Carbon footprint and cleaner production / PIUS-Check®

Ecological and Economic Assessment

The 21st century leads mankind to its natural borders. With a growing world population the availability of natural resources like crude oil, natural gas, ore or drinking water diminishes. Besides, this decreasing availability meets a worldwide rising demand. As a consequence these commodities become progressively scarce and more expensive. It is necessary at the same time, to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases decisively, above all CO2 emissions, to prevent further climate changes.

The need for a more efficient use of resources as a key task is strongly becoming a centre of focus for economy, society, research and politics. Against this background, energy efficient and resource efficient management increasingly becomes a decisive success factor, since: The careful and efficient use of resources involves significant saving potentials. Depending on the case of application, this potential can be shown and tapped with the methods of Cleaner Production (PIUS), Carbon Footprint Analysis and Life Cycle Assessment.

Life Cycle Assessment and Carbon Footprint

The Carbon Footprint Analysis provides information on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of a study area, such as product lifecycle, distribution structure of a company or services of a logistics service provider. The analysis provides the GHG emissions caused expressed in kilogram CO2 emissions or CO2 equivalent emissions per product or service.
Apart from the greenhouse effect, the Life Cycle Assessment covers further environmental impact categories such as pollution due to particles (PM10) and consumption of fossil fuels. Both methods point out the environmental compatibility of e.g. products or services. The results clarify the extent of ecological optimization potential of product parts and sub-processes.

The Fraunhofer IML supports companies in the fields such as

  • preparation and completion of such ecological analyses and assessments
  • collection of relevant data, e.g. metering of energy consumption
  • identification and implementation of supporting assessment software
  • derivation of significant parameters for internal benchmarks e.g. between single company sites.

We link these studies closely to profitability analysis, so that as a result, eco-efficient measures can be derived.

Benefits from Carbon Footprint and Life Cycle Assessment

  • Assessment and comparability of environmental impacts of various products, logistic systems and services
  • Improvement of corporate processes within the scope of process analysis 
  • Reduction of company costs by optimized utilization of resources 
  • Quantified environmental impacts for own products, services and sub-processes
  • Development and implementation of eco-efficient company strategies in the sense of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)

PIUS – Cleaner Production

The use of raw materials, auxiliary agents and energy as well as waste and sewage management are considerable cost factors for manufacturing companies today. In most companies, saving potentials in the range of the return of sales are realizable by optimized resource efficiency. These potentials can be tapped by using appropriate optimization tools and new technologies. This will lead to reduced costs, increased efficiency and a better environmental protection. Cleaner production cannot least been used as a marketing instrument, at the same time, innovative solutions in production strengthen the own market position.

Cleaner production measures are sensible for any manufacturing company - regardless of its size. The capacities for a cleaner production project (fund, personnel and knowhow) are, however, often not available within small and medium sized enterprises (SME), although, enhancements can be considerable here. The Fraunhofer IML offers external expertise in close cooperation with other partners (e.g. the Effizienz Agentur NRW), thus, allowing SME’s the implementation of cleaner production measures.

Benefits from PIUS

  • Reduction of product costs by optimized resource utilization
  • Enhancement of production sequences by means of optimized processes
  • Higher production reliability and quality by optimized processes and techniques
  • Less waste management costs by reducing waste and sewage
  • »Green Production« as a marketing argument


»Corporate success is increasingly measured by a sustainable treatment of our environment. In future the production of goods will not only depend on the technology available, but essentially on the disposability of required resources.«