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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
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40% of all greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to industrial supply chains. Although the challenge to de-carbonize is great, we at Xometry believe we can all do our part to build a greener economy and a more sustainable future with the right knowledge and tools. In December 2020, Xometry began offering customers a turnkey option to offset up to 100% of the carbon footprint of the entire custom manufacturing process for their orders through our Go Green Initiative. Now, we are excited to unveil a new tool to help reduce the carbon footprint of supply chains around the world and to inform companies about the environmental impact of their business decisions; Xometry has enlisted help from Gravity Climate to provide product-level embodied carbon calculations directly in our marketplace. 

This new initiative gives Xometry users unprecedented visibility into carbon emissions 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; Xometry and Gravity Climate plan to expand this coverage in the coming months as more data becomes available.

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®.

Xometry and Gravity Climate are currently expanding order coverage in the coming months as more data becomes available, with the goal of offering embodied carbon calculations for more orders on Xometry’s proprietary platform.

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 emissions 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, though 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.

Xometry and Gravity Climate are working together to constantly evaluate and determine new ways to make greenhouse gas information more actionable for Xometry’s customers. As part of our ongoing investment in green procurement tools, Xometry will be working with Gravity Climate to provide additional tools over the coming months to increase the accuracy, comparability, and actionability of embodied carbon calculation to support even more use cases.

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.