Carbon footprint

DEFINITION: 

The total amount of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere that is produced directly or indirectly by human activities. It can be calculated to measure the emissions emitted by products, services, individuals, companies or nations. The standard unit of measurement for carbon footprints is carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e).

See also: Carbon budget

See also: Carbon capture and storage (CCS)

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The supply chain can account for more than 90% of a company's environmental footprint

Scope 3 and the supply chain: How businesses are taking sustainability leadership to a new frontier

Not too long ago, sustainable leadership was defined by those 'getting their own house in order' through emissions reductions, but as the pace required to reduce emissions grows, so too does the efforts from businesses to assist the supply chain in decarbonising. Here, edie looks at some of the transformational ways businesses are engaging with suppliers.

edie Explains: Scope 3 carbon emissions

What are Scope 3 emissions? How are they calculated? How can they be mitigated and reduced? And, what are the business benefits of doing so? This free edie Explains guide gives you everything you need to know.

The net-zero target builds on a 26% reduction in carbon emissions and a 23% reduction in energy intensity recorded by M&G Real Estate since 2012

M&G Real Estate sets out net-zero commitment

M&G Real Estate has unveiled new carbon reduction targets, committing to reaching net-zero emissions across its operations by 2030 and its real estate portfolio by 2050, in line with the Government's net-zero target.

BITC is calling for more investment into removing carbon from the atmosphere to account for current unavoidable emissions

UK businesses urged to 'redesign' relationship with nature

A new survey of UK businesses from Business in the Community (BITC) has found that less than one third have developed science-based, net-zero or carbon-restorative targets, with less than one in 10 listing the health of nature as a material issue for their business.

Heat accounts for more than a third of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions

Heat Networks Industry Council set up to spur zero-carbon networks and job growth

Organisations overseeing the UK's heat networks and industry have created a new Council that will oversee plans to drive up to £50bn in investment into the sector to create 35,000 new jobs and deliver zero-carbon heat networks.

Beck's brewery, Bremen, Germany

AB InBev launches sustainable supplier platform

The world's largest brewer, AB InBev has unveiled a new supplier forum to assist with environmental stewardship across the value chain, giving suppliers the option to receive educational materials to help reduce emissions and lower water usage.

Since 2010, UPS has offset more than 60 million parcels a year for customers

UPS offers month-long carbon offset incentive for deliveries

Logistics firm UPS will offer the option to pay towards the offset of carbon emissions of shipped parcel deliveries throughout the month of June, to mark World Environment Day this Friday (5 June).

edie Explains: Carbon offsetting

What is carbon offsetting in the terms of a businesses’ carbon emissions strategy? How does the carbon offset process and its market work? And, at what point should a business turn to carbon offsetting?

This guide explains how offsets can be utilised, what the key considerations are for businesses and how the process works

edie launches new business guide on carbon offsetting

edie has today (26 May) published a new explains guide, focusing on how businesses should approach the use of carbon offsetting to assist a carbon reduction strategy.

The Carbon Trust’s 2019 survey of 9,000 consumers across seven countries revealed similar support for carbon footprint labelling

Two-thirds of consumers support carbon footprints on product labelling

A global survey of 10,000 consumers has shown universal support for details on a product's carbon footprint to be included on labelling, according to new research from the Carbon Trust.

The masterclass is still available to watch on-demand

Five steps to building a resilient carbon strategy in a post-pandemic world

During edie's recent online masterclass, sustainability and energy specialists from Centrica and its Business Solutions arm discussed steps to building corporate carbon strategies while exploring how attitudes towards decarbonisation will change as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

edie's masterclass provides a deep dive into developing decarbonisation plans.

Available to watch on-demand: edie's 45-minute masterclass on net-zero implementation

edie's latest series of masters content for developing net-zero businesses focused on decarbonisation implementation and took place on Wednesday, 29 April, featuring expert insight from Centrica's group head of environment Jim Rushden and Centrica Business Solutions' director of product management John Hartley. It is now available to watch on-demand.

