The use of Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has become a common mechanism to evaluate and report the environmental performance of services and products due to its holistic approach and for its standardised method which guaranteeing reproducibility. There is a huge ongoing effort to improve and promote the use of LCA in Europe, by means of the Single Market of Green Products Initiative, which promotes the use of the Product Environmental Footprint (PEF) and the Organisation Environmental Footprint (OEF). Although LCA has been applied in a great variety of industries, there is an even higher worldwide trend of simplification focussing on a single indicator, carbon footprint (CF), relevant to global warming, which is internationally considered as a critical environmental concern. The scope of the CF assessment could be corporate (when all production processes of a company are evaluated) or product (when one of the products is evaluated throughout its life cycle). However, sometimes product CF studies collect corporate data, since for most companies it is easier to report global annual consumptions and emissions instead of the product's specific inputs and outputs. In this framework, this study aims to apply and compare the product and corporate CF methodologies to the case study of the spirit drinks sector in Cantabria (Northern Spain). In particular, to a SME dedicated to the artisanal elaboration of premium spirit drinks such as gin and vodka.
The value obtained of the Product Carbon Footprint (PCF) was 0.57 kg CO2 eq. for a bottle (70 cl) of classic gin whereas the Corporate Carbon Footprint (CCF) presented a value of 4.58×103 kg CO2 eq. for Scope 2 and 5.58×104 kg CO2 eq. for Scope 3 in the year 2017. The results indicated that significant environmental impacts were caused during the production of the glass bottle as well as the production of the electricity required in the beverage company.