Comparative Product Carbon Footprint in the chemical industry

Customer: Peter Greven

Category: Chemical Industry

Date: June 2018

Company Website

Peter Greven GmbH & Co. KG is one of the leading manufacturers of oleochemical products based on renewable raw materials. Founded in 1923, the family business has continued to evolve. Peter Greven’s product portfolio includes various oleochemical products such as metal soaps, alkali soaps, esters, dispersions and fatty acids / glycerine, which are used in many different industrial applications such as the plastics, paper and cosmetics industries.

Today, Peter Greven is an international company group with production sites in Germany, the Netherlands, Malaysia and the USA and has customers in more than 85 countries. The Peter Greven Group employs more than 350 people in the oleochemical sector and has a worldwide sales network.

„Sustainability must become concrete, be substantiated with numbers – that’s exactly why we turned to DFGE“


Extension of Corporate Sustainability Strategy

The product range of Peter Greven GmbH & Co. KG mainly comprises oleochemical products based on renewable raw materials, especially animal and vegetable fats. As one of the leading German manufacturers in this area, Peter Greven claims to be one of the leading companies in sustainability. In addition to comply with international standards such as ISO 14001, this particularly includes the use of certified palm oil.

In order to develop the companies’ sustainability performance, the topic of greenhouse gas emissions should now also be tackled; caused by this driver and by the request of a customer, Peter Greven commissioned DFGE to calculate the Carbon Footprint of two products. In addition to a calculation of the overall balance, an additional scenario analysis should determine to what extent the use of animal and vegetable fats has an impact on emissions.


Carbon Footprint for products and scenario analysis with sound and reliable calculation

After an initial meeting involving the relevant business units, the DFGE experts first calculated the company’s emissions balance; this serves as a basis for the calculation of product emission balances. In accordance with the requirements of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, but also in close consultation with Peter Greven, methodical specifications for the Product Carbon Footprints were then made, for example with regard to balance sheet limits and allocation method.

The considered products, two metal soaps, are used in a large number of industrial processes. Therefore, the “cradle-to-gate” approach has been chosen: here, all emissions from raw material production, transport and production are included in the calculation but not the emissions arising from the use of the product or its disposal

Especially the calculation of raw material production emissions was challenging as the use of natural products such as animal and vegetable fats requires a large number of methodological specifications. In the case of vegetable fats, for example, emissions of land use changes are included in the calculation as well.

DFGE uses its TopDown approach, which allows a reliable emissions balance for direct and indirect emissions despite of relatively low costs. The results were explained to Peter Greven in a joint conference call and in a detailed final report.


Extended options for action and customer satisfaction

The calculation and breakdown of the Carbon Footprint for the products allows Peter Greven to prioritize measures to improve the product emissions balance. The integrated scenario analysis opens up and clarifies further options for action, for example regarding the choice between animal and vegetable fats; the simultaneously calculated Corporate Carbon Footprint provides an additional perspective that puts the emissions balance of the products in their context.

By calculating the emissions balances, Peter Greven also demonstrates its claim to lead the way in sustainability. Both Product and Corporate Carbon Footprint can be used for public relations and to meet customer requests.

“By calculating the emissions of two of our products, we meet the needs of our customers on the one hand, and publicly demonstrate on the other hand that we are aware of the sustainability theme – an important differentiator from our competitors.” summarizes Peter Greven, CEO of Peter Greven GmbH & Co. KG.

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