Transportation is less of an issue in carbon footprint than we think!
In WSJ’s Six Products, Six Carbon Footprints, almost every company whose product was examined was shocked that transportation was actually such a small factor, way behind larger factors such as the way we use the products, and the raw materials that go into making it. Those were the two biggest contributers to carbon footprint. So, carbon footprint really is IN YOUR HANDS in how you use products.
In other news, carbon footprint numbers are being measured in different ways by everyone and there is confusion (what else is new?). Even the companies profiled like Timberland still admit that the footprint number is “crude in some ways…but it’s a step more information than our designers were making a decision on before.”
But back to transportation - I want to drive home this point because it is counter-intuitive! The Patagonia Talus jacket: “The fabric is made in China, the zippers come from Japan, and the jacket is sewn in Vietnam. Yet all that transportation adds up to less than 1% of the products’s total carbon footprint, Patagonia says. The majority of the footprint - 71%, or about 47 pounds- comes in producing the polyester, which originates with oil.”
Transportation - good for your wallet, not too bad for the environment. Wow, I never thought I would say that. I remain cautiously optimistic and critical (what else is new).