How to calculate Greenhouse Gas emissions for a Climate Emergency?

In this fourth article of a series of Climate Emergency articles, I am looking at how I calculated the Greenhouse Gas emissions caused by my business activities.

This article looks at the practical steps that are the consequence of declaring a Climate Emergency on behalf of my business through the UN Climate Change’s Climate Neutral Now programme.

If you missed earlier posts in this series: How to declare a Climate Emergency? , How I declared a Climate Emergency? & What I did after I declared a Climate Emergency?, you can catch-up on the steps taken on behalf of my environmental consultancy to declare a Climate Emergency.

Here are my initial three steps to calculate my business Greenhouse Gas emissions as a integral part of my Climate Emergency journey:

1. Measure your activities leading to Greenhouse Gas emissions
For my environmental consultancy like many businesses, the activity data, such as energy bills, business mileage and flights, are contained in our financial management system.

Some of the information is readily available, such as the business car mileage, but other data, such as flights, do not readily provide the flight distance and this data needs to be obtained from other information sources using websites, such as Distance Calculator & RailMiles Mileage Engine

You may find that there is plethora or information available within your organisation, it should be possible to identify those persons, usually in the Finance Department, who have access to energy bills (Electricity and Gas), leased car mileage and “grey fleet” (or personal vehicles driven for business purposes).

I am not saying that it is an easy process. Some information on energy bills are readily available and with effort can be used to report on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. Other information, such as “grey fleet” use will, normally, be in the cost of the expense rather than miles or litres of fuel.

Other activities may be relevant, if you manufacture or produce goods as well as services.

2. Calculate your Greenhouse Gas emissions
Using the relevant conversion factors for 2018 and 2019, which can be found in earlier articles: UK Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting: Conversion Factors 2019 & UK Greenhouse Gas Reporting: Conversion Factors 2018, the carbon emissions were calculated from our known activities for the financial year: 2018/2019.

The simple formula to use is:

GHG emissions = activity data x emission conversion factor

There are a wide range of conversion factors that can be used not only to calculate Greenhouse Gas emissions from the use of energy and business car mileage but, also, from the use of waste disposal and hotel use.

3. Report my business Greenhouse Gas emissions
Based on the output from my GHG emissions calculation, I will be publishing my full Greenhouse Gas emissions for the financial year 2018/2019 on this website and providing the emissions information to UN Climate Change’s Climate Neutral Now programme for full transparency and accountability.

In my next article in this series, I will provide my full Greenhouse Gas emissions for my environmental consultancy, onePlanet Solutions, for the financial year 2018/2019 based on the methodology described in this article.

Look out for the next article & I welcome your comments and thoughts about declaring a climate emergency and calculating the Greenhouse Gas emissions of your business.

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