Patent application title: Integrated System, Device and Use Thereof
Jari Natunen (Vantaa, FI)
IPC8 Class: AG01N3100FI
Class name: Measurement system in a specific environment chemical analysis chemical property analysis
Publication date: 2008-08-28
Patent application number: 20080208486
Patent application title: Integrated System, Device and Use Thereof
BUCHANAN, INGERSOLL & ROONEY PC
Origin: ALEXANDRIA, VA US
IPC8 Class: AG01N3100FI
An integrated data-system, a personal device for the system, and methods
for operating the system are provided. Means and technology for providing
quantitative information about products are supplied. A key function of
the system is to provide information about product-based emissions, such
as carbon dioxide emissions.
1. A system for obtaining information about indirect property of a product
comprising a personal PECD-device containingi. an account for cumulative
balance for the information about the indirect property;ii. A PED
database in PECD-device and/or means for contacting an external PED, the
PED database containing information about the indirect property
normalized per product unit;iii. means for calculating cumulative balance
values about the indirect property andiv. an optional external
2. The system according to claim 1, wherein the system further comprises connections to one, two or three of systems selected from the group ofi. a shop emission interface SEI, for obtaining electronic information about a product identity or PED data, and/orii. a personal emission trade interface (PETI) for compensation of the indirect effect, andiii. other PECD devices.
3. The system according to claim 2, wherein the system comprises the PED database and all three connections there recited.
4. The system according to claim 1, wherein said indirect property is greenhouse gas emission associated with the specific product.
5. The system according to claim 1, wherein the system is programmed to perform automated or semi automated shopping based on preset criteria about indirect property and optionally other criteria such as price of the product.
6. A PECD device, wherein the device comprises optionally one or several of the following connections:i. a shop emission interface and/orii. a personal emission trade interface (PETI)iii. a PED databaseiv. a connection for product connected data, preferably a bar code scanning or RFID reading device and/orv. a connection to other PECD devices, preferably in the same household.
7. The PECD device according to claim 6, wherein the device comprises at least a connection to:i. a shop emission interfaces and/orii. a personal emission trade interface (PET), and/oriii. a PED database.
8. The PECD device according to claim 6, wherein the device comprises all of the connections there recited.
9. The PECD device according to claim 6, wherein the device comprises a program for performing automated or semi automated shopping based on preset criteria about indirect property and optionally other criteria.
10. The PECD device according to claim 6, wherein the device comprises means for obtaining information from quantitative product marks.
11. A method for obtaining information about an indirect property of a product comprising the steps of:1) contacting a PED database,2) transferring the data to PECD device, and3) displaying the data normalized with regard to an Aim level.
12. Method according to the claim 11, whereinan external PED device is contacted,the indirect property is greenhouse gas emission associated with the specific product, and the PED database contains individual product data (IPD) and individual product group information (IPGI).
13. Method according to the claim 11, comprising the step of using product connected data.
14. A method for buying a product comprising an indirect effect comprising the steps of:1) obtaining product information according to claim 11,2) contacting the SEI of the shop, and3) optionally obtaining further PED data from the PED database.
15. The method according to claim 11, further involving the use of a quantitative product mark (QMP).
16. The system according to claim 1, further involving the use of a quantitative product mark (QMP).
17. A method of indicating an indirect benefit related to a product by labelling the product with a quantitative product mark.
18. Method according to the claim 17, wherein the product mark is a quantitative and demonstrative product mark.
19. Method according to the claim 18, wherein the indirect benefit of the product is an ethical benefit or an ethical and practical benefit.
20. Method according to the claim 19, wherein the benefit is related to working conditions of the workers producing said product or the benefit is an environmental benefit.
21. Method according to the claim 20 when the mark is an environmental mark directed to reduction of green house gas emissions.
22. The PECD device according claim 7, wherein the device comprises means for obtaining information from quantitative product marks.
23. The PECD device according to claim 8, wherein the device comprises means for obtaining information from quantitative product marks.
24. The PECD device according to claim 9, wherein the device comprises means for obtaining information from quantitative product marks.
25. A method for buying a product comprising an indirect effect comprising the steps of:1) obtaining product information according to claim 12,2) contacting the SEI of the shop, and3) optionally obtaining further PED data from the PED database.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
The invention describes a novel integrated data-system, a personal device for the system, and methods for operating the system. The invention produces means and technology for providing quantitative information about products. A key function of the system is to provide information about product-based emissions, such as carbon dioxide emissions.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
Greenhouse Effect as a Major Technical Environmental Problem
Greenhouse effect (GHE) is the major global threat to the future of mankind. Warming climate causes e.g. changing weather conditions including increasing number of the strongest storms such as hurricanes, drought, floods and rising sea level. The severity of problems caused by the greenhouse effect may vary time to time depending on location, but local conditions, such as hurricane Katrina in autumn 2005 bringing the sea to Saint Louis, have major impact on the global economy and welfare of all people.
GHE is technical problem caused by increase of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. Key greenhouse gasses (GHG) include e.g. carbon dioxide, CO2, and methane. It is known, that stopping the increase of these gasses in the atmosphere would prevent the problem from escalating. However, so far the measures for preventing the greenhouse effect have not been successful, as not all countries have taken measures against it. Newly industrializing countries may consider that their industries cannot carry the costs of reducing the emission and the increasing cost of production of goods for rich western economies. On the other hand the consumers using the goods should carry the cost of the specific consumption and may be more able to do that than the industries under hard competition. Currently the European efforts in reducing the GHG-emissions on industry level has partially lead to movement of industries to developing countries outside of Kyoto-protocol regions and even increase of emissions due to e.g. increased transport.
Currently there is no system that would give 1) exact and comparable information about the product level GHG-emission of numerous products to consumer and 2) display it in an easily understandable form and 3) allow effective personal level trading of green house gas emissions. Without these means the individual persons would not be able to control their share of the problem, and would not be able to effectively support sustainable production. The frustrated consumers may close their eyes for the difficult problem, or radically stop consumption of also products, which have not real effect on GHE or even developed including low or no emission, leading to non-effective reduction of GHG, economic recession and even decrease ability cope with the problem.
It is further realized that many people would be interested in getting useful information about product associated emission, especially GHG-emission beside possibly managing and controlling personal GHG-emissions. Families and house holds would also be interested in learning and educating each other about their consumption and possible voluntary system a) for allocation of the emission burden between family members and intrafamily/household exchange of excess Daily Allowance units (novel demonstrative unit for acceptable emission levels) or b) for combined management of the GHG-emission of whole group. The PECD-device and PED-database provide useful new information devices giving new views on everyday products and services.
Novel Integrated Personal Emission Control System (IPECS)
The present invention represents a technical solution of the problem of emission, preferably GHE and similar problem related to indirect effects of products. The Integrated Personal Emission Control System (IPECS) includes devices and methods for 1) allocating the costs of GHE to individual products and 2) delivering information of the costs allowing the consumers to select products with low emissions and compensate emission caused by their consumption. The system supports the producers of low emission products allowing sustainable product development. The invention uses computer technology, internet and personal smaller "calculator" devices such as mobile stations or devices. These would allow a consumer control use of his or her personal emission portion, which is an acceptable daily level of greenhouse gasses caused by personal consumption. The system further includes possibility for trade of GHG-emissions between IPECS and with global GHG-emission trade systems.
