Calculating the carbon footprint of your business

Article posted

15th Jul 2022

Read time

5-10 min read


Mollie Pinnington

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What are carbon emissions?

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from many different human activities. The leading cause of the high emission factor at the moment is the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon emissions can be more commonly known as greenhouse gas emissions which you have probably heard of as being one of the leading causes of climate change.

Carbon emissions cause climate change by trapping heat within our climate which has caused the temperature of Earth to start rising to dangerous levels.


 What is a carbon footprint?

Every person on Earth has a carbon footprint, this is a calculation of how much emissions they have added, directly or indirectly throughout their lifetime. Businesses also have a carbon footprint, this is a measurement of the greenhouse gasses your business has produced or added to since it began operating.

Understanding your company’s carbon footprint is the first step toward carbon neutrality. You need to be transparent about your emissions before you start to reduce them. Your company's carbon footprint not only involves direct emissions from the company but all the indirect emissions that are due to your company's decisions or way of operating.

Many businesses are now starting to measure their carbon footprint as it is a way to signal to stakeholders, employees, and customers that you are addressing an issue within your business and are prepared to do something about it. It also shows that you are taking responsibility for your company's actions.


Finding your emission source

Finding where exactly your business emissions come from can be difficult, especially as almost every business activity can cause greenhouse gas emissions. Before you start with a plan to reduce your emissions you first need to have comprehensive and exact data available to ensure your calculations are as accurate as possible.

Gathering as much company activity data as possible will give you the most accurate description of your emission source. examples of some activities your business should be reporting can include:

  • employee commuting (including public transport)
  • waste disposal
  • supply chain
  • business travel
  • day-to-day business operations
  • Energy consumption
  • other relevant emissions

At Resolve Net Zero it is easy to quantify and report your business's carbon emissions. This is because we use Carbon accounting software that measures and tracks carbon emissions from all areas of your business, taking all the leg work out of finding these emissions yourself.


Letting us manage your carbon emissions, gives you access to:

  • Publishable results to share with stakeholders
  • Reporting dashboard
  • Training and support for employees
  • Calculate your company's total carbon
  • Selectable carbon intensity metrics

To get the most accurate idea of your total business emissions we will break these down into scope1, scope 2, and scope 3 emissions. This will allow us to implement the most accurate sustainability strategy for your business.


Calculating your scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions

Measuring carbon emissions for your business does not have to be daunting as they can be broken down into three areas; scope 1, 2, and 3. Scope 1 and 2 are areas your business can start working on straight away as these are classed as the emissions that come directly from your business.

These types of emissions are the easiest to find and can be directly affected by your business. However, your scope 3 emissions are based on emissions that are related to your business but not directly. Scope 3 emissions are more complicated to track and are best managed through a more specialist approach and careful consideration of your supply chain. Examples of the different scopes include:

Scope 1

  • Fuel combustion
  • Company-owned vehicles
  • Fugitive emissions


Scope 2

  • purchased electricity
  • purchased steam
  • purchased heat


Scope 3

  • Purchased goods services
  • Business travel day
  • Employee commuting
  • Waste disposal
  • Use of sold products
  • Transportation and distribution
  • Investments
  • Leased assets and franchises


The impact this will have on your business

When improving your energy systems in your business you will soon start to realize that saving energy means saving money. The more energy you save the cheaper your energy bills are going to be. This could reduce your company’s expenditure on an annual basis.

Also at the moment, consumers are very careful about who they give their business to. you are more likely to gain customers by showing you taking action on the climate crisis as this is seen as an ethical business approach. By committing to reducing carbon emissions you could also be getting one step ahead of your competition. Especially if you are a small business

This also allows you to sell your business to new stakeholders, attracting more employees and investors.

When you are supported by Resolve Net Zero for your journey to Net Zero, your business will receive accreditation to the UN's Race to Zero through our partnership with Future Net Zero Standards. When your business is making progress on carbon accounting you will receive a certification of your annual progress.


Climate impact

Global warming has been happening for many years with the temperature of the earth rising as well as the sea level rising. In more recent years it has been brought to the attention of world leaders just how much it is going to affect the planet if action is not taken quickly.

This brought about the Paris agreement where world leaders came together to come to a breakthrough decision on what they are all going to do to reach Net Zero emissions by 2050. This led to many laws and legislation being introduced in each country to help them reach their net zero pledges.

In the UK, businesses are being urged to take climate action by reaching net zero by 2050. This means reducing emissions by 85-90%, with the last 10-15% being offset by carbon offsetting.

By reducing your greenhouse gas emissions you will make a massive contribution to Climate change and lower the temperature of the Earth, ensuring it doesn't become uninhabitable for us to live on.

Learn more about Net Zero today. Contact us to start your journey to Net Zero and start tracking your business’s emissions.

If you're ready to improve your energy efficiency whilst driving down energy bills then why not get in touch? With our carbon management plans we will give your business everything it needs to reduce consumption and maximise on savings. . Request a free quote now and start reducing your carbon footprint and energy bills today.