Posts tagged: carbon

What’s your Emission Factor (EF)?

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 Apr 6, 2009

Office equipment in Delaware creates 400 times as much carbon output as it does in Vermont. In Canada, a single kilowatt creates 155 times more CO2 in Alberta than in Quebec, where power is primarily driven by nuclear plants. Calculating carbon output is clearly more complicated than Energy Star ratings.

With increasing attention being paid to the “green” office in Europe, Canada, and the U.S., businesses are paying more attention to their carbon footprints and demanding that vendors help them understand these metrics. Of course, carbon output is only one factor in environmental sustainability, albeit a prominent one in the minds of today’s politicians, businesspeople, and consumers.

Carbon dioxide emission factors (EFs) provide a localized translation from energy usage, often in kilowatt-hours (kWh), to equivalent pounds of carbon output (lbs CO2).For energy-consuming office equipment devices, the proper EF represents the indirect public electricity EF. Simple multiplication can provide an understanding of a device’s average carbon output relative to similar products:

Average energy usage (kWh) * EF (lbs CO2/kWh) = Carbon Output (lbs CO2)

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