Columbia Engineers Mine Big Data to Faster Assess Carbon Footprints

Some encouraging news from Columbia Engineering:

Researchers at Columbia Engineering have developed a new software that can simultaneously calculate the carbon footprints of thousands of products faster than ever before.

“Our novel approach generates standard-compliant product carbon footprints for companies with large portfolios at a fraction of previously required time and expertise,” says Christoph Meinrenken, the study’s lead author and associate research scientist at Columbia Engineering and The Earth Institute.

The study, recently published online in the Journal of Industrial Ecology and scheduled for the October 2012 print issue, is the result of a collaboration that began in 2007 between The Earth Institute, Columbia University, and PepsiCo, Inc. The collaboration’s original aim was to evaluate and help standardize product carbon footprinting and labeling in both the U.K, and the U.S. This resulted in the first ever certified product carbon footprint in the U.S., for Tropicana orange juice. The work, conducted at the Institute’s Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy, was expanded in 2009, advancing from manual measurements to automated, big-data-supported footprint calculations, and PepsiCo has been successfully pilot-testing the methodology since summer 2011.

Read More @ Columbia Engineering