Greenhouse gases are defined by the Environment Protection Agency as “gases that trap heat in the atmosphere” (Overview of Greenhouse Gases, 2020). The emissions of greenhouse gases come from a variety of sources including carbon dioxide by the burning of fossil fuels, nitrous oxide from soil cultivation practices, methane from cows, and more (The Causes of Climate Change, 2020). Greenhouse gas emissions are measure by the use of clean air monitor stations. For example, there is a clean air monitoring station ran by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research.
It is located in Wellington, New Zealand, where a wind that has not been affected by humans blows in from the south. This leads to more accurate data not affected by the actions of the local city (Measuring Greenhouse Gas Emissions). Of these gas emissions, the primary source is energy use. This energy use is mainly electricity and heat, transportation, manufacturing, and construction which all leads to carbon dioxide emissions. (Global Emissions, 2020).
Deforestation causes carbon dioxide emissions as well. Forests are known to store carbon dioxide that trees have taken in. When these trees are removed not only are there no more trees to absorb carbon dioxide, but that of which was stored in wood, leaves, and soil is released into the atmosphere (Deforestation and Greenhouse Gases, 2012).
A carbon footprint is how much greenhouse gases that we produce by our actions. Carbon calculators combines information of your actions to calculate a measurable tonnage of carbon. Examples of this include how much energy a production lines uses or how much fuel is burned in transporting products.
Companies try to limit carbon use as much as possible then offset carbon dioxide emissions they cannot erase by offsetting the rest. Companies can carbon offset by paying to reduce greenhouse gases. This payment funds projects to reduce emission. These projects include planting trees, updating equipment to be more efficient, and promoting better energy use transportation (Dowdey, S., 2020). I do not believe carbon neutral rankings for different companies is a valid claim. One reason is that many companies will see carbon offset as a bailout to continue poor eco-friendly practices because they can just pay it off in the end. Also, energy use can be very difficult to measure across all stages of a package or products life. This will lead to inaccurate representation of how much energy a company has actually used.