With the UK committed to reducing all greenhouse gas emissions to net-zero by 2050, calculating your organisation’s carbon footprint should be high on the agenda. As a fundamental first step in implementing an emissions reduction plan, working out your carbon footprint also helps you to gain a competitive advantage in a rapidly evolving marketplace.
What is a carbon footprint?
A carbon footprint is the quantification of the total greenhouse gases (GHG) produced directly and indirectly from a business or organisation's activities.
Under the WBCSD/WRI’s Greenhouse Gas Protocol, which provides the global standardised framework to measure and manage GHG emissions, carbon footprints are made up of emissions from three distinct scopes:
Scope 1 includes direct GHG emissions from sources that are owned or controlled by the organisation. E.g. (emissions associated with): natural gas combustion from boiler usage, fuel burned by an organisation’s vehicles
Scope 2 accounts for indirect GHG emissions that a company creates indirectly when the energy it purchases, and uses, is produced. E.g. (emissions associated with): electricity used to power an organisation’s sites
Scope 3 includes all emissions that an organisation is indirectly accountable for, up and down its value chain. E.g. (emissions associated with): business travel, waste treatment, purchased goods, etc.
For many organisations, Scope 3 emissions are likely to make up over 80% of their carbon footprint. Therefore, based on best practice guidance, it is essential to include Scope 3 when carbon footprinting. This demonstrates a true commitment to understanding and mitigating the environmental impact of your organisation.
Why measure your carbon footprint?
As well as a complete understanding of your organisation’s environmental impact, there are a number of value-adding benefits to measuring and reporting your carbon footprint:
Measuring your organisation’s carbon footprint is a fundamental first step in implementing an emissions reduction plan. Understanding current emissions provides a baseline from which to work towards Net Zero emissions by 2050, or earlier.
As the economy transitions towards Net Zero, upstream and downstream stakeholders are already requesting carbon footprint data from the organisations that they work with. Knowing your own carbon footprint will make you a more attractive organisation to work with, as your data will assist stakeholders in the measurement of their own Scope 3 emissions more accurately.
Carbon footprinting can identify areas of inefficiency within your organisation. When breaking down your emissions by different sites or units, you may encounter ‘hotspots’ where emissions spike. These can be quickly addressed, reducing operational costs and reducing environmental impact.
Understanding your carbon footprint helps you to quantify your sustainability reporting. This will make reporting processes more robust, meaning external assurance can be provided on your sustainability reports.
How Mazars can help you
Our market-leading carbon footprinting tool provides a georeferenced solution across all emission scopes, allowing for detailed customisation based on each organisations’ specific activities, supply chains, and site locations, based on:
The platform can then generate detailed reports compliant with the ever-growing number of disclosure schemes, including the CDP, ISO14064-1 and the WBCSD/WRI’s GHG Protocol. Over time, subsequent assessments can be added, allowing you to track improvement and KPI evolution.
Get in touch
If you would like to discuss how the sustainability services team can help with carbon footprinting at your organisation, please do not hesitate to contact us.