LIFE CO2SHOE - Footwear Carbon Footprint

LIFE12 ENV/ES/000315

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Joaquín FERRER
Tel: +34 965 395 213
Fax: 34965381045
Email: jferrer@inescop.es

Project description:


In recent years, there has been growing awareness and concern about environmental issues, particularly those related to climate change. More and more industrial and economic sectors are monitoring the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions they are releasing into the atmosphere – notably carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Totals for each of these gasses are converted into CO2 equivalent values to enable the total emissions to be expressed in one figure - the carbon footprint.

However, calculating the carbon footprint is a challenge for many industrial sectors, which often have many components and many phases during the manufacturing cycle, and during the life-cycle of the product. The production of footwear is based on the assembly of diverse components, including leather, soles and textiles. An accurate calculation of the carbon footprint of footwear manufacturing must, therefore, consider the GHG emitted from the manufacture of the material components, as well as the assembly phases.

Currently, there is no adequate method for calculating a businesses carbon footprint that is adapted to the specificities of the footwear industry. Such a method would need to include, for example, the emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) due to the use of solvents, the decomposition of tanned leather waste in dumping sites - about 12% of the total of leather consumed - and emissions from transport and distribution.


The main objective of the LIFE CO2SHOE project is to develop a carbon footprint calculation tool for the footwear sector. This tool will make it possible to measure the GHG emissions produced by each pair of shoes, in an objective way, which can be shared by all footwear manufacturers. The ultimate aim is not to compare the carbon footprint of companies but to facilitate decision-making and monitoring to reduce GHG emissions in the sector.

The project will develop the carbon footprint calculation tool and initially use it with footwear manufacturing companies in Spain, Italy, Portugal and Poland. It will apply the calculation tool to 36 different footwear styles produced by 12 participating companies. The tool is expected to enable companies to identify the processes and phases generating the most GHG emissions and the low-carbon alternatives that can be applied. It should, therefore, highlight where GHG emission reductions can most easily be achieved.

Through its application and testing during the project, the tool is expected to promote the concept and practice of eco-design in the footwear industry and deliver carbon footprint reductions of at least 10% in the participating companies. The project hopes to demonstrate the value of the tool for long-term application beyond the participating companies in contributing to the achievement of European commitments under the UNFCCC Kyoto Protocol, the EU’s Climate and Energy Package and national emission reduction targets.

Expected results:

  • Development of a carbon footprint calculation tool for the footwear sector, capable of quantifying GHG emissions, expressed as CO2 equivalents, per pair of shoes;
  • Application of the calculation tool to 36 footwear styles, produced by the 12 participating companies from four EU Member States;
  • Incorporation of eco-design into production models to improve environmental performance;
  • Reduction of GHG emissions by 10% in the footwear styles produced by the participating companies;
  • Potential to commercialise the tool and spread it to footwear companies in other EU countries after the project.



Environmental issues addressed:


Industry-Production - Leather and Footwear
Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in non EU ETS sectors


modelling‚  emission reduction‚  greenhouse gas‚  environmental impact assessment‚  clothing industry

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Asociación de Investigación para la Industria del Calzado y Conexas (INESCOP)
Type of organisation Professional organisation
Description INESCOP is the technological institute for footwear and related industries. A non-profit organisation, it develops scientific and technical activities of interest to the Spanish footwear and related industries, including the tannery sector.
Partners Confédération Européenne de l’Industrie de la Chaussure, Belgium C.G.S. di Coluccia Michele & C.sas, Italy Centro Tecnológico do Calçado de Portugal Federación de Industrias del Calzado Español, Spain Instytut Przemyslu Skórzanego, Oddzial w Krakowie, Poland


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/ES/000315
Duration 01-OCT-2013 to 30-SEP -2017
Total budget 750,468.00 €
EU contribution 368,984.00 €
Project location Vlaams Gewest(België - Belgique) Région Wallonne(België - Belgique) Bruxelles-Brussel(België - Belgique) Galicia(España) Asturias(España) Cantabria(España) País Vasco(España) Navarra(España) Rioja(España) Aragón(España) Madrid(España) Castilla-León(España) Castilla-La Mancha(España) Extremadura(España) Cataluña(España) Comunidad Valenciana(España) Baleares(España) Andalucía(España) Murcia(España) Ceuta y Melilla(España) Canarias(España) Piemonte(Italia) Valle d'Aosta(Italia) Liguria(Italia) Lombardia(Italia) Trentino-Alto Adige(Italia) Veneto(Italia) Friuli-Venezia Giulia(Italia) Emilia-Romagna(Italia) Toscana(Italia) Umbria(Italia) Marche(Italia) Lazio(Italia) Campania(Italia) Abruzzo(Italia) Molise(Italia) Puglia(Italia) Basilicata(Italia) Calabria(Italia) Sicilia(Italia) Sardegna(Italia) Norte(Portugal) Centro(Portugal) Lisboa e vale do Tejo(Portugal) Alentejo(Portugal) Algarve(Portugal) Açores(Portugal) Madeira(Portugal) Lodzkie(Poland Polska) Mazowieckie(Poland Polska) Malopolskie(Poland Polska) Slaskie(Poland Polska) Lubelskie(Poland Polska) Podkarpackie(Poland Polska) Swietokrzyskie(Poland Polska) Podlaskie(Poland Polska) Wielkopolskie(Poland Polska) Zachodniopomorskie(Poland Polska) Lubuskie(Poland Polska) Dolnoslaskie(Poland Polska) Opolskie(Poland Polska) Kujawsko-Pomorskie(Poland Polska) Warminsko-Mazurskie(Poland Polska) Pomorskie(Poland Polska) Extra-Regio(Poland Polska) Associated Poland (PL)(Poland Polska)


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