The coronavirus has exposed a lack of focus on supply chain sustainability

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Covid-19 has brought global economies to a standstill and knocked the confidence in global and connected trade. Would businesses benefit from pivoting to more localised value chains, or do global supply chains enable a global shift towards a climate-resilient future?

Pernod Ricard is currently one-year into a new 10-year strategy, of which a key pillar is “nurturing terroir”- broadly defined as the environmental factors that affect crops

How becoming biodiversity ambassadors can help businesses combat the climate crisis

EXCLUSIVE: Pernod Ricard's vice president of global sustainability Vanessa Wright discusses the company's approach to regenerative agriculture and biodiversity and why more people will be focusing on natural climate solutions moving forward.

The plan will be refreshed at the end of the year to account for impact caused by the coronavirus

Net-zero by 2030: Decarbonisation plans presented to Exeter City Council

A plan detailing how the city of Exeter can achieve net-zero emissions through reduced energy consumption, renewables uptake and the promoting of healthy living have been presented to the city council for approval.

Alongside enshrined carbon targets, the campaigners want the Government to ensure that worker rights regarding wages and conditions are embedded into the bailout

Link airline coronavirus rescue package to climate targets, campaigners urge

Campaigning groups have called for any Government bailout of airline companies due to the impact of the coronavirus to include conditional links for worker rights, fair taxing systems and transparent action plans on climate change.

The Council continued its leadership in the city’s carbon reduction efforts by launching a new strategy to reduce its own emissions by 55% by 2025

Net-zero cities: Leeds's mission to be carbon neutral by 2030

edie's new mini-series exploring how local authorities are collaborating with businesses to actuate community-centred sustainability schemes on the road to net-zero emissions continues, this time exploring how Leeds plans to become a net-zero city by 2030.

O2 has been certified to the highest possible level of supply chain management to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by Carbon Trust

O2 gives suppliers offer to purchase renewables at reduced rates

Telecommunications giant O2 will extend a reduced rate that is using to purchase renewable energy to power its operations to suppliers in a bid progress against its recently announced net-zero emissions target.

The strategies build towards the bloc's net-zero target for 2050

Everything you need to know about the EU's new Circular Economy Action Plan and Industrial Strategy

The European Commission has today (11 March) unveiled its Circular Economy Action Plan, a sweeping set of commitments aimed at ensuring that circularity and resources efficiency acts as a "prerequisite for climate neutrality" in line with the European Green Deal and Industrial Strategy.

The built environment sector is regarded as one of the UK’s hardest-to-abate sectors, accounting for around 40% of national annual energy consumption and 33% of national annual emissions

Government urged (again) to revamp low-carbon homes plan

The Government has yet again been urged to reconsider proposed approaches to energy efficiency in housebuilding, after a coalition of councils urged Ministers to remove restrictions that would inhibit higher standards being set.

The strategy also commits to a year-on-year reduction of construction waste

Sir Robert McAlpine targets net-zero emissions by 2024

Building and civil engineering company Sir Robert McAlpine has announced a new public commitment to implement carbon reduction initiatives to reach net-zero emissions in the next five years.

Flights could account for around 25% of the UK’s emissions by 2050

Hubbub targets stag and hen dos to lower UK flying climate impacts

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Since 2005, Delta has reduced its absolute GHG footprint by 11% from 46 million metric tonnes to 41 million metric tonnes. Image Delta Air Lines

Delta Air Lines commits $1bn to become carbon neutral

US-based Delta Air Lines has committed $1bn over the next decade to mitigate emissions from its business to become carbon neutral, with the company pledging to minimise its reliance on the carbon offset market.