A technological analogy of the present system is ABS-brake system in which computer system is used for delivering information about tire conditions to allow effective braking without loosing control of steering. The present invention uses computer technology for accurate delivery of information to consumers about GHG-emissions of numerous individual products. The system would allow and guide consumers to cost effectively and wisely "brake" his or her product associated emissions, without causing additional economic problems or even worsening the problem. The system would further have an educational function and deliver information to producers.
It is realized that the system can be used for control of various environmental or other "indirect properties" associated with various products. Beside GHG-emissions also other pollution and/or emissions can be analyzed per product and compared with an allowable level and communicated to consumers according to the invention with a possible compensation mechanism if possible to be arranged. The invention is specifically directed to control of "indirect properties", which indicates properties of a product, which is not easily observable from the product and which do not essentially affect the direct usefulness of the product, such as emission of gas or other chemical causing negative effect on environment and/or people. The invention is further directed to control of properties related to "multi-individual effects" including "regional multi-individual effects" or "global multi-individual effects" problems, such as pollution effects associated with products, most preferably "global multi-individual effects" such as GHE.
It is further realized that the system according to the invention could be used for simultaneous control of multiple environmental and other problems when these are summed using weight factors of each component problems, so that weight factors indicate the comparative effect of each problem to the individual and the sum value is preferably normalized to recommendable maximal dose of combined problems. The present invention is especially directed to control of the greenhouse effect when the individual greenhouse gasses associated with a product are summed using a weight factor indicating the effect of each individual gas on the increase of GHE.
Certain mobile and/or computer systems have been developed for communication of nutrition related or other direct usefulness information about various food products. The unusual nature of the product information of the present invention sets novel requirement for an effective system handling such information. In contrast to previous systems the present invention is effective for example in handling product information with the following characteristics:
1) Indirect properties of products. Due to indirect nature of the information, for example ethical or emission data, which are usually not directly observable from the product, the communication to consumers should be demonstrative and easy to understand in context of a product. This is especially supported by simple demonstrative presentation formats as e.g. Daily Allowance and Quantitative Product Marks, and/or
2) Multi-individual effects such as emissions associated with the products. The present invention allows e.g. compensation of the negative effect in Personal Emission Trading Interface (PETI) communication between PECD-devices and pooling emissions between family members, and/or
3) The effects which have cumulative effects such as pollution, especially GHE, this solved e.g. by establishing longer term Emission Balance, possibility to compare products and endorse effective products and PETI and/or
4) Effects having an impact on numerous product types, preferably all product types, practically even all products, this is solved e.g. a) by standardization of the problem as part of an Aim Level such as Daily Allowance and by a b) Product emission database (PED), which allows effective production of data also on average levels allowing comparison between different product types and groups. It is clear that exact data from all possible products is very difficult to obtain, as there is by far over then thousand common food products in major shops in Finland, for example, but the system works effectively even with more rough average type information, Individual Product Group Information (IPGI). The IGPI would allow setting up the system and refining it later.
An example of the information with such properties is emissions of GHGs, which would not be observable directly from the product (and usual product information does not include anything about this), it effects cumulatively all people and it is associated with practically all possible products in contrast to other product qualities.
It is also clear for example that nutritional factors affect mainly the consumer of the product (and only in case of food) and do not have major multi-individual effects at least on regional and/or global level. The rationale of spreading of nutritional or other traditional product quality indicators is to describe the product and its direct usefulness to customer, while the present invention adds new dimensions to the product information.
The invention is further directed to effective communication of the GHE-problem (and like) on product level in a form, which is normalized to sustainable level of consumption, and represented in form, which allows comparison of numerous different products.
The present invention is directed to methods for delivering effectively quantitative information related to indirect beneficial or effects related to products offered for customers or consumers.
The term product or goods here is in separate embodiments directed to material products, and/or service products including providing or using material products and/or pure service products. Shop refers to any physical or virtual place from which a customer may buy or order any product.
Product Mark Background
Numerous environmental marks are known and used for labelling products with potential environmental benefit. These marks are used for labelling only the best products fulfilling certain standards and they are not effective in demonstrating negative effects of products, which are not fulfilling the standard. Trademark Climate cool is a good example of this development. The quantitative product mark allows showing the quantitative positive or negative effect of a product. This would allow customers to compare products even when immediate complete improvement of the product is not possible or would be difficult. The mark would allow benefit for responsible producers even when the indirect property is not completely improved.
On the other hand negative product marking is used with harmful products with direct negative health effects to the customer, an example of this is disease information, comprising labelling of cigarettes in the European union. Another example is labelling of food products with health recommendations, for example about how much to use of daily. These marks do not include simple quantitative symbols according to the invention. These marks are directed to direct health properties of the material consumed and thus are related with much simpler problem in communicating the problem to the customer.
Related to the second major embodiment, certain international-standards at least include information of working conditions of employees. Such marking does not demonstrate the indirect benefit or disadvantage for the customer nor present a quantitative effect allowing gradual development of the products. Furthermore the quantitative labour mark according to the present invention would preferably contain information about salary levels of the worker producing the product.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
FIG. 1. shows the key components of the IPECS system. The key communication processes between the units are marked by numbers.
FIG. 2. shows an example of buying process by PECD.
FIG. 3. shows an example of a Cloud environment mark concept.
DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
The invention is directed to multi-component system called IPECS, which can be integrated with and include special Quantitative Product Marks (QPM). Key structures of IPECS, especially Personal Emission Control Device (PECD), may be also used separately. The system provides effectively quantitative information about product based indirect properties, especially environmental factors such as green house gas emissions.
The invention is also directed to a system for obtaining information about indirect property of a product comprising a personal PECD-device containing an account for cumulative balance for the information about the indirect property; a PED database in a PECD-device and/or means for contacting an external PED, the PED database containing information about the indirect property normalized per product unit, means for calculating cumulative balance values about the indirect property and an optional external PED-database. The system preferably further comprises connections to one, two or three of systems selected from the group of a shop emission interface SEI, for obtaining electronic information about a product identity or PED data, and/or a personal emission trade interface (PETI) for compensation of the indirect effect and connections to other PECD devices, preferably in the same household. The system is preferably programmed to perform automated or semi automated shopping based on preset criteria about indirect property and optionally other criteria such as price of the product.
The invention is also directed to a PECD device, wherein the device comprises optionally one or several of the following connections; to a shop emission interface and/or to a personal emission trade interface (PETI), and/or to a PED database and/or a connection for product connected data, preferably a bar code scanning or RFID reading device and/or a connection to other PECD devices, preferably in the same household.
Integrated Personal Emission Control System (IPECS)
The present invention is in a preferred embodiment directed to Integrated Personal Emission Control System (IPECS). The IPECS includes beside the "Core Inventions" of Personal Emission Control Device (PECD) and Product Emission Database (PED) further preferred interfaces to parties in "Emission Trading", which indicates organizations trading with greenhouse gas emission rights such as the World Bank, "Production", which means production of goods and "Markets" meaning shops/market places selling goods (services and/or products). In a preferred embodiment the IPECS includes the Core Inventions and at least one interface to Emission Trading (APLCP and/or SCP), Markets (SEI, QMP) and Production (PIP, QMP). In a more preferred embodiment the interface is to Markets or to Emission Trading and even more preferably both of these, and even more preferably the IPECS includes interfaces to both of them and most preferably the IPECS includes all three interfaces to Emission Trading, Markets and Production.
