A growing number of businesses are seeking ambitious carbon reduction goals in order to achieve carbon neutrality. However, if emission-intensive hotspots can be located and quantified, a systematic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is achievable.
As a result, firms can examine their corporate carbon footprint more closely in order to determine their primary emitters.
What is a Corporate Carbon Footprint?
A company’s carbon footprint, also known as its “corporate carbon footprint” (CCF), is usually the first step toward carbon neutrality because it is impossible to create realistic goals and climate plans without information about its own emissions.
All emissions that are influenced by a company’s choice are included in the Corporate Carbon Footprint. This means that all indirect emissions are included in addition to direct emissions.
This means that the full value chain is included in the corporate carbon footprint for manufacturing enterprises. All emissions from the supply chain, logistics, consumption phase, and product disposal are included.
The corporate carbon footprint is usually calculated for a specified time period, such as a calendar year, and it varies from reporting period to reporting period.
The calculation of a company’s carbon footprint can be used for a variety of reasons: On the one hand, it promotes transparency and so allows for emission reduction strategies. This aids in the detection of climate-related threats and opportunities.
Companies, on the other hand, show their stakeholders, such as employees, customers, and investors, that they are dealing with the problem and admitting responsibility.
How to calculate a Corporate Carbon Footprint?
When calculating the carbon footprint of a business, one of the first steps is to define the scope of consideration. In the case of corporate carbon footprints, this is largely defined by various standards, such as the GHG Protocol or ISO 14064.
The data provided on corporate activities serve as the foundation for calculating a Corporate Carbon Footprint: A company’s almost every move and choice can result in carbon emissions. The more complete and precise this data is, the more precise the calculation will be.
This comprises information such as energy usage (electrical and thermal) and the energy supplier, which is normally available within the organization or is easy to obtain. Business excursions and company car travel are frequently reported.
The associated greenhouse gas emissions for each activity are estimated using this activity data and suitable emission coefficients.
However, greenhouse gases are produced in processes that occur outside of the corporation but are caused by company decisions. Production operations from vendors from whom the corporation has ordered products are one illustration of this. Other companies’ services and employee commuter traffic are also included.
In some situations, the energy consumption of the company’s products throughout the usage phase at the customer’s location also results in significant emissions. These “Scope 3” operations are activities about which firms are generally uninformed, but which typically account for a large portion of their emissions.
In theory, there are a variety of methods for recording Scope 3 emissions. Requesting consumption statistics from employees, suppliers, and service providers is the most accurate technique.
However, because this is not always possible, there are a number of well-known databases that can be used to evaluate various business activities based on key figures available in the company, such as the number of employees, purchase quantities, or sales, with varying degrees of accuracy depending on the method used.
In particular, purely cost-based approaches are usually very imprecise since average values over entire industrial sectors are used here so that we always recommend calculating carbon emissions at least on the basis of the purchased material quantities.
What is the best way to get started?
Planet suggests a two-step process, starting with calculating your company’s “corporate carbon footprint” to get an overview of all emissions. Following the research, you can find effective methods to reduce carbon emissions and achieve carbon neutrality for your entire firm by offsetting the remaining emissions that you cannot prevent.
Through a comprehensive study of all emission sources, the Corporate Carbon Footprint also provides a better starting point for planning and implementing carbon reduction programs.
It’s likely that, in addition to product manufacture or purchase, there’s a huge need for action in the field of business travel, which is difficult to attribute to specific products.
There’s also the option of considerably lowering the company’s carbon footprint, such as by ending relationships with individual, high-GHG-emitting suppliers.
The second stage would be to expand the scope of the analysis at the product level in order to quantify all emissions associated with that product. On the basis of the analysis and data gathering processes currently built into the Corporate Carbon Footprint, a Product Carbon Footprint analysis may be carried out.
Are you interested in learning how a product’s carbon footprint is calculated? Take a look at our post on the product carbon footprint as well. We’d be delighted to discuss these and other concerns with you in order to identify the best solutions for your company.