Khan's damning letter has been sent to the Secretaries for Housing and BEIS, as well as the London Minister and 10 Downing Street. Image: City Hall 

Government's plans for low-carbon homes are 'a step backwards' on climate, London Mayor warns

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged Ministers to improve plans for decarbonising the UK's built environment sector, claiming that the capital and other cities are already going further and faster in the face of the climate emergency.

Congratulations to all our deserved winners

Sustainability Leaders Awards 2020: Winners revealed at glittering ceremony in London

Barry Callebaut, Ikea, P&G and Toast Ale were among the big winners of edie's 2020 Sustainability Leaders Awards, announced at an awards ceremony in London on Wednesday evening (5 February).

Some businesses are now looking outside of their own operations to become 'carbon-negative' rather than 'net-zero'

Greenwashing 2.0? Defining what it means to be a 'net-zero' business

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The local authority has also confirmed plans to bolster its existing £84m climate-related funding pot with an additional £1m of operational funding and £18m of capital investment

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Pictured: AstraZeneca's R&D hub in China 

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Microsoft will launch a $1bn climate innovation fund, using its own capital, to help develop carbon reduction and removal technologies

'Neutral is not enough': Microsoft pledges to become carbon-negative by 2030

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon at the unveiling of the buses

Electric buses to operate in Glasgow for first time in 60 years

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National Grid has also pledged to spur the reduction of emissions that are outside of its direct control

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The Midlands airport is one of the first to commit to net-zero

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the WorldGBC, Landsec and Workspace are forming different but collective paths to net-zero

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Williams believes the will of citizens is there to deliver a low-carbon economy in the US

Beyond Carbon: The $500m plan to create a low-carbon US, with or without Trump

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Landsec needs to ensure that the reduction levels remain the same for the end of Q4

Landsec hits science-based targets 11 years early

Commercial real estate firm Landsec has met its verified science-based target 11 years ahead of schedule, with the company's latest quarterly energy data revealing that carbon intensity has fallen by 40%.

PMI workers at a factory in Bologna. Image: PMI

Philip Morris to make all its factories carbon neutral by 2030

Cigarette giant Philip Morris International (PMI) has announced its intention to make all of its factories carbon neutral by 2030, after its Klaipeda factory in Lithuania reached the status.

The deadline is today at 5pm

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Sustainable businesses looking for the recognition they deserve have until 5pm today (FRIDAY 4 OCTOBER) to get their entries submitted to enter edie's 2020 Sustainability Leaders Awards.

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Now on demand: edie's masterclass on Streamlined Energy & Carbon Reporting for business

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Mission Possible: Achieving net-zero carbon in Utilities

Following the UK's world-leading commitment to reach net- zero emissions by 2050, this insight report investigates how the utilities sector can radically reduce carbon whilst enabling and empowering its customers to do the same.

Almost 600 companies have committed to climate action through the SBTi, but the majority of these targets are aligned to 2C. Image: EN+ Group

Aluminium giant EN+ Group to develop net-zero strategy

Aluminium and hydropower giant EN+ Group has committed to develop emissions targets in line with a 1.5C trajectory within 24 months.

Exclusive: PwC to hit Mission Possible pledge target

Accountancy firm PwC has revealed to edie that it is only 1% off its Mission Possible target following extensive work on sustainable, healthy food options within its staff restaurant facilities.

(L-R) Landsec team, presenter Paul Toyne, sustainability
development expert and compere Michaela Strachan

Meet the Sustainability Leader: Landsec, The Built Environment

With entries now open for edie's Sustainability Leaders Awards 2020, this new feature series showcases the achievements of the 2019 winners and reveals their secrets to success. Up next: The winner of our Mission Possible: The Built Environment award, Landsec.

Iceland was criticised by Feedback for failing to stock any meat sourced through sustainable certification schemes

UK supermarkets accused of over-producing low-quality meat

Anti-hunger charity Feedback is calling for big-name UK supermarkets such as Iceland, Lidl and Asda to offer "less and better" meat, in order to minimise their climate impacts.