Organization carbon footprint

The carbon footprint of an organization is the totality of greenhouse gases greenhouse effect emitted by direct or indirect effect through the activity carried out by said organization

Different models for different organizations

Please check different approach for

How do you calculate?

The carbon footprint generated by each emission source is the result of the product of the consumption data (activity data) by its corresponding emission factor:

  • Carbon footprint = Activity data * Emission factor
    • Activity data: is the parameter that defines the level of the activity that generates emissions of greenhouse gases. For example, amount of natural gas used in the heating (kWh of natural gas).
    • Emission factor: is the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by each unit of the “activity data” parameter. For example, for natural gas, the emission factor would be 0.202 kg CO2 eq/kWh of natural gas.
  • Based on this formula, there are several methodologies for calculating the carbon footprint (UNE-ISO 14064, GHG Protocol, etc.). We recommend you to be fluent in one methodology and apply consistently.

What data do you need?

You will need to know, at least,

  • the data consumption of fossil fuels (in offices, machinery, warehouses, vehicles, etc.) and
  • electricity for a given year
  • as well as its corresponding emission factors.
    Additionally, you could include other indirect emissions other than electricity such as travel work with external media, services outsourced as the management of waste, etc.

Basic concepts, what steps to follow?

  • Choose year of calculation
  • Establish organizational and operational boundaries: what areas will be included in information collection process and calculation. Identify emitting sources associated to operations inside areas.
  • Compile all consumption data ( activity data ) of all operations to cover the 3 main scopes. Minimum required Scope 1+2, Scope 3 voluntary
    • Scope 1: Direct emissions
      • Building fuel consumption (natural gas boilers, diesel)
      • Leaks of blooming refrigerant gases in cooling equipment. air conditioning/refrigeration (gas refilling carried out in such equipment)
      • vehicle fuel
    • Scope 2: Indirect emissions related to electricity consumption
      • Electricity consumption in buildings
    • Scope 3: Other indirect emissions
      • Business Trips with external means of transport
      • Outsourced services (waste management, cleaning, security, etc.)
      • Purchase of products
      • Etc
  • It is convenient to accompany the first effort to calculate the footprint with the implementation of a data collection system. The objective is to facilitate the task in successive years and ensure the quality and exhaustiveness of the data. In addition, these data must be supported by invoices or others
  • Perform the calculations by multiplying the activity data by the factors of issue.

Example Spanish methodology sources.

  • The Spain Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Food and Environment (MAPAMA) provides
    • data on the emission factors on its website for each year as well as carbon footprint calculators for range 1+2 that include them and that can be very useful.
    • Three are facilitated: one for calculating the scope 1+2 footprint of any organization, another for organizations dedicated to the agricultural sector, and another for municipalities.
  • Once you know how much and where it is emitted, reflect on the points where to act to reduce emissions. This will be reflected in
    a reduction plan that should include the measures that are expected to be carried out, as well as the quantification of the estimate of the reductions that
    would entail. It is recommended to include a schedule in the plan.
  • You can choose to certify your carbon footprint by going to an Independent third party. This will help you detect possible errors and will provide backup
    to your calculation.
  • You can register your Carbon Footprint in MAPAMA web site page following all requirements.