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Environmental and carbon footprints

NILU offers calculation of a range of environmental impacts and footprints of products, processes, and services.

One example is the ‘carbon footprint’. A carbon footprint stands for the total amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) released into the atmosphere as a result of different activities. Carbon footprints include both direct and indirect emissions. Direct emissions are those emissions occurring during a specific activity, for example emissions from petrol combustion while driving a car. Indirect emissions are associated with the entire value chain that supports the activity in question. They occur for example during production of a car and its components.

The main tools used for life cycle impact studies are Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and environmentally extended input output analysis (EE-IO). The department also works on developing and integrating these tools into larger frameworks to support decision making for sustainable development.

Typical examples of services

  • LCA for comparative environmental analysis of products, processes and services.
  • Extension of LCA studies with cost-benefit analysis.
  • Development of decision support systems based on a life-cycle perspective.

Current and past activities

  • LCA study of using granulate from used car tires in asphalt production.
  • LCA study of chemical looping combustion for electricity production.
  • Life cycle environmental optimization of Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) and enhanced oil recovery.
  • LCA to inform municipal climate mitigation planning.