What is the CO2 footprint of a water filter? What is the most eco-friendly water filter? How does it compare to the carbon footprint of bottled water? How do we know that the carbon footprint is accurate? What is your personal impact?
In this article we will attempt to answer these questions and more. We will also help you understand how you can personally impact the planet by switching from bottled water or a RO filter to a water filter by TAPP Water.
How to accurately estimate the CO2 footprint of a water filter or company
CO2 footprint calculations are generally based on rough estimates with a lot of room for interpretation. Therefore companies will do their outermost to downplay the greenhouse gas footprint of their products, services and business. Unfortunately this means that you cannot trust most estimates of CO2.
Thanks to our participation in European Innovation Counsel Accelerator (EIC) we were recently offered an audit of our company’s and products CO2 impact based on strict criteria. We had to provide data on over 50 variables including energy consumption, materials use, waste, logistics/transportation, packaging, office spaces, IT infrastructure and more. The assessment was done through the GHG Tool with support by the team at Ramboll.
What is the carbon footprint of a water filter?
The parameters to calculate the carbon footprint of our water filters include
- Transportation of materials and products including means of transportation
- Warehousing and transportation to customers/retailers
- Waste from production, transportation and returns
- Offices, commuting and electricity consumption
To calculate the greenhouse gas impact of a product the entire CO2 footprint of the company should be taken into account.
We’ve calculated the CO2 footprint of our products by taking our entire carbon footprint and dividing it by the number of units sold in 2021. On average it’s about 9.2 kg for our most sold product the EcoPro faucet filter. PitcherPro has a slightly higher footprint (due to size) and EcoPro Compact the smallest footprint.
Looking at purely the material and production the CO2 footprint for EcoPro including one refill cartridge is about 3 kg and then 0.8 kg per refill cartridge.
How does TAPP Water Filters CO2 footprint compare to other filters?
EcoPro and EcoPro Compact use 85% less plastic for the refill cartridges compared to other products such as Brita, BWT, Waterdrop and Philips. This means that while the CO2 footprint for the first filter + refill cartridge is about the same, your footprint will be vastly reduced later.
The carbon footprint of a reverse osmosis filter on the other hand including product and energy is at least 10x that of a EcoPro filter throughout it’s lifetime.
What is the greenhouse gas footprint of Bottled Water?
The average cradle to cradle CO2 for a bottle is about 250 g to 633 g depending on which study is used. This is 146 kg to 456 kg CO2 per year compared to a TAPP Water Filter of 9.1 kg per year. This is a saving of over 93%. Read our full analysis of the global CO2 footprint of bottled water.
How do you know that the CO2 footprint claimed is true?
Calculating greenhouse gases from a product or service is not an absolute science. The same material can have a very different carbon footprint based on where it’s produced, the source of the materials, energy source, assumptions on CO2 calculations and various other factors. Simply put there is a lot of room for interpretation. Therefore always make sure that the CO2 footprint claimed by a brand, product or service is audited by a reputable institution/auditor.
TAPP Water has been audited by the EU’s partner Ramboll using the GHG Tool.
Summary CO2 footprint of water filters
- The CO2 footprint of bottled water is up to 15-30x more than a good water filter
- Replacing bottled water with a water filter will vastly reduce your carbon footprint
- TAPP Water filters have the lowest carbon footprint among water filters available today
- Calculating the carbon footprint is a complex task with a lot of factors open for interpretation
- Always ensure claims of CO2 footprint of products and services is supported by an external auditor