Personal Emission Control Device (PECD)
Personal Emission Control Device (PECD) is a computer device or a group of computer devices, which includes at least means for following operations 1) Contacting PED and obtaining individual product information from the Product Emission Database (PED), and at least one of following operations 2) or 3) 2) a) Optionally calculating the data as part of Aim Level b) Display of data as a representation of PED data as part of an "Aim Level" such as "Daily Allowance Level", 3) Calculating "Emission Balance" based PED-data obtained about the goods (products and/or services) bought and/or consumed
More preferably PECD includes at least means for the following operations 1) Contacting a PED and obtaining individual product information from the Product Emission Database (PED), 2) Display of data as a representation of PED data as a portion of an "Aim Level" such as the "Daily Allowance Level", and Optional display of comparative product data including PED data as a portion of the Aim Level, 3) Optional interactions with Shop Data Interface (SDI), preferably a Shop Emission Interface (SEI) selected from the group of a) Optional display of comparative product data including PED data as a portion the Aim Level, such as the Daily Allowance, b) Optional and/or parallel electronic means for performing purchase of good(s) preferably by mobile shopping/money transfer interface such as a WAP-system. In a preferred embodiment the purchase is automatic or semiautomatic based on selected criteria for PED data-levels considered acceptable by the consumer. The shopping system compares the individual PED values of the products and selects one or several products fulfilling the criteria. In the fully automated versions the automated comparison operation may replace the previous operation 2), display of data. c) Optional transfer of product information, preferably PED-data, from the Shop Data Interface 4) Calculating "Emission Balance" based PED-data obtained about the goods (products and/or services) bought and/or consumed 5) Storing the Emission Balance in an "Account of Personal Emission Balance", which may be located in PECD or a) optionally including the step of contacting Personal Emission Trade Interface and b) storing information about the balance there and c) further giving order for compensation of total or part of the balance d) paying for the compensation service, preferably online through the Internet.The invention is further directed to method of operating PECD by performing the steps described above.
Preferred Formats of PECD-Devices
Preferably the PECD is included in a consumer mobile electronic device such as a mobile phone, mobile shopping device, MP3 player, game device, radio, mobile TV, camera, computer, handheld computer, watch, music player, video game, electric notebook or diary, health device measuring a health parameter such as hearth rate and/or steps taken, calculator, or currency calculator or combination thereof. The invention is further directed to electronic shopping devices, which include PECD as the only or major function, preferably major function of the device. The invention is further directed to PECD as the major function of a device and the device optionally includes other functions such as any of the mobile device functions described above. In a preferred embodiment PECD is included as an individual service package or program in the device. More preferably the PECD service is included as a service package in a mobile station.
It is further realized that the PECD may be included in a non-mobile computer system or server such as (home) personal computer, or an outside computer system such as a shop computer or a computer managing PECD belonging to a separate organization, preferably to organization managing or in connection with a PETI-system. In that case the consumer may perform operations at home or use a mobile connection to the non-mobile computer.
In case the PECD is located in a shop computer, the operations may be performed automatically for example after the consumer has been identified in connection with a purchase. The shop may further provide computer interfaces for checking status of the Emission Balance. In a preferred embodiment the shop provides cumulative PED information, preferably Emission Balance when reporting other purchase related data to the customer such as an account status when the customer has a money account at the shop and/or when reporting bonus status of a customer belonging to a bonus program or club or the like. The shop PECD system may be located in or connected to a cash register machine or system and PECD operations may be performed in connection to a SEI-system producing data about items purchased by a consumer. It is realized that personal PECD systems are preferred unless the PECD service and storage in a personal account such as an account in PETI system is available from all shops and preferably also from personal computer or other personal display method.
When a separate organization managing centrally PECD for example in connection with PETI (or part of it) the consumer has an electronic connection, preferably a mobile connection, to the PECD-computer. The consumer contacts the computer and is identified automatically based on the connection or by separate electronic means and/or gives identification information after which the operations may be performed. The consumer give identification/PECD information in context of purchase at a shop and shop may manually or preferably automatically transfer the information to a central PECD device and associated account such as an account in a PETI system.
It is further realized that the PED database or a (current) version of it may be stored in a PECD device or computer used by the customer. This is preferred especially when the consumer prefer savings in potential connection costs. In a preferred embodiment the database is stored as IPGI information in the mobile PECD device.
The product group information will allow operations but requires less memory capacity for the mobile device.
The calculator part of the PECD is used with calculations and transformations of PED-data (IGPI and IPD).
Calculation of Emission Balance
The major calculation operation is calculation of Emission Balance. The preferred PED-data is preferably represented as or transformed to a percent value of the Daily Allowance level. The emission balance is calculated by subtracting (minus operation) an individual emission value from the Daily Allowance. The values of emissions may be given as normalized values.
Representing the PED Data as Daily Allowance
When green house gases and/or other environmental problems are measured the exact amount of harmful environmental effect, preferably amount of green house gasses is associated with production or use of a specified product, may be presented as "daily allowance of greenhouse emission" or here briefly Daily Allowance.
For material or products consumed on a daily basis the daily allowance is preferably calculated as a relation of emission produced for a single product in relation to a globally sustainable emission level per person per day calculated as relative value, preferably as percent (%), 100% thus corresponding to full level. Current estimates by UN recommend a 60% reduction of green house gas emissions. The sustainable daily emissions would currently then be 0.40 multiplied by total global emissions per the total number of world population per day.
The daily allowance for a product that is useful for a longer time than a day, the "long term daily allowance" is preferably calculated dividing the daily allowance of a single long-term product by the number of days the product is useful on average. The long-term daily allowance mark information should contain the period of time over which is counted. The period of long-term daily allowance may be presented as days or as days, months and years, when preferably a month is calculated as 30 days and year is calculated as 360 days.
In another embodiment the daily emissions of a product are calculated as 10 grams/kilograms per product of emissions after emissions are calculated as average green house gas, preferably as carbon dioxide, based on the scientifically evaluated effect of the various greenhouse gasses. The weight based daily emissions are more concrete, but would require time-based evaluation by customer and would not be as demonstrative and easy to use as % presentation for example in context of a shopping decision.
Method for Calculating Emission Balance from Daily Allowance % Values for a Group of Persons
The present invention is directed to calculating Emission Balance values per single customer/person (personal daily allowance %-sum) or per consumption unit of several persons such as family, retirement home for elderly, school or day care centre (consumption unit daily allowance %-sum). Preferably a person belongs to a single consumption unit. In case a person belongs to several units purchasing major green house emission involving products, the personal Emission Balance may be controlled or allocated to the personal account by calculating a portion of the person from the daily allowance percents from all consumption units the person belongs to and optionally allocating the burden from consumption unit's Emission Balance personal daily allowance %-sum.
Preferably the PECD devices include a possibility for communicating with other PECD devices, the allocations and possible intra group emission trading can be performed by automated operations and/or by semiautomatic operations requiring acceptance by the owner of the device. This is realized so that various units such as points may be chosen instead of %-units yielding a similar result, the % considered to be more effective.
Personal Emission Control Device (PECD) for Daily Allowance Control
The present invention is further directed to PECD, a calculator, calculating with Daily Allowance %-values and optionally transforming one or several consumption units daily allowances %-value/values to personal daily allowance %-value/values or vice versa. Preferably the PECD also stores values. In a preferred embodiment the balance of daily allowance, Emission Balance value is calculated online, when purchase is performed. Alternatively Emission Balance can be calculated as the sum of personal or consumption unit daily allowance % value is after every day at 24.00 o'clock subtracted from 100%. The positive value would indicate that part of the daily allowance has been left over for potential later use, negative value would indicate that the daily allowance was exceeded and this should be compensated later. The information may be stored with date for later consumption evaluation.
