The carbon footprint (or greenhouse gas footprint) serves as an indicator to compare the total amount of greenhouse gases emitted from an activity, product, company or country. Carbon footprints are usually reported in tons of emissions (CO2-equivalent) per unit of comparison; such as per year, person, kg protein, km travelled and alike. For a product, its carbon footprint includes the emissions for the entire life cycle from the production along the supply chain to its final consumption and disposal. Similarly for an organization, its carbon footprint includes the direct as well as the indirect emissions caused by the organization (called Scope 1, 2 and 3 in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol that is used for carbon accounting of organizations). Several methodologies and online tools exist to calculate the carbon footprint, depending on whether the focus is on a country, organization, product or individual person. For example, the carbon footprint of a product could help consumers decide which product to buy if they want to be climate aware. In the context of climate change mitigation activities, the carbon footprint can help distinguish those economic activities with a high footprint from those with a low footprint. In other words, the carbon footprint concept allows everyone to make comparisons between the climate-relevant impacts of individuals, products, companies, countries. In doing so, it helps to devise strategies and priorities for reducing the carbon footprint. The carbon footprint is commonly expressed as the carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) per unit of comparison. It sums up the total greenhouse gas emissions (not just carbon dioxide) caused by economic activities, events, organizations, services etc. In other definitions, only the carbon dioxide emissions are taken into account but not those of other greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide. To calculate the carbon footprint for different entities, the following methods are used: For organizations, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol is commonly used.
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