When do you choose which footprint?


Which footprint do you want to work with? You can make a footprint of your organisation, chain or product. Making an organizational footprint is often the first footprint that is made, because it calculates the impact of your own activities that you have insight into and influence. If you want to re-develop or improve a product, a product footprint provides insight and opportunities for improvement. If you are looking for opportunities to improve your purchasing or chain with cooperation partners, the chain footprint is a good choice. Read more about the different footprints below.


The footprint of an organization provides insight into the impact of the activities of the organization itself and provides ideas for the organization to reduce the impact itself. The first footprint often starts with the energy consumption of the accommodation (gas, electricity). The data on consumption can be found within the company and improvement measures can be introduced by the organization itself. Including the impact of commuting and business transport is a logical next step. But the consumption of paper and the production of waste also belong within an organizational footprint. A follow-up is expansion to the entire chain.


A chain footprint provides insight into the impact of the supply chain that runs through your organization, from raw material extraction to waste processing. With this you know more about the role of your organization in this chain: where is the greatest impact and do you have the influence to reduce this impact? It is therefore not only about the activities of the organization itself, but also those of suppliers and consumers, so emphatically outside the company gates. Which materials are purchased and how are they produced? What do users do with a product they’ve sold from your organization?

Calculating a chain footprint can quickly become complex, so databases and key figures are used to keep the (initial) calculations clear. In a next step, you can zoom in on a product chain, material or other aspect.


A product footprint or life cycle analysis (LCA) provides insight into the impact of a product from raw material extraction to the end of its life. Which phase of life or which part contributes the most to the impact of your product? How does your new product compare to your old product or competing products? The analysis helps to effectively improve your product. Sometimes suppliers ask for an LCA or performing an analysis is necessary to obtain an (environmental) quality mark.

A quick exploratory analysis can be made based on the composition of a product. If you want to have the footprint verified for an environmental product declaration or inclusion in a database, a more detailed analysis is required according to specific guidelines or standards.

Knowing more?

Curious about what the Carbon Manager CO2 footprint tool can do for your organization? Request a free demo and try the Carbon Manager for 3 months without obligation.

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