There are a few websites and apps which can measure your personal carbon footprint, but what exactly does this mean? A carbon footprint measures the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of an individual, organisation or community. In this case, we’ll be looking at your business carbon footprint, which as you can imagine, is a little bit bigger.
Carbon dioxide isn’t the only emission that needs to be looked at, but for simplicity, the below emissions are usually converted to CO2 or equivalent to produce a carbon footprint, as per the Kyoto Protocol (an international agreement to limit and reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions across the EU).
GHG emissions are divided into different scopes depending on how ‘direct’ they are:
- Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions from your business. This includes emissions from combustion of fuels from furnaces and vehicles, as well as emissions from chemical production.
- Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from the consumption of purchased energy from utility providers that an organisation does not own. This includes electricity, heating, steam and cooling.
- Scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions not included in scope 2. This includes anything that is linked to your organisation’s operations that are not controlled or owned, such as your entire supply chain, business and employee travel, waste generated, purchased materials and goods, office technology, assets, investments, as well as consumer use of your products and services. Basically, everything that isn’t included in scope one and two.
For most organisations, scope 3 emissions represent the largest GHG impact. To conduct a full emissions inventory, you’ll need to reduce carbon emissions in all three scopes.
Reporting and reducing carbon emissions can be incredibly time-consuming and requires expertise. We offer a sustainability strategy service that can help you reduce scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions across your organisation.