Collecting, Verifying, & Delivering Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data on a Product Level
Advancements in technology from NASA can help change the game when it comes to corporate social responsibility and greenhouse gas emissions. With accurate emissions data, corporations will be under even more pressure to clean up their act. Through existing technology we can deliver emissions data (and much more) about single products to consumers at the point of purchase and empower them to make educated and sustainable decisions, increasing the power of their dollar.
GreenBiz announced this new emissions measuring technology in February:
NASA’s Carbon Observatory is the first to measure carbon from space, giving us precise, global measurements of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Combined with ground-based sensors, scientists can pinpoint exactly where carbon emissions are coming from down to individual factories, for example. It also can identify carbon sinks — where carbon is best absorbed, with the goal of protecting those places.
Last year, Europe’s space agency, Airbus Defence and Space, launched the “Emissions Measurement Service” which complements NASA’s efforts. It will provide accurate assessments of GHG — going beyond carbon to include methane and carbon monoxide — and with the ability to quantify emissions at city, state and country levels.
Methane leaking from landfills, oil refineries and all small-scale sources of emissions will be catalogued, as well as emissions from the world’s oceans for the first time.
By combining measurements on the ground, in the air and from the CarbonSat Earth Explorer-8 satellite, scientists will be able to monitor and verify if GHG levels are declining because of efforts to reach climate targets.
This technology and the data collected will help us pinpoint problem areas and find solutions (it will measure carbon sinks as well).
The accuracy of CarbonSat will enable us to connect greenhouse gas emissions to factory locations, which produce specific products. As this technology develops, it will help to quantify the greenhouse gas emissions associated with products.
The ACES information cooperative is a new organization created to collect environmental and social impact data on consumer goods and is collecting emissions data from manufacturers and various other sources in an attempt to map green house gas emissions back to products. This information can then be provided to shoppers through the Earth Touch app, enabling consumers to find products with the smallest impact on our environment.
The use CarbonSat data to measure green house gas emissions is just one example of how we can use technology and data from various sources to ensure we have the most accurate data available when defining the life cycle and environmental impact of a product.
Right now it is more necessary than ever to make these connections and use the technology available to us in order to find the best solutions to our Earth’s problems.