Focus on energy use which the business has control and influence over – namely onsite energy use from scope one and two emissions. There are 3 scopes of greenhouse gas emissions that you will use to report your emissions:
Scope 1: emissions from burning fuels, such as gas for heating and petrol in company-owned vehicles.
Scope 2: emissions from purchased electricity heat and steam.
Scope 3: emissions from activities not included in scopes 1 and 2 including business travel, employee commuting, waste disposal, investments, use of sold products, purchased goods and services
Scopes 1 and 2 are relatively easy to calculate and are within your direct control, so start there.
A handy tool to calculate your scope 1 and 2 emissions is available on the Carbon Trust’s website. You will need a copy of your energy bills and information about how much fuel company vehicles have used, both over a 1-year period.
Why is calculating your carbon footprint important?
If you’re a subcontractor to the public sector and/or larger businesses they may as part of the tender process ask what your carbon footprint is as part of your tender submission. For example, Durham County Council, like many other organisations, recently adopted a procurement policy note that states that a supplier must have a plan to reach net zero by 2050 if they are to tender for a contract worth over £5 million per year.
So, now is the time to think about how you can calculate and tackle your carbon emissions.