OECHSLER, a leading polymer technology group serving customers worldwide in automotive, healthcare and innovative technologies as well as industrial solutions, is ready to take responsibility. At the World Climate Conference in Paris in 2015, 197 countries and the EU committed to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees by 2100 with the Paris Climate Agreement. To achieve the 1.5-degree target, greenhouse gas emissions will need to halve by 2030 - and to net zero by 2050. To become part of the solution, OECHSLER has joined the Science Based Target Initiative and started to look at its product carbon footprint (PCF). By calculating the PCF, OECHSLER identified a development opportunity in the manufacturing process – it’s the emissions that come from its materials.
The Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) calculates the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with a product over its life cycle. A PCF is differentiated between cradle-to-gate, cradle-to-grave and cradle-to-cradle. At OECHSLER, we look in particular at a cradle-to-gate PCF, which considers all processes from the extraction of resources through the manufacture of precursors and the production of the end product itself to the point at which it leaves the company. While a cradle-to-grave PCF covers the entire life cycle of the product, including emissions from the use phase and the end of the product's life, a cradle-to-cradle PCF contains a complete circular economy.
Based on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, OECHSLER has begun calculating its own PCF to identify where the most significant carbon emissions occur within the value chain. While the company produces hardly any CO2 emissions in its own processes, for example, by using green electricity, more than 85% of our emissions come from materials. That is why OECHSLER has decided to work closely with material suppliers on using more environmentally friendly materials and thus reduce the carbon footprint of products. Not only when it comes to partnerships, but also internally, OECHSLER makes this a team effort. OECHSLER’s Research & Development team is working intensively on identifying alternative materials, such as a material approved for the automotive industry with a high recycled content. To look at the topic holistically, the R&D team evaluates all production steps from product development to tool making and injection molding.
OECHSLER created data-driven transparency on its Product Carbon Footprint and identified the biggest source of emission – the largest amount of emissions comes from polymers.
Not only is OECHSLER owning the figures, but also working on a solution: