Merus climate dataset for 2019
We have now collected our data and also evaluated it or had it evaluated.As mentioned before, we want to present these data and results here.
The analysis refers to the business in the year 2019, it cannot be transferred to other years as it depends on the number, size and shipping route of the Merus Rings sold.
We therefore intend to make such a CO2 balance every year.
The CO2 footprint of Merus in 2019
Merus in Germany is responsible for the emission of 85 t CO2e (tons CO2 equivalent) in 2019.
This figure includes all activities of Merus GmbH. That means in addition to production and shipping, also the operation of offices, warehouses and employee travel. This figure can be divided into PCF (Product Carbon Footprint) and CCF (Corporate Carbon Footprint).
PCF or Product Carbon Footprint
The production and worldwide shipment of the Merus rings generates 45 t CO2e. Of this, 61% is caused by the raw material, approx. 11% by the metal processing of aluminium and 28% by logistics. The value of procurement logistics is comparatively low, as we mainly work with regional suppliers.
The disposal of the Merus rings generates almost no CO2. The aluminium is melted down and can be reused. Thus, the Merus Ring fulfils all requirements of the environmental authorities to produce products in a closed loop economy. And to return it to the cycle at the end of a product's life.
Theoretically, we thus obtain a PCF of 39 kg CO2e per kilogram of Merus Ring.
CCF or Corporate Carbon Footprint
The CCF of Merus is 40 t CO2e. This includes direct and indirect energy costs, i.e. heating, electricity and water with 18%. The lion's share is business travel. Our employees have travelled almost 70,000km on the way to the customer. This alone produced 22 t CO2e and corresponded to 62% of the CCF. The way to the office for the employees' work generates 9%. And most surprising for me personally, our internet presence with about 20,000 visitors per month generates almost 4 tons of CO2e or almost 11%. That is significantly more than I had expected.
These are the data from the CO2 balance of Merus. In the near future we will present the entire CO2 balance on our website.
What we do with this data and how to interpret this data is the next challenge.
An example: Owners of private homes in Germany
For this example we leave the logistics out of it. Without logistics, 39 kg of CO2 will be reduced to 29 kg CO2 for one kilo of Merus Ring. This figure applies to shipments in Germany which are not shipped by air freight.
The small rings ¾" to 1 ¼" are the rings of which we sell the highest quantities.
These small rings weigh on average about 220 grams. If we now calculate the 29 kg down to a Merus ring of 220 grams, we end up rounded up at 6.5 kg CO2 emission for these small rings. In this value the delivery on the street within Germany is already included.
Some numbers for comparison: To produce one kilogram of beef, on average 14 kg of CO2 are emitted (Müller-Lindenlauf et al., 2013). Two hours of watching Netflix will result in 6.4 kg CO2 emission (The Shift Project, 2019).
If we aim to achieve the climate goals of Paris, each of us should come up with a maximum annual CO2 emission of 2500 kg.
What is the next step?
In the first step we try to improve our CO2 balance. We reduce travel and air travel in particular. We are shifting production and our offices to electricity from renewable energy sources. Furthermore, recycling is still important to us. When all these larger and smaller measures have been implemented, we will compensate for the remaining CO2 emissions.
Merus wants to store the generated CO2 in trees. This means that we want to plant as many trees as it takes to store the CO2 we produce. This closes the cycle of CO2 emissions and the binding of CO2 in the form of biomass.
This is the only way we can speak of a truly sustainable solution through our product. By preventing or compensating any impact on the environment. We stick with Astrid Lindgren, who said in an interview: "I want to leave the world at least in the same condition as I found it."
That raises a number of new problems regarding how we implement these measures. The climate is already creating problems for us. The climate, and therefore the weather, is changing and more and more species that were once native are finding it increasingly difficult to survive in the current circumstances. Long periods of drought are affecting the forests. When you plant trees, you should be sure, among other things, that they will survive and thrive in the long term. Only then will seedlings become trees that are then able to store the predicted amounts of CO2.
More on this topic in summer.
Müller-Lindenlauf, M., Zipfel, G., Münch, J., Gärtner, S., Rettenmaier, N., Paulsch, D. & Rienhardt, G. (30. Juli 2013). CO2 Fußabdruck und Umweltbilanz von Fleisch aus Baden-Württemberg: im Auftrag der Marketinggesellschaft Baden-Württemberg mbH (MBW). https://www.ifeu.de/wp-content/uploads/IFEU-MBW_Fleisch_Bericht_2013-final.pdf
The Shift Project. (11. Juli 2019). Climate Crisis: The unsustainable use of Online Video: The practical case study of online video [Press release]. https://theshiftproject.org/en/article/unsustainable-use-online-video/