With the ever-increasing awareness of global warming and the consequences our actions have on the environment, enterprises have been urged to re-examine their business practices in favour of eco-friendly alternatives. From production design, development,material sourcing, manufacturing and distribution, to marketing and waste management,companies are considering greener strategies as consumers demand more environmentally accountable approaches to product supply.Currently, South African customers are not informed about the carbon footprints of the
products they purchase. The term „carbon footprint‟ describes the amount of greenhouse gas
(GHG) emissions, measured in units of carbon dioxide, produced by human or entity
activities. This is a means for organisations to assess their contribution to climate change.
This paper aims to explore ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in supply chains,
using the textile industry as a case study. In order to reduce carbon emissions, a clear
understanding of how emissions may be measured across the entire supply chain of a
product, is required.A carbon footprint calculator model is developed to determine the carbon footprint of 100% organic T-shirts at a major South African clothing retailer. Emissions from raw materials,manufacturing processes, storage and distribution are considered and result in a total carbon footprint of 5.432 kg CO2e per T-shirt. The study makes possible the identification of new opportunities for reducing the carbon footprint of the product. recommendations are made and it is concluded that energy efficiency is the key to a lowered carbon footprint.Furthermore, switching to a manufacturer that makes use of renewable energy sources could reduce carbon emissions.
Thesis (B Eng. (Industrial and Systems Engineering))--University of Pretoria, 2010.