What is a Carbon Footprint, and why is it important?
The Carbon Footprint of a business is defined as “the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced to directly and indirectly support business activities”, and it is expressed in terms of tons CO2e. The main contributors to an orgnaisation’s carbon footprint include direct emissions such as fuels and transport (Scope 1), indirect emissions for instance electricity purchased (Scope 2), and other indirect emissions including business travel, water, waste and the broader supply chain (Scope 3).
A carbon footprint analysis is important so that organisation know what the current GHG emissions levels of their business are, and to develop strategies to lower them. Undertaken annually the carbon footprint can also be used as a driving force to improve operational efficiency within the business, highlighting significant cost and performance benefits available.
The Benefits of Calculating your Carbon Footprint
The benefits of calculating your organisation’s carbon footprint include:
- Identification energy and carbon hotspots: allow for targeting of reduction measures which will have the greatest impact.
- Strategy: informed development and update of your Environmental Social and Governance approach.
- Target setting: inform the setting of robust GHG emissions reduction targets and environmental objectives.
- Compliance: enabling your organisation to comply with mandatory GHG reporting (such as Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting), other legislative requirements, and broader supply chain requirements.
- CSR and stakeholder engagement: demonstrating you organisation’s commitment to managing and reducing your impact on the environment.
How GEP Environmental Can Help
GEP Environmental can provide support with all aspects of calculating your carbon footprint including:
- Detailing the boundaries and scope of emissions to be included in the carbon footprint.
- Gathering data relating to your GHG emissions and highlighting any gaps.
- Undertaking the relevant calculations once data has been collated to work out your carbon footprint, using an appropriate footprinting calculation method (e.g. Science Based Targets).
- Provide a detailed report on your current performance, in addition to highlighting recommendations on how to reduce emission levels.
Benefits of using GEP Environmental
- GEP Environmental have the in-house knowledge to assist with any future activities that may be recommended for improvements, including energy & sustainability Audits, development of environmental/Net Zero Carbon strategies, staff training and engagement.
- The carbon footprint report can be published in company documentation and on the website to highlight the approach taken to stakeholders and potential clients.
- Improved brand reputation by having a transparent proactive approach to managing carbon emissions.
- Gain a competitive advantage by meeting accreditation (E.g. SECR) and tender application requirements.
- Improve efficiency and cost as areas for improvement within the organisation are identified.
- The carbon footprint can act as a measuring stick for future emission levels to highlight organisational improvements.
Carbon Footprint Verification
For organisations who are already completing annual assessments of their carbon footprint, GEP Environmental can undertake an independent verification of your results. By having your carbon footprint verified it shows the organisaton’s commitment to operating in an ethical manner, enhancing your environmental performance, reputation, and position in the market.
The Benefits of Carbon Verification
Having independent verification of your carbon footprint shows all stakeholders the organisation has a serious approach to environmental impact, and ongoing improvement. Independent verification of your carbon footprint provides assurance that the data used is accurate, the results reliable, and adds credibility to the reported information.
How GEP Environmental Can Help
GEP Environmental can provide support with:
- Independent verification of data and calculations used to produce the carbon footprint.
- Transparency of the calculations provide reliability to your results.
- Compliance with ISO 14064 Part 3 – specific to the verification for GHG emissions assessment.
- Assist with the development and implementation of improvement plans for managing and lowering future emission levels.
Benefits of using GEP Environmental for your Carbon Verification
- Provide a Statement of Verification document for publication in company documentation and on the website.
- Independent third-party verification holds more weight with stakeholders that the figures are correct, and the approach used meets ISO14064 Part 3 requirements.
- Improve the business reputation and become a benchmark for the industry.
- Assures reporting is accurate and fit for purpose.
- Avoid penalties for inaccurate reporting of your carbon footprint.
- Review activities or investments undertaken to lower emissions and monitor their ongoing performance.
- Provide further support services for future investment in carbon lowering programmes.
Please note GEP Environmental are not able to undertake both carbon footprint and verification for the same client, as this would not provide an independent verification of the carbon footprint.
Carbon Footprint: What Your Organisation Needs to Know
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