Product Carbon Footprint

The Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) totals the greenhouse gas emissions of a product in CO2-equivalents during its life cycle. Starting from the exploitation (mining) of raw materials, through the production process and use phase to recycling and finally disposal.

There are several approaches to PCF calculation in the supply chain (B2B). The most accurate is to confine it to a plant’s boundaries (gate to gate). A more useful one for the downstream supply chain is to measure from cradle (raw materials) to gate.
Regarding consumer products (B2C), additional aspects such as shopping, use phase and recycling of the product have to be taken into account. Thus, a cradle to grave approach should be applied.

PCFs in the pigment and filler industry

More than half of the elements of the periodic table are utilised by the pigment and filler industry for the manufacture of its products. This results in a large variety of raw materials, being of mineral or petrochemical origin.
Pigments and fillers can be found in nearly all products of our everyday life and the companies of our downstream supply chain are equally numerous.
Thus, we decided to determine CF values of our products from cradle (raw materials) to gate and to provide our downstream users with these PCF values.
The VdMi-members have calculated carbon footprints for representative pigments and fillers. The VdMi office has compiled the results and published average values for three pigment classes.
The following conclusions regarding the impact of pigments and fillers on the product carbon footprint can be drawn:

Verband der Mineralfarben Industrie VDMI - Carbon Footprint

  • Pigments and fillers are usually processed at low concentrations
  • The contribution of pigments and fillers to the CF value of a product is almost negligible in comparison to the product life cycle (cradle to grave)
  • The CF of many products is mainly determined during the use phase

For detailed information, please refer to the following documents: