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Sequestration of Carbon Emission from Manufacture of One RuffRest® Medium Size Dog Bed Using the White Pine Tree

November 20, 2021

The Carbon Footprint of One Medium Size RuffRest® Dog Bed

Introduction

In this report, we have calculated the carbon footprint of one RuffRest®medium size dog bed.

To calculate the carbon footprint of the medium size dog bed, we took the following  three factors into account.

  • Materials used: The components used to make this bed were broken down to their base materials, e.g., nylon, polyester, etc. The carbon emission from the manufacture of these products were acquired from published primary and secondary sources (mentioned in the references). The bill of materials was used to calculate the total quantities that were used to manufacture the dog bed; these account for 57% of total carbon emissions1.
  • Manufacturing and storage: Putting together and manufacturing this product has a carbon footprint that is not easily calculated. This is because the emission from these processes depends on the equipment used in the factory and the type of power plant this factor draws energy from. The storage of the product has a smaller footprint but it is not insignificant. To counter these variables, we have looked the at aggregate footprint for the manufacture of various products, as detailed below. That means processes such as prep, blending, dying, and packaging, etc., are accounted for.
  • Transportation: Shipping is another source of carbon emissions that needs to be considered when looking at the carbon footprint of the product. This product is delivered using ships, trucks, and aircraft, depending on where the purchaser lives. We have done a few calculations and averaged them out to get emissions caused by transport.

The second part of this report deals with ways to sequester the carbon dioxide produced so that we, as a company, can achieve carbon-neutrality before aspiring towards carbon-negativity. We have chosen to sequester carbon by planting trees. 

Total Emission in Material Production 

The total carbon dioxide emission from the materials used in the dog bed is as follows.

Materials

 Total CO2 Emissions in Kg

Nylon2

84.83290271

Polyester3

50.8446

Foam4

9.8592928

Fleece3

0.153794308

Zippers5

24.16911213

Polyethylene Vinyl Acetate6

0.40392

Thermoplastic Polyurethane4

0.204408

Polyvinyl chloride6

0.0214

Polypropylene7

0.349270824

Total Emissions

171.1879716 kg

Nylon and polyester have the maximum contribution to  CO2 emissions and they are the most used materials in the dog bed. The zippers are the other category that also contribute to the emissions.

Emissions Due to Manufacturing

As discussed above, calculating the emissions due to manufacturing are difficult to estimate. The reason for this is that these calculations depend on various factors ranging from the plant that produces the electricity to the type of equipment the manufacturer is using. To account for such emissions, we have taken looked into various garment manufacturing processes and have discovered that the manufacturing process accounts for 36% of the total emissions.

The total emissions from the manufacturing of one medium RuffRest®dog bed is estimated to be 113.28 kg of CO2.

Emissions due to transport

The weight of the dog bed is 3 kg and the estimated density of 50g/cm3 thus the volume of the package is approximately 60 liters. The volume of one shipping container/twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) is 33200 L, so 1 TEU can accommodate 550 dog beds. The average weight of 1 TEU is 2280 kg8.  

The total weight of one TEU loaded with dog beds will be = 2280 + (550*3)

Giving us a total weight of 3,930 kg or close to 4 tons.

A container ship emits 16.14g of CO2  per ton for every kilometer traveled9.

Keeping these facts in mind, we have calculated the carbon dioxide emissions to transport 1 medium size dog bed.

Xiamen Port, China to the Port of  Oakland, California ,USA, is  6057.6 miles10. Total emission for transport is .71 kg of CO2.

Xiamen Port, China to the Port of  Los Angeles, California ,USA,  is 6370 miles10. Total emission for transport is .75 kg of CO2.

From the port, we have calculated emissions for transport for 250, 500, 750 km and for deliveries above 4000 km.
Vehicle transport emissions are averaged at 38.58 g of CO2 per ton for every kilometer traveled9.

Aircraft emissions for short-haul flights (less than 3700 km) are 820g of CO2 per ton for every kilometer traveled11.

Aircraft emissions for long haul flights (more than 3700 km) are 690g of CO2 per ton for every kilometer traveled11

It is expected that all deliveries within 250 km will be handled by road transport.

Emission for up to 250 km is 70.14 g per dog bed.

It is expected that all deliveries around 500 km will be handled by road transport (100 km) and air transport (400 km).

Emission for around 500 km is 1,012 g per dog bed.

It is expected that all deliveries around 750 Km will be handled by road transport (250 km) and air transport (50 km).

Emission for around 750 km is 1300 g per dog bed.

For emissions upto 4000 km the following equation can be used 

Emissions = (70.14+(((total distance-250)*820)/333.33))g of CO2 emitted

It is expected that all deliveries above 4000 km will be handled by road transport (250 km) and air transport (3750 km).

For emissions upto 4000 km the following equation can be used: 

Emissions = (70.14+(((total distance-250)*690)/333.33)) g of CO2 emitted

Total emissions

The total emissions of carbon dioxide in the manufacture and transport of one medium size RuffRest® pet bed is 394 kg. Materials used contribute to the major part of the emissions, followed by the manufacturing process. 

Use of Pine Trees to Sequester Carbon

Carbon sequestration using trees, just like any other carbon sequestration technology, have a lot of pros and cons associated with it.

What we need to keep in mind when trying to sequester carbon by growing trees are the following:

  • The water demand of the tree and the availability of water in the region. This is one of the prime factors to consider when we are starting a plantation for carbon sequestration.
  • Most of the carbon is incorporated in the leaves of the tree that fall off during the year. So we must have a process that does not allow the carbon trapped in these leaves to be recycled back into the atmosphere.
  • Tress also fix a lot of carbon in their various organs like roots, trunks, branches. However, once the tree has grown fully, its carbon sequestration potential declines rapidly. Thus it is imperative to have a good tree rotation policy in place and have timber management.

Pine trees in the age group of 4-20 years are the best for carbon sequestration. The carbon is primarily stored in the tree organs. Older pines also sequester a lot of carbon but as we will be planting new saplings, we are considering the potential of young pines12.

All things considered, any tree with good and healthy leaves and cyclic leaf fall can be used for carbon sequestration.

We have chosen the White Pine (Pinus strobus), as a study13 has shown that individual eastern white pines can accumulate significant above-ground volume/carbon up to at least 190 years, that this volume/carbon accumulation in an individual tree can accelerate beyond 100 years, and that a stand of pines can double its above-ground live carbon between 80 and 160 years.

An individual white pine can sequester 1000 kg of carbon in its organs in 80-10 years13,14. This, however, does not take into account total accumulated biomass (leaves) as it is considered to be decomposed and the carbon sequestered is eventually released into the atmosphere.

For each medium-sized RuffRest® dog bed, we need to plant one White Pine tree and let it sequester carbon for at least 30 years.

References
  1. Apparel Industry Life Cycle Carbon Mapping. (2009).
  2. Nylon Carbon Footprint | 7.31kg CO2e. Available at: https://www.co2everything.com/co2e-of/nylon. (Accessed: 16th October 2021)
  3. Sustainable UV-Protective Apparel Textile. Handb. Sustain. Appar. Prod. 128–155 (2015). doi:10.1201/B18428-10/SUSTAINABLE-UV-PROTECTIVE-APPAREL-TEXTILE-SUBRAMANIAN-SENTHILKANNAN-MUTHU
  4. Manzardo, A. et al. Life Cycle Assessment Framework To Support the Design of Biobased Rigid Polyurethane Foams. ACS Omega 4, 14114–14123 (2019).
  5. Yoshida, T. YKK Group ‘YKK seeks corporate value of higher significance’. (2004).
  6. Eco-profiles and LCA - PVC. Available at: http://www.seepvcforum.com/en/content/65-eco-profiles-and-lca. (Accessed: 16th October 2021)
  7. of Resource Conservation, O. Documentation for Greenhouse Gas Emission and Energy Factors Used in the Waste Reduction Model (WARM) - Containers, Packaging, and Non-Durable Goods Materials Chapters. (2016).
  8. TEU in Shipping - Everything You Wanted to Know. Available at: https://www.marineinsight.com/maritime-law/teu-in-shipping-everything-you-wanted-to-know/. (Accessed: 15th November 2021)
  9. • UK: carbon footprint of cargo ships by type 2021 | Statista. Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/1233482/carbon-footprint-of-cargo-ships-by-type-uk/. (Accessed: 15th November 2021)
  10. Online Freight Shipping & Transit Time Calculator at Searates.com. Available at: https://www.searates.com/services/distances-time/. (Accessed: 14th November 2021)
  11. Howitt, O. J. A., Carruthers, M. A., Smith, I. J. & Rodger, C. J. Carbon dioxide emissions from international air freight. doi:10.1016/j.atmosenv.2011.09.051
  12. White Pine Growth and Carbon Sequestration - Protect the Adirondacks! Available at: https://www.protectadks.org/white-pine-growth-and-carbon-sequestration/. (Accessed: 17th November 2021)
  13. Leverett, R. T., Masino, S. A. & Moomaw, W. R. Older Eastern White Pine Trees and Stands Accumulate Carbon for Many Decades and Maximize Cumulative Carbon. Front. For. Glob. Chang. 4, 40 (2021).
  14. Johnsen, K. et al. Carbon Sequestration in Loblolly Pine Plantations: Methods, Limitations, and Research Needs for Estimating Storage Pools.

 

 

 

 

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