Blame for shampoo's carbon footprint falls on user

By Katie Bird

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Carbon footprint Carbon dioxide

Over 90 percent of the carbon footprint of a shampoo is due to the usage phase, according to German company Henkel.

The Dusseldorf-based company publicised its findings at a meeting on Monday to discuss the preliminary results of Germany’s Product Carbon Footprint Pilot Project.

Henkel calculated the carbon footprint of its Schauma 7 Herbs shampoo as well as a heavy duty laundry detergent as part of the project.

Majority in usage phase

Over 90 per cent of the total carbon dioxide release arises during the heating of the water for showering and hair washing, according to the company.

Reducing the water volume from 22.5 litres to 18 litres and the temperature from 40 to 37 degrees Celsius can reduce emissions by a third, it claims.

Similar findings were reported for the laundry detergent where over 70 per cent of the footprint is due to the washing phase.

Commenting on the results head of R&D for the cosmetics and toiletries sector Dr Thomas Förster said: “The carbon footprint of a product makes the subject of climate protection more tangible and accessible for the layman. And it provides both companies and consumers with a means of measuring their individual contributions.”

Internationally coordinated framework

The pilot project aims to help in establishing an internationally coordinated assessment framework for calculating the carbon footprint of a product or service.

According to the project, before we can start optimizing we need to be able to assess our emissions. “You cannot manage what you cannot measure” it claims.

The pilot project is hoping that the hands on experience of its participating companies will help in an international cross industry standardisation process launched in 2008.

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