Do a basic calculation
The simplest way to get started is to collect yearly amounts of electricity use, fuel consumption and refrigerant top-ups related to your business.
Using 12 months of data allows seasonal variations to average out. It can be helpful to align the measurement period with your financial or calendar year.
To do this you will need yearly totals for:
- electricity in kilowatt hours (kWh)
- natural gas in kWh or cubic meters
- liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in litres
- petrol or diesel in litres
- refrigerant top-ups in kilograms
Use one of the free carbon calculators to calculate your carbon emissions in metric tonnes per year.
Visit ‘Calculate your carbon emissions‘ to find out how much you could save by switching to greener business practices.
Use the GHG Protocol: Scopes 1, 2 and 3
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol is widely used to report carbon emissions to the government, suppliers, investors and others.
It puts emissions into categories called ‘scopes’ and provides a more complete accounting of the carbon produced by your business.
To comply with the GHG Protocol you must measure Scopes 1 and 2.
Scope 3 is optional.
Emissions produced directly from your business activities, including:
- petrol or diesel used by company vehicles
- LPG, natural gas or other fuel burned on site
- refrigerant losses
- land owned by business or under its operation
Emissions produced indirectly from your business activities, including:
- water supply and treatment
- shipping and distribution
- employee commuting
- goods and services you buy
- how customers use your goods and services
- financial services, including emissions from pension funds and the investments made by banks holding company money
Calculate using conversion factors
To help decide what should be counted in Scope 3 calculations, visit GHG Protocol and download their detailed guide on measuring Scope 3 emissions.
After you have calculated your emissions, you can take action to reduce them.
Let your stakeholders (customers, employees, suppliers, board, etc) know about your targets and how you track your progress. You might want to do in an internal report, on your website or in annual reports.
Make a simple, public commitment to cut emissions with the SME Climate Commitment.
Hire a consultant
If you can’t measure emissions on your own, consider hiring a sustainability consultant. They can create a strategy to measure emissions in line with your business needs.