Options for Handling Longer Term Emission Balance
In a preferred embodiment the calculator should save the sum of the subtracted positive or negative values after every day as cumulative allowance %. The calculator would preferably change the cumulative allowance % to time units (days and/or months and/or years depending on the size of the value, days are obtained by dividing the cumulative allowance value by 100%). The PECD contains preferably a specific account named as the Cumulative Balance Account (CBA), alternatively the information of the Cumulative Balance can be stored to an account at PETI system, or/and compensated at PETI system. The consumer may then by manual operation or automatically for example monthly balance the CBA account by transferring the excess or deficit amount of daily allowance to PETI system. It is assumed that the balance for most persons in industrial countries is negative and that there is a need for compensation. In a preferred system there is at least a possibility to compensate the lack Daily Allowance % units in the PETI system.
Alternatively the cumulative balance is calculated on line and at the end of a day at 24 o'clock added to the Daily Allowance % of the next day (or days) (when part of the allowance was left) or subtracted from the Daily Allowance % of next day (or days) (meaning adding negative Emission Balance when allowance was exceeded previous day). This system may cause negative (or positive) balance for several days, which may be managed by transferring to large negative or positive amounts to a specific account for the Cumulative Balance, alternatively the information of the Cumulative Balance can be stored to an account at the PETI system, or/and compensated at the PETI system. The user may decide how to manage the Cumulative Balance on a daily bases.
The PECD communicates preferably with PED, SEI and PETI as shown in FIG. 1. If the PED database or its smaller version is included PECD is in a preferred embodiment operated alone, and preferably using data from product interfaces such as bar codes and RFID-devices. PECD may be further programmed to communicate directly with organization providing compensations of green house gas emissions such as APLCP and SCP according to the FIG. 1.
The PECD device may be further be programmed to communicate with other PECD devices. This would allow emission trading and/or allocation for example between emission balances of persons in the same family or household. It is realized that part of consumption such as housing related emissions are often shared between persons. Such cost may be allocated for example based on data obtained from an electricity or heating energy bill (invoice). The communication between PECD devices id further preferably used for trading of Daily Allowance units obtained by personal operations in reducing CO2 from atmosphere, referred to here as Reduction Efforts.
The PECD system includes in a preferred mode including instructions and database for effects of Reduction Efforts and optional verification service for such operations including growing plant materials.
Display means display of data as representation of PED data as a portion of an "Aim Level" such as "Daily Allowance Level", and Optional display of comparative product data including PED data as a portion of the Aim Level.
Data Storage of Personal Emissions
The PECD devices include data storage possibilities such as cumulated balance account (CBA) and account for transfer to PETI services.
In a preferred embodiment the PEACD includes a current or smaller version of PED database, for example including the key IGPI data.
The invention reveals novel possibility for automated or semi automated shopping based on product data, preferably the preferred product data according to the present invention, more preferably ethical or emissions data according to the invention. In a preferred embodiment the purchase is automatic or semiautomatic based on selected criteria for the data.
In a preferred embodiment the purchase is automatic or semiautomatic based on selected criteria for PED data-levels considered acceptable by the consumer. In these format the shopping system compares the individual PED values of the products and selects one or several products fulfilling the criteria. In the semiautomatic shopping the customer accepts one or several of the products before the shopping is performed. In the fully automated versions the automated comparison operation may replace the display of data step in operating the PECD
Product Emission Database (PED)
Product Based Emission Data
Green House Gas Emissions from Production and Sales of a Product
Preferred methods include evaluation of all green house gas emissions of a specific product. When evaluating the production phase, the present invention is directed to total green house emissions for a specific product. Preferred evaluation includes evaluation of emissions related to raw materials, transportation steps, production and sales of the product.
The present invention is directed to the counting of the green house gas emissions of a raw material including all emissions of all possible raw materials used for production of the raw material. The calculated emissions include all emissions including transportation and production and possible material based emissions. The emissions to be calculated are emissions from non-renewable sources.
The transportation related emissions include emission from all transportation related emissions from all raw material and production and product related transportation. The transportation steps are preferably included from production of raw materials to the level of the delivery of the product to the customer.
In case the product or the production step or a raw material causes reduction of fossil green house gas emissions or green house gas emissions from non-renewable sources, the reduction is deducted from the total emissions of the final product, alternatively the reduction of emission can be deducted from the emissions of a specific raw material if the emissions are related to the raw material, in case the reduction is larger than the non-renewable emissions related to the raw material, the emissions of the specific raw material can be calculated as negative emission in further calculations. Material based emissions include emissions of material not based on a specific productions step but emissions spontaneously from a material.
The evaluation is in a preferred embodiment performed at pre-decided practical accuracy level, which may be included as additional information to PED data In practical level analysis of process steps, which have reasonably small effect are omitted from the analysis.
Calculation of the Emission Per Product Unit
The present invention is further directed to calculating the emissions per product unit. All raw material based emissions are calculated per product unit based on the amount of a specific raw material used for the production of end product unit. In the production phase the raw material emissions may be first calculated per suitable larger amount of products corresponding to a specific amount of end product units. For the calculation of a final per product unit emission, the emission of a larger amount of products is divided by corresponding number of end product units. Alternatively all emission may be calculated through out based on the emission per end product unit. The end product unit is the single unit amount of product sold to the consumer.
Calculation of the Average Emissions and Relative Emission for Quantitative Presentation
The present invention is further directed to a method of calculating average per product unit emissions for a specific product. In case there are differences in amounts of products in product units, the product unit emissions are normalized based on the amount of products in a common product unit type. The average emission is calculated as an average of the products available in the markets based on the regular product unit or normalized product units. In case there is large variation in emissions and single or few very high emission products cause bias in the average regular responsible producers, some of the largest values may be left out from average or median emissions may be used instead of the average emissions.
The present invention is further directed to calculation of relative emissions of end product in relation to the average or median emissions of the products in the market. The emissions of the end product are divided by the average or median emissions of the similar end products in the market. In a preferred embodiment the relation is presented as a number with two or three decimals, or in another embodiment as per cent.
Individual Product Group Information (IPGI)
Individual Product Group Information means the best available estimate of general effect per product unit within a group of similar products when available in similar product units or the comparable per weight or volume unit (gram, kg, liter, gallon etc. the unit should chosen as most familiar for the customer). Preferably the PECD device is programmed to calculate the emission per product unit when the product unit differs from the one in database. Additional features are preferred to include correction based on packaging or transport or like if considered relevant for the value of specific product. The IGPI value may be given for example for all products of 1 liter of milk, average newspaper with about 20 pages or for 300 g candies. The IGPI value may be selected to be upper limit or average of the estimated environmental effect, such preferably as GHG-emissions. The PED data may include information how a specific value of IGPI is obtained and how accurate it is. It is realized that exact values can be laborious and difficult to obtain. The IPGI values would allow development of the system when information is not completely available for individual products. Furthermore Quantitative Product Mark classifications would allow advanced producers to show products better than the IPGI.
Individual Product Data (IPD)
IPD is individual product emission data, preferably GHG-emission data, for a specific product per product unit. Preferably IPD is given as Daily Allowance, but database would preferably include alternative format as a mount of CO2-equivalents (as grams or kg:s for example).
