Calculating Your Carbon Footprint
A carbon footprint for a business is a measure of the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced from business activities or accumulated over the life stages of a product or service. It is measured in equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide as a convenient way to account for the impact of different types of greenhouse gases like methane, nitrous oxides and carbon dioxide on global warming.
Calculating your carbon footprint and implementing a strategy to reduce it, is not just good for the environment, it can be excellent for your business.
Carbon footprints are complicated and difficult to calculate using traditional Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methods. To be a credible LCA, the analysis must take into account direct GHG emissions from sources owned or controlled by the business (such as petrol and diesel used in company vehicles), GHG emissions from electricity generation and GHG emissions produced in the full supply chain. Calculating the latter of these emissions are particularly difficult as it requires your business to audit the entire supply chain – and the supply chains of your suppliers; an administratively complex and expensive process.
Reputable “greenhouse” consultants like Greenice Pty. Ltd. can calculate your carbon footprint using scientifically rigorous methods similar to that developed by the Centre for Integrated Sustainability Analysis (ISA) at the University of Sydney. The ISA methodology accounts for GHG emissions in the full upstream supply chain using sophisticated economic analysis that models supply chain GHG emissions throughout the Australian economy. The ISA methodology uses Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data, based on Input-Output Analysis, to automatically carry out a complete upstream supply chain LCA of your business GHG impacts.
Compared to other LCA methods, Greenice’s approach is less complicated and time consuming as it uses your expenditure and revenue data. The model uses the GHG emissions “embodied” in the $ value of your purchases.
They then produce a comprehensive carbon footprint analysis and report for your business showing a breakdown of GHG emissions from your own activities and how emissions are generated and passed on in the supply chain. Greenice can then work with you using the output of the report to develop strategies and plans to reduce GHG emissions, drive improved efficiency and reduced costs.
The ISA methodology has been endorsed by the Australian Conservation Foundation (ACF)
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