Etainabl 2021 Carbon Footprint
Looking at the carbon footprint of your business is incredibly important due to the rapidly increasing accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere that is contributing heavily to global warming. The larger the carbon footprint of any activity, the greater the cumulative contribution it has to climate change. Therefore businesses need to make a conscious effort to reduce carbon footprints, so they can actively be a part of the solution to the climate crisis and make more informed decisions.
The basics of starting to measure a carbon footprint are actually quite simple, and don’t require much effort or expert knowledge. The UK government publishes extensive and easy to follow emission factors across a range of scopes and categories which enable businesses to calculate their own emissions. It is recommended that businesses start with the most material emissions, and more often than not this is going to be through electricity use and gas heating, of which the data required for emission calculations can be gathered from utility invoices from your suppliers.
It is important to recognise that no carbon footprint is perfect and data collection for an entire company's carbon footprint can be extremely challenging. This is why businesses opt to use best estimations and assumptions to help in calculating their impact with the idea that over time they can move away from these estimations to more solid activity and evidence based data but it is important to start somewhere.
The Etainabl platform addresses issues around complex data collection and strives to automate as much of the emissions calculation process as possible. If you require help in calculating your emissions please get in touch with Etainabl to see how we can help. We believe in transparency and taking responsibility for our environmental impacts which is why we are publishing our 2021 carbon footprint with details on the calculation methodology.
Office based emissions
We occupy a shared office space which presents the first challenge for our carbon footprint. A request was sent to the landlord to ask for the environmental data which was provided, this information was based on the whole building of 16,000sqft so we have had to use a pro rata technique to adjust this data to only account for our 200sqft office. Unfortunately the individual office spaces are not sub metered so this was the only way we could account for our allocation of energy, so it is a best estimation.
We accounted for the office based emissions including the scope 3 aspects of the energy sources, the only element that we could not account for were fugitive emissions as the records for our air conditioning unit were not available from the landlord. This would be an aspect that we would want to improve on for 2022 as f-gas has a high global warming potential and is becoming increasingly relevant to a companies carbon footprint and is often not seen as an important source of emissions. The emissions above were calculated using the latest emission factors from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) included in the Government conversion factors for company reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.
Working from home emissions
Since the pandemic there has been a shift to more and more workers opting to work from home. Etainabl allow employees the freedom to work remotely, however we need to account for the emissions that our employees incur as part of this remote working schedule. We have estimated that each employee works at home for 2 days per week, which equates to 780 hours per employee, per year.
EcoAct estimates that average power use for a laptop or computer is 140 watts. For lighting, it’s 10 watts. To work out the total amount of electricity used by your team, you need to multiply this by the number of employees working from home, and the number of working hours in a year. EcoAct also estimates that it takes 5kWh gas to heat your home for an hour. This was the basis for the estimation we used to calculate the amount of extra gas usage that occurs due to working from home.
Work related travel
Travel was the next material category that we explored. This included both commuting and any work related travel such as travel for a meeting. Based on working from home for 2 days per week (above) we used 3 days per week as the basis for calculating the mileage related to commuting to the office for each employee. We then asked each employee for details on their cars such as model and fuel type to determine what emission factors would be most appropriate to use and also accounted for the well to tank emissions of the fuels.
One employee also was commuting using an electric vehicle which was exclusively charged on the public charging networks so we needed to account for both the electricity and transmission and distribution emissions associated with commuting in this car.
After this we looked at train travel which was based on the small number of train journeys that have been made throughout 2021 for meetings and working remotely. The well to tank emissions for National Rail are also accounted for in this calculation. There were no other modes of transport such as boat or plane used throughout 2021 that would need to be accounted for in our carbon footprint. The emissions above were calculated using the latest emission factors from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) included in the Government conversion factors for company reporting of greenhouse gas emissions.
Purchased goods and services
The last category that we accounted for was purchased goods and services, and this is typically one of the hardest categories to calculate. This is our best estimation at our scope 3 supply chain using a combination of an output of our accounting software to demonstrate the amount of spend on each category and spend based emission factors provided by BEIS/DEFRA in the official report on GHG Emissions of the UK between 1996-2018. If a certain category was not available we have used the EPA emission factors from 2016 data applying IPCC 4th Assessment Report conversion factors as a proxy. This is very much an estimation and in the future will need to be transitioned from a spend based methodology to an activity based methodology but unfortunately the data to calculate activity is currently not readily available to use.
Throughout 2021 Etainabl contributed to offsetting emissions with a tree planting program with Ecologi we planted 884 trees this can be accessed at the below link:
Etainabl are passionate about sustainability, open data and technology. This is why we wanted to be as transparent about our carbon impact as possible. We hope that voluntarily publishing this information encourages other businesses to take the same step, helps others with the calculation techniques that have been detailed in our methodologies, and can be used by our clients by including this information in their own scope 3 emissions.
If you have any questions regarding our footprint please contact us - firstname.lastname@example.org
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