PED management portal includes access to database and its parameter and preferably an Internet portal available for operator of PED. The management portal includes tools for analyzing and checking data to be included in the database. The PED management further includes maintenance of the computer system, network and connections and information available for consumer using the PED database.
PED obtains requests of specific product data from PECD (10, FIG. 1) and delivers back information about products (11), similar information (possibly in larger amounts) may be requested and obtained between SEI and PED (61 and 60) for individual shopping processes and/or for storage in SEI database. PED data may transferred to PETI (50 and 51) for example when PETI contains also PECD/PED or SEI interface, and to PIP (70 and 71) when PIP has for example SEI services. Connection to PIP (70 and 71) is also used for transfer raw PED data from PIP.
Information Verification Interface
In a preferred embodiment the information is at least partially obtained from producers. The information verification interface is used for comparison of values of similar products obtained from different producers for example in form of tables listing known product steps and corresponding emissions and/or raw material content of each product.
Estimate Calculation Interface
The management of PEP also contains automated calculation devices, which produce estimates of PED based on for example raw materials content of a product and possible transport costs.
Automated Information Services
The Information services are preferably automated for requested by authorized systems. This requires a step of recognizing authorized system connecting to PED.
The PED may include synergistic services such as optional PETI, PECD, and/or SEI Services, if the service producer would have possibilities and means for such operations.
Database and Computer for the Storage of Data and Calculations
The present invention is further directed to a database containing various emissions of production of a single product. The invention is further directed to automated method for calculating the per end product emissions based on the calculation per end product using the database of the emission information and information how these emissions relate to the amount of end product. The invention includes further computerized calculation, preferably automated or semi automated calculation, of the average emissions and relative emissions.
In a preferred embodiment the invention is directed to a database containing information about the average emissions and relative emission of various products of a specific product type. Furthermore the present invention is directed to the database containing the emission information of multiple product types. Preferably the database contains the information (IPGI and/or IPD) about a) key products with regard to GHE or b) most of the consumer products in the market and even more preferably at least in product group level about two thirds of the preferred products or of about 90% of the preferred products, and even more preferably of 95% of the products in the market and most preferably about practically all products in a specific market. Preferably the invention is directed to a database containing emission data of most daily used consumer products or product groups available from supermarkets or other shops to average consumers on a market. The invention is further directed to calculation tool in PECD or SEI for estimating effect of a product by its raw material content and possible transport.
Personal Emission Trade Interface (PETI)
PETI is an interface or service provider between individual consumers and compensation service providers such as SCP or APLCP, FIG. 1. The interface is useful because the personal emission amounts are in general relatively low in comparison to international emission trading and the transactions require expertise and time. PETI buys units of reduced carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, or reduction of its production from a SCP, typically a smaller scale service provider, or reduction of carbon dioxide production from APLCP-organization such as World Bank or Emission Trading system of EU. The carbon dioxide units are sold to consumers using the PECD system for compensation of Daily allowance or Cumulated Balance needs. The trading system preferably provides information and alternatives of the compensation means. PETI may include integrated additional services such as APLCP and/or SCP
PETI system includes accounts of multiple consumers, optionally also accounts of producers (PIP) for partially or totally compensating the emission, using the system. PETI has accounts at emission trading to obtain equivalent amount of CO2-emission rights. The system charges for carbon dioxide equivalents bought for compensation of emissions.
Individual personal accounts of Emission Balance, especially Cumulative Balance Account or copies thereof may be stored in PETI. PETI includes accounts of individual consumers for compensation of emission. Copying data about every transaction to PETI is especially preferred when the systems need verification and control, for example in the format of system which allows public selling of carbon dioxide emissions to PETI or other consumers.
PETI recieves information of accounts from PECD (30, FIG. 1) and confirms back obtainig the information and possible compensations (31), similar information may be obtained from PIP (not market, possibly in larger amounts). Verification information may be delivered from SEI and PED and confirmed to be obtained (41 and 40; 50 and 51 ) for individual shopping processes. Connections APLCP (90, 91) and/or SCP (100,101) are used for obtaining emission rights.
Shop Emission Interface (SEI)
The present invention is further directed to SEI system as "partial calculators" calculating a partial sum of the daily allowance %-values from a group of products purchased in a shop.
Providing Product Data by SEI-System
Product Identity Data
SEI provides, if PED-data is not available, product identification data in context of purchase for example in electronic form from a cash register. PECD may use this for communication with PED.
SEI may provide IPGI/IPD-data from PED system.
Alternative/Compensated Products (AGP)
In a preferred embodiment the SEI system provides information of alternative products before purchase and/or a possibility to compensate the emissions of the products in context of a purchase. These may be preprogrammed automated operations requested by PECD.
Cash Register Machine Associated SEI-Systems
The computer providing SEI-information is preferably a cash register or cash register associated computer system calculating sum daily allowance %-values associated with the products sold. Preferably to a total daily allowance value of the products and long term allowance values with their specific time periods of long term allowance products. Additionally the preferred SEI-systems include means for transferring information to personal calculators. The transfer methods include printing of values as numbers, printing of coded values preferably when coded as bar code values, or coded in small electronic devices such as RFID-devices, electronic transfer of values preferably through blue tooth or other wireless methods, electrical transfer involving transfer together with other payment related information such as transfer to a customer with credit card or bank card or bonus card information. When a print of values is used the personal device such as PECD or service computer at shop preferably includes a scanning device for collecting the printed information.
It is further realized that shopping may occur remotely through Internet or as regular mail order and the emission data and related information may be send by email or like, or by phone or text message. The PECD device may optionally include means of reading mobile data, and/or emails /or text messages coded to give product data.
SEI recieves information requensts from PECD (20, FIG. 1) and deliver PED data and/or product identity information (31). PED-information may be obtained from the PIP and confirmed to be obtained (80 and 81) and/or from PED (60 and 61). Verification information may be delivered from SEI to PETI and confirmed to be obtained (41 and 40) for individual shopping processes.
Product Connected Identification and PED-Data
It is further more realized and preferred that the PED-data may be connected to the product interface including bar code and/or other machine readable (can be scanned) data such as quantitative product/environmental mark and/or Daily Allowance mark and/or data specifying the product group or individual product and/or RFID-data obtainable for consumer for manual handling and transferring to PECD. Alternatively in a preferred embodiment the data is transferred automatically from product package interface to the PECD-device when PECD includes system for scanning and interpreting machine-readable data such as bar code and/or other defined markings and/or system for reading RFID data. Multiple methods for reading bar code data and RFID data by mobile devices have been published.
It is further realized that bar code and/or RFID data (used regularly for logistics of shops/production) can be read by PECD device, e.g. mobile phone equipped with a camera for reading bar codes as described by scientist of VTT, Finland (PCT published 12/2005). The data can be further be used for identification of the specific product and then the identity for search of corresponding PED-data from PED database.
Producer of Individual Product(s) (PIP)
IPD of Own Products (Own IPD)
The producer of individual products will provide (at least for beginning) voluntarily emission information of their products for PED databases and/or for SEI systems. The advanced products may have a benefit in the markets.
IPD of AGPs
The producer may further provide alternative or emission compensated products and information about these for PED databases and/or SEI systems.
Optional SEI and PETI Services
The producer may also offer SEI services in context of direct sales of products. The producer may also include Product information to the product. In a preferred embodiment the producer offers the PETI service or a connection to the PETI service in connection with purchase such as Internet shopping allowing simultaneous compensation of emissions if required by the customer.
