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How to Calculate the Carbon Footprint of a Company

You can't manage what you don't measure.
TL;DR Embed
TLDR: Calculating a company's carbon footprint involves understanding the scope of emissions, collecting data, using the right tools, and analysing results to set and implement reduction targets. Regular monitoring and reporting ensure ongoing improvement in sustainability efforts.

Understanding and managing the carbon footprint of a company is not just a matter of corporate responsibility but also a strategic imperative. A company's carbon footprint encompasses the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly or indirectly by its activities. This guide will walk you through the steps to accurately calculate your company's carbon footprint, paving the way for more sustainable business practices.

Step 1

Understand the Scope of Emissions

Begin by familiarising yourself with the three scopes defined by the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, which categorise emissions into direct and indirect sources:

  • Scope 1: Direct emissions from owned or controlled sources (e.g., company vehicles and facilities).
  • Scope 2: Indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling consumed by the company.
  • Scope 3: All other indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain, including both upstream and downstream emissions.

Step 2

Collect Data

Gather data on all activities within your company that result in GHG emissions. This includes energy consumption, business travel, waste management, investments, and more. For comprehensive data collection, tools like FutureTracker provide step-by-step guidance, ensuring you cover a broad spectrum of emissions sources, including Scope 3, which is often the most extensive part of a company's carbon footprint.

Step 3

Choose the Right Calculation Tools

Selecting an appropriate tool is crucial for accurately calculating your carbon footprint. FutureTracker, for instance, offers a user-friendly platform with instant footprint estimation, broad Scope 3 coverage, and step-by-step guidance. This makes the calculation process accessible and effective for companies of all sizes and sectors.

Step 4

Calculate Emissions

Use your selected tool to convert the collected data into carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). This involves applying emission factors that quantify the amount of GHGs produced per unit of activity (e.g., kWh of electricity used, miles travelled by vehicle). Ensure your calculations adhere to internationally recognised standards like the GHG Protocol and ISO 14064 for quality and consistency.

Step 5

Analyse and Interpret Results

Once you have your emissions data, analyse it to understand where your major emission sources lie. Tools like FutureTracker can provide a detailed footprint report, including interactive charts and comparisons against industry benchmarks, to help put your emissions into perspective.

Step 6

Continuous Monitoring and Reporting

Sustainability is an ongoing journey. Regularly re-measure your carbon footprint to assess the impact of implemented changes and identify areas for further improvement. Reporting your progress using verified footprint reports can enhance transparency and demonstrate your commitment to sustainability to stakeholders.

Calculating a company's carbon footprint is a critical step towards understanding and mitigating its environmental impact. By following a structured approach and leveraging tools like FutureTracker, companies can navigate the complexities of carbon accounting and embark on a meaningful sustainability journey. Remember, sustainability is not just about compliance or reducing emissions; it's about integrating sustainable principles into the core of your business strategy for lasting positive change.

If you’d like to learn about how FutureTracker can help your business, book a demo here.

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