This Excel based tool offers teams the opportunity to calculate their team's carbon footprint that is related to the laboratory work. Consumables, heating and electricity consumptions can be entered to get a summary of the CO2 emissions of the lab.
Let’s have a look at the different sheets included in the Calculator:
GHG emissions can be classified by scopes that reflect different forms of emission. “Scope 1” relates to direct emissions caused, for instance, by burning coal. This scope is not relevant for our calculation as laboratories normally do not produce any direct emissions. Moreover, “Scope 2” relates to indirect emissions caused by the generation of warmth and electricity. At this point, the Calculator comes into play.
Getting hands on heating data is usually difficult as data is collected for whole building complexes and not for each respective lab. To measure the power consumption of electrical devices, the actual consumption needs to be measured with powermeters for different settings and durations. Furthermore, the power consumption can also be calculated using performance parameters, but this value can largely differ from the actual value.
"Scope 3" encounts for all other emissions caused related to the project, be it the manufacturing of the used products, the (environmental) cost of their shipping, business trips, etc. It is important to set the boundaries of your calculation at that point. Our team took in account the consumables and chemicals we use in our daily lab routine. The result can be seen as an estimate as not all suppliers provide emission data for their products. Nevertheless, we can identify prominent factors and the proportions of the impact the different factors have.
The unit for measuring the global warming potential of the emitted greenhouse gases (GHG) is CO2, thus the result will be also given in CO2 units. The different other gases occurring are multiplied with a factor that reflects their harmfulness for our climate.
With the Calculator, our team was able to estimate the GHG emissions of the lab to be 3520 kg for the duration of our project.