PIP communicates especially with the PED (70 and 71) and provides information about its products including alternative and/or emission compensated products by SEI (80 and 81) and by potential product connected information. Furthermore PIP may transfer information directly to the PECD for example in context of internet sales. PIP may also connect to PETI or APLCP or SCP for precompensating emissions of a product. In a preferred form of transaction the shop or internet shop of PIP includes connection to PETI for a compensation operation simultanous with the purchase.
Authority or Private Large Compensation Provider (APLCP)
APLCP sells reduction of GHG-emission production preferably through a PETI interface. APLCP-organization includes e.g. World Bank, Emission Trading system of EU and large US or Japanese brokers of emissions.
Accounting and Compensation
The APLCP-organizations may have specific accounts by which the ordered emission rights or carbon dioxide equivalents are transferred on request to PETI system. The PETI system provides monetary compensation by suitable means preferably by online operation.
Service Compensation Provider (SCP)
SCP sells units of reduced GHG-emission in the atmosphere, or reduction of its production preferably through a PETI interface. SCPs are typically service providers in contrast to large broker organizations performing operations directly with CO2 and/or other GHGs.
Accounting and Compensation
The SCP-organizations may have specific accounts by which the ordered emission rights or carbon dioxide equivalents are transferred on request to PETI system. The PETI system provides monetary compensation by suitable means preferably by online operation.
Systems, Devices and Key Parts Thereof
The present invention is directed to a systems and devices according to the present invention, more preferably when the said system or device includes means for storing information of personal green house gas proportions bought from trade of green house gas emission permits. The present invention is further directed to a calculator according to the present invention, when said calculator includes means for buying personal green house gas proportions from trade of green house gas emission permits.
The present invention is further directed to a transaction process of buying private consumer goods by a regular consumer when the seller requests a specific amount of greenhouse gas emissions permits, and the specific amount of permits are taken (subtracted) from a personal account of the consumer. In a preferred embodiment the subtraction is performed either as voluntarily process or in another process as authority regulated controlled process. At least in the latter case there is a need for a data security process in form of encryptation or other means.
In a preferred embodiment the account is the daily allowance for the person and possible permits bought by trade of permits. Preferably the transaction process further includes process for recording of information of the transaction for possible control of the process. In a preferred embodiment the transaction process is performed using the PECD according to the present invention
Quantitative Product Mark (QPM)
The present invention is in a preferred embodiment directed to novel quantitative product marks (QPMs). The QPMs are generally useful for transfer of quantitative information to consumers. The QPMs are especially preferred to be used in context with integrated personal emission control systems such as the integrated system IPECS according to the invention and parts of it.
OPM Connected to IPECS
In a preferred embodiment QMP is used as a part of IPECS. Preferably the QPM mark is normalised to Individual Product Group Information (IPGI) so that it would give approximate emission level, for example 80%, 60%, 40% or 20% of average upper limits of a specific product type. The consumer can then calculate/obtain the emission level corresponding to the product type 1) manually calculating from PED data 2) or semiautomatically by selecting the product group and QPM-level from PECD-device, and getting data from automated calculation operation 3) or by getting the data in connection of product information from SEI system or by another product interface including bar code and/or RFID-data obtained from shop or directly from product package to the PECD-device.
It is further realized that the PED-data is useful for defining values of the QPM-type environmental marks including quantitative environmental marks preferably sun/cloud marks and Daily Allowance marks. It is further realized that other environmental and/or ethical such as labour data may be stored like PED-data for GHG-emissions and use for QPM-presentations and interactions with corresponding integrated data systems.
The present invention describes product marks demonstrating either positive or negative properties of the product. Moreover the present product marks show the property quantitatively. The quantitative aspect is important for problems, which are effectively not solved by setting a single standard level, and giving information that a product is either good or bad in this respect. The quantitative property allows the consumer to compare effects of products and make a decision based on the observations. It will also encourage producers to compete in delivering more indirect benefits for the customers. For example with regard to environmental factors giving quantitative information would direct consumption and product development towards more environmentally friendly products.
To deliver the maximal amount of information, the mark should be simple and easy to observe, remember and understand all around the world. The demonstrative property of the product should be based on most common and most robust observation psychology based forms and shapes. The negative or positive effect should be observable even by persons less well educated or interested in the problem for which the mark is designed.
The Quantitative Effect Associated with the Mark
In a preferred embodiment the quantitative effect of the mark may be presented by increasing the size, relative size or number of the symbol or symbols indicating a negative and/or positive effect associated with the product. Preferred symbols in this category are cloud and sun symbols.
In another preferred embodiment the quantitative effect is indicated by a change of a geometric shape of the mark or part of the mark. Preferred change of the mark includes change of curvature of a bend line and optionally straight line. In a preferred embodiment this type of sign is analogous to human face and the line represent the mouth of the sign. Another geometric line representation is an angle mimicking a speedometer of a car.
In a preferred embodiment the sign contains a structure or elements indicating both the positive and negative effect of the product. In a preferred embodiment the positive effect is presented by a single positive sign indicating that a product is practically devoid of problems, and the negative effect is presented with a quantitatively increasing amount of negative signs. In another preferred embodiment the presentation of negative signs includes a hint of the positive sign and may be proportionately increased when problem associated with the product is decreased.
The quantitative effect may be presented exactly analogously adjusting the change in the mark exactly relative to the value of the property of the product indicated. The value of the property of the product shows the rating of the product.
The quantitative effect may be presented as categories or intervals. The scale can be selected in various ways optimised to encourage producers to lower the problematic property associated with the product. The product mark rates the product to a certain category. For example five symbols representing maximal problem or current average problem associated with a product type, four symbols representing 80% of the level of problem, 3 symbols representing 60% of the level of the problem, 2 symbols representing 40% of the problem and one symbol representing 20% of the problem, additionally positive sign can be used representing 0% problem level associated with a product. Preferably the symbols presenting the problem are cloud symbols, preferably representing the Climate mark indicating green house gas emission, preferably positive sing in this context is the sun symbol. Alternatively these intervals for Climate mark are represented by both sun and cloud symbols, for example, by two cloud symbols for maximal problem, one cloud for 80% of problem, one cloud or sun partially covered by one cloud for 60% of the problem, one sun symbol for 40% of the problem, two sun symbols for 20% of the problems and optionally three sun marks for 0% of the problem.
With a face symbol, where about half a circled line upwards represents the smiling mouth of a face symbol, represents a positive situation without the problem or an acceptably low level of problem, a half curved line, i.e. curved less than half a circle and more than a straight line represents 20% of the problem, presenting a smaller smile, a straight line indicating a neutral face, presenting a level of 40% of the problems and a slightly curved line downwards presents 60% of the problems associated with the product, the face appearing unhappy with mouth ends pointing down, and a line of half a circle turned downwards representing 80% of the problem and a face looking very unhappy.
In case of either an exact analogous or an interval presentation of the quantitative effect, the exact value indicated, may be additionally presented numerically preferably as a percent value or a proportion of the value 1.0, most preferably as a number.
