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How to Measure a Product's Carbon Footprint

Explore our guide on How to Measure a Product's Carbon Footprint using Arbor's platform. Get accurate insights to manage and minimize your carbon impact.
10 minutes
Omer Amar
Omer Amar
Data Analyst

In this guide, you'll learn how to create a detailed product profile, including materials and manufacturing processes, add accessories and packaging details, and accurately input transportation activities. We'll also explore understanding hotspot analysis to identify key areas for carbon reduction. By the end, you'll be equipped to use Arbor's tools effectively to make informed carbon strategy decisions and authentically communicate your sustainability story.

To begin, please:

Let's dive into
How to Measure a Product's Carbon Footprint

Creating a product

  1. Find the add product button

With Arbor’s free plan, you get 3 free all-access products

  1. Add a product name
  2. Select the product type

Example: T-Shirt, Door, Bike, etc.

  1. Helpful tips

Add an image URL to keep track of products

Add optional fields for product organization, such as SKU, brand name, gender, etc.

Adding subproduct(s)

  1. If your product type includes subproducts, navigate to the subproducts tab

Example: Bicycle, Building, etc. If your product does not have subproducts, proceed to the next step

  1. Find the add subproduct button 
  2. Select create new or add existing product 

If creating a new product, follow the steps above to create a product

  1. Once all subproducts have been added, navigate to the Impact tab to see the overall impact of your product with all subcomponents added

Adding material(s)

  1. Navigate to the materials tab
  1. Add a material and select the material variation

Example: Organic Cotton 

  1. Add a country of origin

If you don't know the country of origin, select Unknown‍

  1. If your product has additional components, click add component and follow the same steps

Example: A jacket with multiple layers

Adding accessories

  1. If your product contains accessories, navigate to the accessories tab
  2. Select an accessory type

Example: Hangtag, Button, Zipper, etc.

  1. Add an accessory variation

Example: Recycled Tag, etc.

  1. Add units of accessories

Example: 5 buttons, 20 cm of zipper, etc.

Adding manufacturing details

  1. Navigate to the manufacturing tab
  2. Selecting a country of manufacture

If you do not know the country of manufacture, select Unknown

  1. Add % waste and assembly time

If unknown, leave the fields blank and the average default values will be used

Adding packaging details

  1. Navigate to the packaging tab
  2. Select a packaging type
  3. Select a packaging variation 

Example: recycled, etc.

  1. Add the packaging weight

Adding transportation activities

  1. Navigate to the transportation tab
  2. Select an origin country
  3. Choosing a transport mode

Example: sea, air, ground (truck), etc.

  1. Add stops
  2. Select a final destination
  3. Helpful tips

You can rearrange any transport location by clicking and dragging on the map/pin icon

Review product data

  1. Navigate to the review tab
  2. Review the product details and product data you entered
  3. Review or edit sections as necessary

See Carbon Impact

  1. Navigate to the impact tab 
  2. See the carbon emissions impact of your product 

You can choose to showcase the carbon impact of your product publicly from this tab

Understanding the Hotspot Analysis

  1. Navigate to the Hotspot Analysis tab

You will see the carbon impact breakdown of your product and subcomponents (if added)

  1. Click through sections that have dropdowns to see further emissions breakdown

Example: See the impact breakdown of one material in relation to the entire product

Thanks for reading!
How to Measure a Product's Carbon Footprint
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