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OEKO-TEX® Impact Calculator

The OEKO-TEX® Impact Calculator provides an assessment of the materials and processes that contribute most to environmental impact, so that production facilities can target their reduction efforts. This OEKO-TEX® tool calculates the water and carbon footprint for:

  • Each process step
  • The overall process
  • 1kg of material/product

Voluntary use of the tool is included for any facility applying for (or currently holding) an OEKO-TEX® STeP Certificate.

Why do we need to calculate carbon and water footprint?

Understanding and reporting carbon emissions and water usage will be a basic business requirement in the future.

Consumers and brands are holding companies accountable for climate action. Over 100 fashion brands have signed the Fashion Industry Charter for Climate Action, committing to reducing GHG emissions 30% by 2030. According to a CDP industry comparison, the apparel sector is underperforming in measurement and monitoring its water impacts. We must use data to:

  • Understand production-related carbon emissions and water usage
  • Identify which processes have highest environmental impacts
  • Act to reduce carbon and water impacts
  • Report results and reduction measures to customers

What is a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)?

LCA = framework for analyzing potential environmental impacts throughout the lifecycle of a product (or service), many based on ISO 14040 and 14044 standards.

Three LCA types:

  • Product LCAs measure the impacts of a single product throughout its value chain
  • Comparative LCAs weigh the impacts of products (e.g. T-Shirt made of cotton vs. viscose)
  • Corporate LCAs assess an organization’s entire footprint and usually focus only on carbon (not water) footprint

The OEKO-TEX® Impact Calculator combines elements of all three, customized to the textile industry.

OEKO-TEX® Approach and Development

Screening LCA

Screening Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

The OEKO-TEX® Impact calculator was developed over three years of intensive research and testing with Quantis (sustainability consultancy).

The Screening LCA is less resource and time intensive than a full LCA, yet provides sufficient and credible insight to identify a facility’s biggest carbon emissions and water impacts. The OEKO-TEX® calculator addresses the needs and processes specific to textile production.

The OEKO-TEX® Calculator incorporates:

  • Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol - IPCC 2013 100a approach for calculating carbon emissions (CO2e)
  • EU Commission - AWARE methodology to measure the water impacts (m3)
  • World Apparel and Footwear Database (WALDB) and ecoinvent database
  • Elements of the product LCA to measure the impacts of material output
  • Elements from the Corporate LCA to measure the overall facility level impact

Data from the calculations will be used to continuously improve the tool.

GHG Emissions

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • Does the OEKO-TEX® Impact Calculator calculate a facility's CO2 emissions or all greenhouse gases (GHG)?
    • The Impact Calculator covers all greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, PFCs, HFCs, SF6, NF3)
    • We could call it the "Greenhouse Gas and Water Footprint Calculator". However, "Carbon Footprint" is used interchangably and more commonly
    • To compare the contribution of each GHG, we convert all GHGs to CO2 equivalent (CO2e)
  • How is CO2e calculated?
    • Activity Data x Emission Factor = CO2e
  • Why is an accurate, baseline emission measurement so important?
    • You can't reduce what you can't measure
    • The baseline shows the hotspots, helps prioritize reduction activities and provides starting point for tracking improvements

OEKO-TEX® Impact Calculator - Demonstrations

1. Dashboard

2. Materials and Processes

3. Facility Operation

4. Results

Guides & Resources

Sustainable products must also function.

Ben Mead
Managing Director
Hohenstein Americas