Traditional Diagrams and Marks Quantifying the Effect and Combined Use
The present invention is further directed to other more traditional quantitative means for indicating the quantitative aspects of the mark. The traditional methods for indicating a quantitative aspect of a mark includes the use of diagrams indicating the quantitative level of problem associated with the problem. The diagrams may indicate the level of the problems by bars, diagrams, or circles with sectors indicating the level of problem (pie diagrams). In a preferred embodiment such traditional means of conveying quantitative information are presented with a symbol indicating the problem as described by the present invention. Preferred symbols to be used with the traditional diagrams include a symbol or symbols of a Cloud mark, a Cloud-sun mark and a Sun mark and the Face mark.
Mark Level and Value
The relative amount of the problem is here called mark level, which indicates the level reached by the product in marks showing the quantity of the problem as categories and/or intervals. The mark value is the numeric value of the problem, preferably indicated at least with two presenting numbers, or the mark value is presented by the demonstrative or traditional quantitative presentation of the problem or combination of the numeric and quantitative presentation.
Simplified Presentation on Plastic or other Mouldable Surfaces
The shape-based presentation is preferred in an embodiment because colours may not always be available for cost effective marking of all products. The shape may be presented on a plastic surface as a whole surface shape, as a shape surface higher than the plastic surface or as a shape below a surrounding plastic surface. The shape may also be presented as a line shape presenting the shape. On a plastic surface the line may be higher or lower in relation to the surface surrounding the mark. The whole surface shape may also indicate a dark or a black mark and the line shape as a white or light colour shape.
Preferred universal markings demonstrating positive and negative indirect effects of products:
Cloud Mark/Cloud-Sun Mark
On a psychological level most human beings do not like rain, due to possible unpleasant cold and wet feelings associated with it. A simple symbol for this is a cloud, especially a dark cloud associated with unpleasant, stormy and/or dark weather.
Cloud Mark as Environmental Climate Mark
The Cloud mark is preferred as an environmental mark. Most preferably the cloud mark is used as an indicator of green house gas emissions and threat of climate change. The name of the mark is preferably the "Climate Mark" and it could also referred to as the "Cloud Mark". Clouds are produced by consumption of fossil fuel in factories or for example by traffic are known to consumers. In the case the of green house effect/phenomenon great changes of weather conditions including storms are to be expected at least in certain regions of the world, increasing the demonstrative power of the mark. Thus clouds, especially dark clouds or black clouds, present an effective demonstrative symbol especially for the green house gas emission problem. The indirect benefit of selecting a product with as little emissions as possible indicated by the mark would be clear and understandable for a consumer. For additional demonstration of the effect the mark may include a schematic picture of a factory with a chimney delivering the emission to the sky.
The Sun as a mark for positive, the opposite of the cloud, is an understandable symbol based on everyday change of weather from cloudy to sunny. Most persons would prefer seeing the sun instead of a dark or a black cloud. Clouds of industrial emission may also shadow the sun in every day experience of consumers. Therefore the sun has a demonstrative effect opposite to that of the green house effect.
The Marking System Including Both Sun and Clouds or a Cloud
The sun mark may be combined with the cloud mark. In a preferred embodiment the sun without the clouds can be used for indicating situation when there is no problem and maximum amount of benefit associated with the product. The preferred combination includes several clouds and a sun located on the left or the right behind a cloud. The sign indicating a low level of problem, and thus a high level of indirect benefit for the customer associated with the product includes only one cloud behind which part of the sun can be seen. The signs indicating increasing amount of the problem contain increasing amount of cloud shapes. In another combination the size of the cloud covering the sun is increased, and in another combination a larger part of the sun shape is covered by a cloud mark indicating an increased problem.
Quantitative Effect Shown by the Mark
The positive effect may be shown quantitatively by proportionally reducing the size of the cloud, or the number of clouds, when two or more clouds are used, or size and number of clouds. In a preferred embodiment the demonstrative effect is produced by changing the colour of the cloud from back to white, through a grey scale. A white cloud would indicate no problem or a low level of problems and a black would indicate a high level of problems associated with the product. The change of size or number of clouds and the colour from black to white can be combined to increase the effect of the mark.
Additional Daily Allowance Mark
When green house gases and/or other environmental problems are measured the exact amount of harmful environmental effect, preferably amount of green house gasses is associated with production or use of a specified product, may be presented as "daily allowance of greenhouse emission" or here briefly daily allowance.
For material or products consumed on a daily basis the daily allowance is preferably calculated as a relation of emission produced for a single product in relation to a globally sustainable emission level per person per day calculated as relative value, preferably as percent (%). Current estimates by UN recommend a 60% reduction of green house gas emissions. The sustainable daily emissions would then be 0.40 multiplied by total global emissions per the total number of world population per day.
The daily allowance for a product that is useful for a longer time than a day, the "long term daily allowance" is preferably be calculated dividing the daily allowance of single long term product by the number of days the product is useful on average. The long-term daily allowance mark information should contain the period of time over which is counted. The period of long-term daily allowance may be presented as days or as days, months and years, when preferably a month is calculated as 30 days and year is calculated as 360 days.
In a preferred embodiment the Daily Allowance Mark is used together with another environmental mark, most preferably with the Cloud mark.
In another embodiment the daily emissions of a product are calculated as grams/kilograms per product of emissions after emissions are calculated as average green house gas, preferably as carbon dioxide, based on the scientifically evaluated effect of the various greenhouse gasses. The weight based daily emissions are more concrete, but would require time-based evaluation by customer.
The Face Mark
The Face Mark Used as a Labour Condition Related Mark
There is a growing concern about employment conditions in developing countries. Problems are related to working conditions such as human rights, safe working conditions, long working hours and salary levels, which may be very low. The global economy is developing in process where work moves to countries were human and worker's right are less well developed.
The Face mark is preferably used for indicating quality of labour conditions. The factors of working conditions and salary levels may be combined for example giving 50% weight of the relative working condition level and 50% for the salary levels in comparison to the well controlled European or US markets. As living costs may be lower in developing country the salary level factor may be adjusted to local level when product is sold in the developing country. In case the mark is adjusted to a local market, the sign preferably includes the country or market to which the mark is adjusted.
Production Methods for Producing Products which Qualify for Labelling with the Product Mark
Production Methods for Products Qualifying for a Good Environmental Mark
The present invention is directed to production methods for products qualifying for a good environmental mark. The methods reduce the environmental problem associated with the product and will thus allow a better environmental mark. In a preferred embodiment the mark is a Cloud mark, a Sun-cloud mark or a Sun mark and the emission reduced are greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide emissions.
Use of Evaluation Methods According to the Present Invention
A key method to improve the rating of the mark is to evaluate the problems in the whole production process of a product as described in the preferred methods for evaluating for specific level or value of the specific mark.
Reduction of Emissions in Production of Specific Products to be Marked According to the Invention
Preferred method of reducing the emissions is based on the evaluation according to the invention. The emissions are preferably reduced first at stages where this can be done most cost effectively. Preferred methods include selecting raw material which involve less fossil fuel emissions, changing fossil fuel raw material to a non-fossil fuel material, reducing emissions for transportation of raw material or middle product in the production, reducing emissions of the production and reducing emissions of transport to market.
A Compensation Method for Improving the Rating of a Product for Environment Mark
Methods have been developed for trading with emissions, especially emissions to the atmosphere. Most developed systems deal with green house gas emissions especially carbon dioxide. The trading of emissions allows compensation of emission affecting the rating of a specific product.
A preferred method of compensating the emissions is based on the evaluation according to the invention. The emissions are preferably compensated first at stages where this can be done most cost effectively. Preferred methods include compensating emissions on the raw material level, on transportation levels or on the production level.
