What is a carbon footprint & how to measure it?

The carbon footprint analysis is one of the strongest weapons to fight global warming. From that step, we can develop many strategies to reduce CO2 emissions.

Why doing a carbon footprint?

Carbon footprint analysis has emerged as a crucial instrument for policymakers, organizations, enterprises, and individuals seeking to reduce their carbon emissions. Through comprehending the consequences of their behavior on the natural world, they can implement measures to mitigate their carbon emissions and participate in the battle against global warming.

Carbon footprint calculations can be used by organizations to understand their climate impact and concentrate on strategies for reducing emissions. The procedure involves quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions that are both directly and indirectly emitted by the entity.

Through the process of carbon footprint calculation, entities can provide precise figures to their clients, employees, investors, regulatory bodies, and other interested parties.

Carbon footprint analysis is the first step of carbon reduction

What evaluation methodology can we choose?

Carbon experts will collect data from the company, then this data will be converted into kgCO2 equivalent, or kgCO2e (or sometimes kgCO2eq). Stated in another way, in order to have a result in a standard unit, the greenhouse gases are all converted into equivalent quantities of CO2.

In order to process the calculation and management of an organization's carbon footprint, it is recommended that organizations follow the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, which is an internationally recognised and accepted standard for best practices. Organizations can also refer to other methodologies such as Bilan Carbone in France, which is quite similar; or Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) which is a process of evaluating the effects that a product has on the environment over the entire period of its life.

For most of the methodologies you will find, that is also called carbon accounting, we are free to choose the one we prefer.

Direct and Indirect emissions: the 3 scopes

Direct and Indirect emissions of the organization will be identified and organized in 3 scopes. Let’s take an example of a company producing sweets in the UAE and distributing the products all over the Middle East. The CO2 emissions will be the following:

  • Scope 1 - Direct emissions, such as the fuel burned in machines in the factory
  • Scope 2 - Indirect emissions related to energy, such as bought electricity to power the office
  • Scope 3 - All other Indirect emissions, such as emissions generated by the transportation of raw materials to the factory or transportation of final products to the points of distribution

The perimeters

Before collecting the data from the company, 3 perimeters of the analysis need to be defined:

  • Organizational: evaluated activities within the company & outside the company
  • Temporal: usually a 12-month analysis that is based on the previous year
  • Operational: scopes will be taken into consideration. It is highly recommended to analyze all the 3 scopes

To sum up, the analysis of carbon footprint has emerged as a crucial instrument for comprehending the environmental consequences of human actions. With the ongoing evolution of technology, the carbon footprint analysis will probably advance further, facilitating the creation of a sustainable future for next generations.
At Hovy, we make the carbon footprint process easy, fast and accurate. If you want to learn more about our services, please visit our website.

Get a free demo with our team
Request a Demo

Interested to know more?

Contact us