How to analyse the carbon footprint of your company
The first step on the way to a carbon neutral company is to calculate the carbon footprint of your company. Carbon accounting gives you the opportunity to set up a new KPI for the management in your company and to become a pioneer for a climate-neutral economy.
With the help of technology and software, Planetly supports you in all steps of calculating your carbon footprint. Planetly performs all analyses according to the globally recognized standards of the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.
First of all, you should consider why you are doing the CO2 analysis and what you want to focus on. Do you want to create transparency and include your carbon footprint in your sustainability report? Do you want to meet standards and specifications of your supply chain partners or investors? Do you want to become a climate-neutral company through climate protection projects and use this in marketing and employer branding? Do you want to proactively understand and manage your carbon footprint in light of increasing regulation?
Whatever your motives, Planetly is happy to support you on your way to becoming a climate-friendly company that understands and actively manages its carbon footprint.
Scoping of the analysis
For the actual analysis, you must first define the organizational units for which you want to perform the carbon analysis. Which locations should be considered? How do you deal with subsidiaries, joint ventures and franchises? How should the results be consolidated? In certain cases, it may be worthwhile to start a pilot analysis with one location (for example, the head office), which you can then roll out across all organizational units in the next step.
In addition to the locations and company units to be analyzed, the limits of the relevant company activities must also be taken into account. The GHG protocol distinguishes between the following 3 parameters:
Scope 1: Direct emissions (e.g. company fleet)
Scope 2: Indirect emissions (e.g. through purchased electricity and heat)
Scope 3: Indirect Emissions generated along the entire value chain (e.g. through purchased goods and services)
Finally, in order to be able to track your emissions over time and to measure reduction successes, a base year needs to be defined for the analysis. This base year is the one that will be taken as the first fiscal year where emissions are being calculated. Only by defining the base year and a clear and constant scope is it possible to develop a long-term understanding of your company’s carbon footprint drivers, and how its different parts develop over time.
Carbon footprint calculation
As soon as all parameters have been defined, the next process step is to collect your activity data per organizational unit and for the pre-defined scope. Planetly supports you in this phase with intelligent software solutions and experienced consultants. Wherever primary data collection becomes difficult, Planetly provides you with suitable industry benchmarks from your sector.
The collected activity data is then calculated with the relevant emission factors to determine your company’s carbon emissions. Planetly draws on comprehensive global emission factor databases with data from a wide range of industries.
Data quality management
In order to calculate the most accurate carbon footprint possible, continuous quality management of the data collected within the defined scope of analysis is essential. In addition to providing support in the collection of primary data, Planetly’s software also helps to identify and avoid sources of error by providing industry comparison values.
The so-called “company inventory of relevant emission-emitting entities and activities” should be continuously checked and updated in order to determine the most accurate carbon index possible.
At the end of the carbon analysis, Planetly provides you with a GHG-compliant final report. Besides the final carbon footprint, the deployed methodologies and used sources are also documented here.
In accordance with the GHG accounting principles of relevance, completeness, consistency, transparency and accuracy, it is particularly important to explain
- for which parts of your organisation the footprint was calculated
- which scope the footprint has been determined (minimum requirements are Scope 1 & Scope 2 emissions)
- which calculations were performed with which assumptions
- which carbon footprint activities are not yet reported and why they are not included
All these aspects are covered in the final report created by planetly.
Verification of your footprint
We provide companies that want to demonstrate even more credibility with the option of letting an independent auditor confirm the exactness and completeness of the Planetly Corporate Carbon Footprint analysis.
Among others, Planetly collaborates with TÜV Rheinland, who, as an external auditor, checks the input data, calculation logic, emission factors used and the final results of our carbon analyses.