Preferred Carbon Dioxide Compensated Products
Carbon Dioxide Compensated Fossil Fuels
In a specific embodiment the present invention is directed to improving the rating of products, which produce carbon dioxide. The present invention is especially directed to fossil fuel products compensated for the carbon dioxide, which will be produced when the fuel is used. In a preferred embodiment the fossil fuel is gasoline or diesel fuel used by automobiles. Traffic is one of the major causes of green house gas emissions but cost of compensation compared with the cost of the fuels for consumers are not so high. Using a European gasoline prize the cost effect of compensation is only a few percent of the gasoline prices for consumers even for total compensation of carbon dioxide emissions.
This compensation is only a minor fraction of taxes on European gasoline, most of which are environmentally motivated, but not used for improving environmental conditions. The green house effect is the major motivation for the taxes, if emissions are compensated there should be a reason for tax deduction. The cost for compensation of one 20% level of the Cloud mark is only one fifth of that. In a preferred embodiment the present invention is directed to Compensated fuel meaning total green house gas compensated or carbon dioxide compensated gasoline. The present invention is further directed to selling Compensated gasoline as a method to reduce green house gas emissions. In a preferred embodiment the present invention is directed to selling Compensated gasoline marked with a product mark indicating the compensation of carbon dioxide or in other embodiment the total green house gas emissions. In more preferred embodiment the Compensated fuel is sold using a product mark indicating partial or total compensation of green house gas emissions, in another embodiment the mark contains a possibility to indicate regular emissions of the fuel, compensated emissions or total compensation of emissions. In a more preferred embodiment the fossil fuel, more preferably gasoline is sold using a demonstrative and quantitative mark according to the present invention. Most preferably the fossil fuel is sold using a preferred environment mark according to the present invention.
Preferred process and methods for evaluating qualification in mark level or value The invention is further directed to the preferred process and methods for evaluating the qualification of products for the labelling with the product mark according to the invention.
Organization Structure for Evaluating
Independent Scientific Evaluation Organization
Preferably the evaluation for a specific product mark is evaluated by independent and scientifically qualified organization. The organization must be independent from commercial and political ambitions, so that the producers and consumers can trust the evaluations are fair.
The scientific quality of the mark is ensured by including board of internationally recognized scientists specialized to the specific problem. The evaluators of environment mark about green house gas emissions should include specialists about green house gas emissions, production technologies, transport and raw materials.
In a preferred embodiment the numbers of the evaluations process or part of the number of the evaluation process are available for the general public. This may be needed to be limited to business secret type information of the producers, on the other hand when only values of the problem, in the environmental mark embodiment the numeric values of emissions, are included without process information, not much secrets are revealed. Most preferably at least all the mathematic formulas used in counting of the ratings (values and/levels) in the quantitative environmental marks are available to the general public and industry allowing discussion about the method and potential development of the process.
In a preferred embodiment the organization for the evaluation of a mark is a non-profit organization. The non-profit status may include a possibility to collect reasonable funds for ensuring the continuation of the operations and even advertising the mark. Preferably the evaluation organization reveals it funding and economics to the general public and industries so that the independent nature of the organization can be ensured.
Preferably the non-profit organization should be associated with international authorities in the problem indicated by the mark. In a preferred embodiment the organization evaluating the green house gas mark is associated with UN-efforts to control green house gas emissions.
Method for Obtaining Additional Indirect Benefit by Licensing This Method to Preferred Organization Structure
The invention is further directed to a business method to obtain indirect benefit by licensing the methods to the non-profit organization without requiring profit. The indirect profit of the method would come to the inventor by inventing other problem relieving, preferably environmental friendly, technologies which would benefit in the market where consumer uses a mark or marks according to the invention.
Examples feasibility of reducing emissions related to use of a product, when the use yield green house gas emissions. Cost of compensating all emissions of gasoline use.
At current price of carbon dioxide ton is about 10 Euros, prices according to reports. The price of gasoline in Finland is about 1.1 Euro, which is the regular price in Europe. In USA a gallon of gasoline costs about 1 Euro.
Calculation of production carbon dioxide From one kg of gasoline estimated as octane:
C8H18+12,5 O2→8 CO2+9 H2O
One mole octane yield eight mole of carbon dioxide, so considering the molar weights about 114 grams of octane yields 352 g of carbon dioxide.
The density of gasoline is about 0.71 g/ml, thus 114 g of gasoline has volume of 160,1 ml, thus 1, 0 liters of gasoline would yield 2200 grams of carbon dioxide. With the price of 0.010 Euro per kg the price of compensating the emission would be 2,2 cents which is 2% of the price of the product. Cost of reducing the use based emissions by 40% would cost about 0.9 cents, by 60% about 1,3 cents and by 80% would cost about 1.8 cents, and complete reduction 2,2 cents. The products indicated by specific use based Climate marks would not cost substantially more than the regular product but show substantial benefit of the product in reducing the problem of the green house effect. The producers may choose to improve their product directly to a certain level and offer better options for consumers.
In USA the price per gasoline is about one fifth or fourth of European prices and the costs of reduction would be 4-5 times higher but still the complete level of compensating the emission would cost only about 10% of the price of the product and marks indicating partial reduction would be useful showing clear benefit with quite reasonable prices.
More than half of he European price consists of various taxes, part of which are environmentally based but are not directed to reducing the major environmental problem.
Electronic Transaction, Use of a PECD Device
A PECD is included in an electronic payment system comprising a specific account for greenhouse gas equivalents, analogous to an account for money equivalents is used for a transaction in connection with a purchase of a product. A GHG-transaction process includes 1) contacting the selling device in PETI system 2) transfer of information about the amount of greenhouse gas equivalents needed to be compensated from PECD to PETI, 3) adding the amount of equivalents to a compensation account in PETI, 4) transfer of verification data of the compensation by PETI to PECD, 5) at PETI adding the information for billing information of PECD customer for sending bill for the equivalents, or sending request for electronic monetary payment by standard electronic payment process 6) at PECD reducing the amount of compensated units from the account for compensation or from Cumulative Balance Account at PECD. The process at PETI further involves buying a corresponding amount of emission rights or like from compensation producers (APLCP and/SCP), and involves possible electronic monetary payment by PECD or other form of payment by a customer. The process may include an optional pre-step of inquiring the price of compensated amount by PECD and answer by PETI. A preferred payment system is a cell phone operated WAP-system.
Example of a Emission balance calculation by Calculator part of PECD: a consumer buys two products, with Daily Allowance % (DA%) values of 5% and 9% with use time one day and one product with using time of two weeks and value of 28%, and one product with using time of one month and value of 90%. In case mode of dividing larger the amounts daily basis: the Emission Balance will be 100-5-9-2-3=81% and the Emission balance of following 13 days will be reduced by 5% and on days 14-30 by 3%. Alternatively consumer may choose mode of compensating automatically or manually selected larger or multi day DA % values such as e.g. the 9% and 28% emission by transfer these to CBA (cumulative balance account) or to PETI system. In such case the on line Emission Balance will be 86%. In yet another alternative mode the consumer takes all the DA % values to the account and Emission Balance will be 100-5-9-28-90=-68%. The negative balance may be chosen manually or automatically to be transferred to CBA for possible balancing from next/following days remaining DA % values or transferred to PETI system for compensation.
Patent applications by Jari Natunen, Vantaa FI
Patent applications in class Chemical property analysis
Patent applications in all subclasses Chemical property analysis