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Introducing a New Tool to Help Power Green Procurement

With the help of Gravity Climate, Xometry is better equipped to showcase product-level greenhouse gas emissions data within our digital manufacturing marketplace.

Xomety X
By Team Xometry
December 15, 2022
 4 min read
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40% of all greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to industrial supply chains. At Xometry, we believe we can all do our part to build a greener economy and a more sustainable future with the right knowledge and tools. Xometry’s Go Green initiative offsets 100% of all CO2e generated from shipping your order and gives you the option to counteract the rest of your order’s manufacturing carbon footprint by supporting carbon offsetting initiatives and renewable energy projects.  Now, we are excited to unveil a new tool to inform companies about the environmental impact of their business decisions. – Xometry has worked with Gravity Climate to provide product-level embodied carbon calculations directly in our digital manufacturing marketplace.

This new tool gives Xometry users unprecedented visibility into the carbon footprint produced up until their point of sale. These embodied carbon calculations are provided in real-time via the Gravity API, backed by the latest climate science and reliable data. Today, the majority of orders placed within the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine® are covered by the Gravity API. Keep reading to learn what this data means, how it is calculated, and how procurement and sustainability teams can use it to build greener value chains.

Keep reading to learn what this data means, how it is calculated, and how procurement and sustainability teams can use it to build greener value chains.

What is Embodied Carbon?

Slide 1 of 1
an infographic explain Gravity Climate's Cradle to Gate methodology
an infographic explain Gravity Climate's Cradle to Gate methodology
an infographic explain Gravity Climate's Cradle to Gate methodology

Embodied carbon is a measurement of the greenhouse gasses emitted to the atmosphere during a product’s lifecycle. At each stage of a product’s journey – from the mining of its raw materials to its recycling or disposal – various processes produce emissions that can be attributed to the product’s overall carbon footprint, otherwise known as embodied carbon.

To best inform buyers of the carbon emissions associated with different materials and manufacturing processes, Xometry displays “cradle-to-gate” embodied carbon calculations. “Cradle” refers to the beginning of the product development process: raw material extraction. “Gate” refers to the end of the process: the point of sale on the Xometry marketplace. Lastly, the calculation includes transportation to the seller’s factory and emissions from the last manufacturing process used before the sale.

How is Embodied Carbon Calculated?

Slide 1 of 1
illustration of the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine analyizing parts
illustration of the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine analyizing parts
illustration of the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine analyizing parts

Gravity Climate powers embodied carbon calculations in the Xometry marketplace in real-time, leveraging the latest climate science and the most reliable, granular data available.

When you request a quote, the Gravity API automatically calculates the details of your order, including its material, manufacturing process, mass, and geometry. This data is combined with a custom emission factor from Gravity’s purpose-built database, which incorporates industry-leading product and process data, and data from the scientific literature, and uses a custom transportation emissions measurement methodology. These calculations are performed near instantly, showing Xometry users their embodied carbon calculation in real time.

This measurement methodology contrasts with less specific approaches, like those that rely on estimates given for broad categorizations (e.g., purchased metals), or those based purely on dollars spent on a given category of goods. Gravity continuously improves the accuracy of embodied carbon measurements as more granular data becomes available. Since embodied carbon calculations are powered by Gravity’s API, any improvements to this carbon calculation are automatically propagated to the Xometry Instant Quoting Engine®.

What Can This Information Be Used For?

Slide 1 of 1
professionals meeting around table brainstorming ideas
professionals meeting around table brainstorming ideas
professionals meeting around table brainstorming ideas

This tool gives Xometry users unprecedented visibility into the carbon footprint associated with their purchases, helping procurement and sustainability teams to:

  • Measure Scope 3 emissions with greater ease and accuracy
  • Meet emissions disclosure commitments more confidently
  • Inform current and future product design

Many companies have made commitments to measure and reduce their Scope 3 emissions, which are emissions associated with their value chains. A significant source of Scope 3 emissions for manufacturers is the embodied carbon of their purchased materials. Companies frequently struggle to measure these emissions. With more accurate data presented in real time, Gravity Climate’s embodied carbon calculations will help procurement professionals from a variety of industries meet their Scope 3 commitments more confidently.

In addition to more accurate measurements, Xometry customers can use these embodied carbon calculations to inform their product design decisions. These calculations demonstrate how materials, material quantity, and product manufacturing methods all contribute to the carbon footprint of an order. Comparability assessments or other claims of comparison are not encouraged at this time, as neither a comprehensive lifecycle assessment (LCA) nor environmental product declaration (EPD) has been attempted so far.

Xomety X
Team Xometry
This article was written by various Xometry contributors. Xometry is a leading resource on manufacturing with CNC machining, sheet metal fabrication, 3D printing, injection molding, urethane casting, and more.