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Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 865; doi:10.3390/su9050865

Carbon Footprint Estimation in Fiber Optics Industry: A Case Study of OFS Fitel, LLC

OFS Fitel, LLC, Norcross, GA 30071, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 9 May 2017 / Accepted: 11 May 2017 / Published: 20 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Engineering and Science)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2750 KB, uploaded 20 May 2017]   |  


Detailed carbon footprinting assignments have been on the rise in more and more major manufacturing industries. The main strength of carbon footprinting is to make product manufacturers aware of carbon emissions and understand its meaning due to perceived global warming effects. Carbon foot-printing through life-cycle assessment in conjunction with greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting is essential for identifying opportunities for environmental efficiencies. Case studies of goods that require more complex production elements have also been increasing, like optical fiber manufacturing. From making ultra-pure glass rods to elongating hot fibers, the whole process involves using a high volume of chemicals and extensive energy. Hence, standard numbers addressing carbon footprinting specifically for fiber optics is helpful for the quantification of greenhouse gas intensity, mitigation of global warming, and adaptation against future climate change scenarios. This paper calculates and helps standardize the emission factor for the production of optical fiber from the scope of gate-to-gate: 4.81 tonnes CO2eq per million meters of produced fiber (which is 72.92 kg CO2eq per kg of produced fiber) in order to allow other industries to use this information in their own carbon footprint calculations. Since governmental regulatory agencies have largely failed to confront the risks associated with climate change borne by industries, it is essential for all industries to disclose their emissions in a standardized and comparable form in order to develop standard guidelines for all. This paper provides a practical life-cycle approach, concludes with requirements for further research and evaluation. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon footprint; climate change; greenhouse gas; life-cycle consideration; optical fiber; GHG Protocol carbon footprint; climate change; greenhouse gas; life-cycle consideration; optical fiber; GHG Protocol

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Inakollu, S.; Morin, R.; Keefe, R. Carbon Footprint Estimation in Fiber Optics Industry: A Case Study of OFS Fitel, LLC. Sustainability 2017, 9, 865.

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