The better traceability we get in Icebug’s value chain, the more accurate impact calculations
The term Ecological Footprint was originally developed to measure how much natural resources humans use (for individuals, groups or countries) compared to our planet’s total resources. It is also often used to describe the impact a particular product has on the environment during its lifecycle.
Lifecycle Assessment (LCA) is a well-established method to measure the total environmental impact from products. An LCA calculates the consumed resources and the generated wastes and emissions, from raw material extraction and material production--in product manufacturing, when using the product (can include reuse), and at end-of-life (recycling, waste handling). An LCA is helpful to see where the biggest impacts are, in order to choose the most efficient improvements.
''The findings were that the highest impact by far lies in the materials and the production of the shoes''
In 2018, a full lifecycle analysis was performed on Icebug style Ivalo 2M Bugrip.
The findings were that the highest impact by far lies in the materials and the production of the shoes, and that use, transport, and packaging causes only a minor impact in comparison (but of course we’ll optimize these parts too). This is also confirmed in several international studies on ecological impact from footwear.
Based on the LCA, Icebug estimates the climate impact of Ivalo to be 11.5 kg CO2 equivalents per shoe pair. This lies in the same range as other published LCA results for shoes, and the LCA has been accepted in reviews by two different Climate networks.
Icebug uses the LCA, along with other footwear impact studies, to:
* See where most impact is to prioritize actions, giving materials and production highest priority.
* Calculate the carbon footprint of products (scope 3) as part of Icebug’s total climate impact. This is a basis for carbon offsetting as well as prioritizing reduction measures.
You need a lot of data from all parts of the supply chain to make a complete LCA, which makes it quite time consuming. However, there are also simplified methods for life cycle estimates, using more general material data, such as the Higg MSI data base (originally created by Nike). The simplified methods are less detailed but allow for the calculation of the impact for more product styles. Icebug is now evaluating some impact tools to see which one(s) we will use.
Work is ongoing to do impact analyses for several Icebug styles in order to refine the baseline and make it more representative of Icebug’s total collection. We will also use the results to develop a set of prioritized environmental indicators (like kg CO2 equivalents per kg product for example) and to set more detailed goals for climate impact reduction.
The better traceability we get in Icebug’s value chain, the more accurate impact calculations, see transparency and traceability. Icebug is working step-by-step to improve our ecological footprint data. The results are presented in the sustainability report.