By Catherine Campbell
The increased focus on environmental and social responsibility (ESR) has brought increased confusion around what it all means. Corporate ESG (environmental, social, and governance) reporting, and sustainable supply chains can feel like a lot to navigate.
If you’re just starting out on your company’s sustainability journey and you don’t know where to begin, your carbon footprint can be the best place to start. Carbon footprint is defined as the amount of carbon dioxide and other carbon compounds emitted due to the consumption of fossil fuels by a particular person, group, etc.
Credit: Grant Durr
We’ve curated some great sites to help inform you on what a carbon footprint is and how to go about measuring it. You’ll find several different types of footprint calculators for differing levels of estimation. Take a look and choose the resource that is best for you. As a small business, you’ll focus on energy and fuel consumption from your utility bills for your immediate footprint (Scopes 1-2) and if you dive into Scope 3 you’ll look at your employee travel, distribution, and purchased goods services.
Here’s a video from UC Berkley’s CoolClimate Network to get you started. You’ll get a great overview of what a carbon footprint calculator is and the types of information you’ll need to calculate your business carbon footprint.
CoolClimate Network – Super simplified carbon footprint calculator from the folks at UC Berkeley (US Based)
Credit: CoolClimate Network
Carbon Trust’s Carbon Footprint Calculator – UK based but any company can use this calculator. For Scopes 1-2 only. A great resource to do your first footprint exercise.
Credit: Carbon Trust
More Detailed Measurement
If you’ve already got the data and lingo down, the next two resources are a little more complex and will provide a better overall estimate for Scopes 1-3.
SME Climate Hub – geared specifically for small to medium sized businesses, The SME Climate Hub is a global initiative that empowers small to medium sized companies to take climate action and build resilient businesses for the future.
The US EPA puts out great guide (PDF) geared towards SMEs that can help you to:
- Create a comprehensive inventory of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- Develop a GHG Inventory Management Plan
- Set a GHG reduction goal and track progress towards that goal
They also have a measurement tool – you can jump straight to it here.
We hope you find these resources useful. Let us know how you measure your footprint and please share any other great resources out there!