Carbon management: a beginners guide to carbon footprinting
Do you want to manage your carbon but don't know where to start? Our Beginners Guide to Carbon Footprinting will help you on your way.
Managing your carbon is a pre-requisite to good practice in sustainability. But if you're new to carbon management, where do you start? Check out our three easy steps to carbon footprinting.
The first step to reduce your carbon footprint is to measure it. To do this you’ll need to collect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions-related data on the relevant parts of your organisation. The most widely accepted approach is to categorise these activities into three groups (known as scopes):
• Scope 1: Direct GHG emissions from owned or leased assets.
• Scope 2: Electricity Indirect GHG emissions.
• Scope 3: Other Indirect GHG Emissions from non-owned or controlled sources (optional).
Once you know which scopes apply to your business, you can start collecting the relevant data from your electricity and fuel bills, or vehicle mileage, and receipts, for example.
Once you’ve collected your data, the next step is to report it.
There are a number of ways to report your carbon footprint. Some companies do so as part of their annual report, but you can also do so via a separate corporate responsibility / sustainability report, or simply by publishing it on your website, for example.
It is good practice to have your emissions data externally verified in order to ensure accuracy and confidence in your measuring and reporting.
Once you’ve reported your emissions data for the first time, the next step is to start reducing. There are many ways to do this, but a good idea is to start with simple changes that can reap the biggest returns in the quickest time. Where these are will depend on the what sector you operate in, but tackling your waste, heating and electricity usage are obvious areas to look at first.
Setting targets are good idea. These don’t need to be ambitious, but you should set targets that are going to stretch you beyond the business as usual and it’s a good idea to set new ones on a regular basis.
To find out more about how to measure and report on your carbon footprint download our Beginners Guide To Carbon Footprinting.