December 13, 2023
How to calculate CO2 Emissions?

Transportation, electricity, agriculture, industrial purposes, etc. are the biggest sources of CO2 emissions. Every organisation has operations that emit CO2. You can only curb the emissions to a certain extent. The enthusiasm to achieve the commitment of many companies to reach net zero or carbon neutral must be met with reality that the transition to sustainable practises is still underway and there is still reliance on operations that lead to emissions. So to able to identify the areas of great emissions, find solutions, and make the transition or even use the same techniques but at least reduce the emissions, it is essential measure the CO2 emissions.

The Corporate Carbon Footprint

The total amount of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions released by companies through direct or indirect operations can be represented by the Corporate Carbon Footprint (CCF). The biggest undertaking for companies who choose to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality should be to ascertain their Corporate Carbon Footprint. All scopes of GHG emissions are covered under the Corporate Carbon Footprint.

Some aspects that can help you assess your Corporate Carbon Footprint are:

  • Identification of activities related to emissions and their classification in Scope I, II, and III emissions
  • Materiality analysis of the different sources of emissions
  • Compilation of data from each source of emission

Calculation of CCF is defined by the GHGs Protocol and ISO 14064. They define the requirements needed to calculate the CCF. However, one can use the following ways to measure the CO2 emissions in various areas of the company.

Direct emissions measurement: 

  • Installing emission monitoring equipment on a smokestack to measure CO2 emissions from a specific industrial process.
  • Utilising sensors to measure CO2 emissions from on-site power generation systems like boilers or generators.

Fuel consumption-based calculations: 

  • Tracking the amount of gasoline or diesel fuel consumed by a fleet of company vehicles and using emission factors to estimate CO2 emissions.
  • Monitoring the natural gas or coal consumption in a manufacturing facility and calculating emissions based on the respective emission factors.

Electricity consumption-based calculations: 

  • Using regional grid emission factors to estimate the CO2 emissions associated with the electricity consumed by a company's office buildings, factories, or other facilities.
  • Analysing the energy consumption data from utility bills and applying relevant emission factors to determine CO2 emissions.

Activity-based measurements: 

  • Collecting data on fuel consumption, mileage, and vehicle types to estimate CO2 emissions from a company's transportation activities.
  • Tracking energy usage in different departments or processes to estimate CO2 emissions associated with specific activities within the company.

Life cycle assessment (LCA): 

  • Conducting a comprehensive assessment of a product's life cycle, including raw material extraction, manufacturing, distribution, use, and end-of-life disposal, to determine the overall CO2 emissions associated with the product.
  • Analysing the life cycle of a service provided by the company, such as a software platform or consulting service, to estimate the carbon footprint of delivering that service.

Supplier data and reporting: 

  • Requesting emission data from suppliers who provide significant components, materials, or services that contribute to the company's overall CO2 emissions.
  • Collaborating with key suppliers to collect data on their emissions and integrating it into the company's carbon accounting process.

Carbon accounting software: 

  • Implementing specialised software that automates the data collection, calculation, and reporting processes of CO2 emissions, providing a centralised platform for managing the company's carbon footprint.
  • Utilising carbon accounting software that integrates with different data sources, such as energy meters, vehicle telematics, and financial systems, to streamline emissions measurement and reporting.

Carbon neutrality is the need of the hour. Thus it is essential to reduce the carbon footprint of companies. With sustainability being the only way out of the environmental crisis, reduction in GHGs will be an important undertaking. To make the transition, measuring your CO2 emissions is essential.

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