How To Calculate Your Company’s Carbon Footprint

Everyone from businesses to individuals has a carbon footprint. A carbon footprint is the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are directly or indirectly caused by a company’s day-to-day operations or a person’s lifestyle.

What Does Your Company’s Carbon Footprint Consist Of?

When it comes to your company’s carbon footprint, it refers to carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions but also takes into account other greenhouse gas emissions like methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Carbon footprints are expressed as CO2e to state that they have captured all GHG emissions.

There are two carbon footprints; organizational (this refers to all the emissions from your business) and product (this refers to the emissions from the life-cycle of the product you produce that spans the manufacturing process to consumer use to its disposal).

There are also three scopes involved in a carbon footprint.

  1. Scope 1: direct emissions
  2. Scope 2: indirect emissions
  3. Scope 3: material emissions

What Information Is Needed To Calculate Co2e?

Because a carbon footprint is the measure of all GHG emissions, you’ll need information about the energy used in company owned vehicles, buildings you operate out of and other logistic details. To collect this data look at the annual numbers for:

  • The energy, gas and water used. You can get this information from your finance department since they have the invoices related to the utilities.
  • Travel: Business travel for staff, trucks and air travel that transport your product/services. Your logistics coordinator (or someone with a similar role) will have this information. If not, your finance department should keep track of this. You can also survey employees or extract mileage from employee expenses to determine how much they travel on average.

How To Calculate Your Business’ Carbon Footprint

Now that you’ve collected all of the relevant data, you either calculate the footprint yourself, find a calculator online or find an outside firm to do it for you. If you do choose to calculate it yourself or use an online calculator make sure you are using the internationally recognized standard.

If you run a small to medium sized enterprise (SME) your company’s carbon footprint may be minor. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t work to reduce it. Once you’ve calculated your company’s carbon footprint you can use the information gained to generate a plan to create either a more sustainable product, or ways to release less emissions. The more eco-friendly your business is, the more longevity it will have.

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