  1. Every single piece of each product is weighed, down to even the nuts and bolts!
  2. We then multiply the weight of each part by its material’s carbon emission factor. These emission factors tell us how much carbon is produced in the creation of each type of material.
  3. All parts are added up to get the total carbon footprint for each product.
  4. We estimate the emissions from the final assembly facility to our warehouse in Arthur, Ontario, Canada.

    See an example of a Product Footprint Analysis here

Warehouse product storage

Calculated using a cost-based analysis: Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 3 Evaluator.

Downstream transportation (to customers)

Calculated using a cost-based analysis: Greenhouse Gas Protocol Scope 3 Evaluator.

Product use by customers

Only a few of our products have emission-producing functions - those that do use a small amount of electricity. We estimate their annual hours of use, lifespan, and average electricity use to measure the emissions created from their use over their lifespan.

End-of-life management

Our products have a long lifespan. We also provide replacement parts for almost all of them to mitigate their end-of-life. However, to calculate carbon emissions responsibly, end-of-life still has to be taken into account. Due to the majority of our products being sold in North America and the region’s low recycling rates, we make the assumption that our products end up in landfill for disposal. We select landfill emission factors on a per-weight basis from peer-reviewed, comprehensive sources to determine the amount of emissions created when the product is disposed of.

Visit our Product Lifecycle Information page. 

Helping you make more informed purchases

As we continue to make strides toward our goal of reducing the carbon footprint of our products by 50% by 2025, we will continue to explore, design, and test ways to keep making progress. We will calculate the carbon footprint of each product and, as we get these numbers, we will add them to our website. If these numbers change, we will also update our website. It is important to us to remain transparent about the environmental implications our products have on the planet and to allow you, our customers, to make an informed purchasing decision. 


Please note: This internal analysis was created using reputable sources and guidance from a product Lifecycle Analysis (LCA) consultant.

Check out our other blog topics.

Let's keep in touch! Sign up to receive new product launches, our blog, and more!

Since 2018, Copernicus has been a part of a community of like-minded companies that want to use business as a force for good. We want to redefine what a successful business is by being directed and shaped through a social and environmental conscience. 
Learn more about our B Corp journey