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Carbon footprint stock analysis of US manufacturing: a time series input-output LCA

Gokhan Egilmez (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)
Khurrum Bhutta (Department of Management, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, USA)
Bulent Erenay (Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, USA)
Yong Shin Park (North Dakota State University – UGPTI Fargo, Fargo, North Dakota, USA)
Ridvan Gedik (Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of New Haven, West Haven, Connecticut, USA)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Article publication date: 12 June 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an input-output life cycle assessment model to estimate the carbon footprint of US manufacturing sectors. To achieve this, the paper sets out the following objectives: develop a time series carbon footprint estimation model for US manufacturing sectors; analyze the annual and cumulative carbon footprint; analyze and identify the most carbon emitting and carbon intensive manufacturing industries in the last four decades; and analyze the supply chains of US manufacturing industries to help identify the most critical carbon emitting industries.

Design/methodology/approach

Initially, the economic input-output tables of US economy and carbon footprint multipliers were collected from EORA database (Lenzen et al., 2012). Then, economic input-output life cycle assessment models were developed to quantify the carbon footprint extents of the US manufacturing sectors between 1970 and 2011. The carbon footprint is assessed in metric tons of CO2-equivalent, whereas the economic outputs were measured in million dollar economic activity.

Findings

The salient finding of this paper is that the carbon footprint stock has been increasing substantially over the last four decades. The steep growth in economic output unfortunately over-shadowed the potential benefits that were obtained from lower CO2 intensities. Analysis of specific industry results indicate that the top five manufacturing sectors based on total carbon footprint share are “petroleum refineries,” “Animal (except poultry) slaughtering, rendering, and processing,” “Other basic organic chemical manufacturing,” “Motor vehicle parts manufacturing,” and “Iron and steel mills and ferroalloy manufacturing.”

Originality/value

This paper proposes a state-of-art time series input-output-based carbon footprint assessment for the US manufacturing industries considering direct (onsite) and indirect (supply chain) impacts. In addition, the paper provides carbon intensity and carbon stock variables that are assessed over time for each of the US manufacturing industries from a supply chain footprint perspective.

Keywords

Citation

Egilmez, G., Bhutta, K., Erenay, B., Park, Y.S. and Gedik, R. (2017), "Carbon footprint stock analysis of US manufacturing: a time series input-output LCA", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 117 No. 5, pp. 853-872. https://doi.org/10.1108/IMDS-06-2016-0253

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited