WHAT IS YOUR COMPANY’S CARBON FOOTPRINT?

Soon we will be celebrating seven years from the signing of Paris Agreement in 2015 when 195 countries took a joint responsibility for limiting climate change. One of the key ways of stopping our planet´s warming is by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are being emitted to the atmosphere. In the light of this, EU has committed to two principal climate goals: to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030 (compared to the 1990 levels) and reach union-wide carbon neutrality by the year of 2050.

In addition to the Paris Agreement, political landscape is also being shaped by the European Green Deal which every business and citizen has the opportunity and, in fact, a duty to contribute to. More and more companies are leading the way by committing to strive for increased environmental sustainability and reduce their activities´ climate impact.

But the sustainability rationale extends beyond the political agenda. Within the recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the market demand for sustainability which, in turn, has significant financial implications for businesses:

  • Political goals of the European Union and its member states provide new directions for businesses’ climate actions, as achieving the goals by 2050 requires the development of new relevant support measures. Climate impact (incl. its reduction potential) assessment is becoming a mandatory prerequisite for applying for EU funding.
  • Demand for sustainably produced products is rising in B2B and also B2C sectors. In the retail sector, the demand for sustainable retail goods is over 5 times faster than for regular goods (NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business, 2019).
  • Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD), increases the number of companies who must start disclosing their impacts on the environmental, social and governance (ESG) topics as well as the way those impacts are being managed.  

 

At Civitta, we also believe that dealing with one's environmental and climate impact is a driving force for the company's development and a differentiating factor in the competition. Besides helping to identify potential risks and opportunities, sustainability action also enables cost reductions throughout the organization.

We advise companies to start their sustainability journey with identifying their impacts – for example via carbon footprint assessment. This assessment provides a detailed overview of the company´s current climate impact and helps to identify its main sources.

Carbon footprint assessment measures the emissions that result from the lifecycle of a specific product/service or from the company´s activities within the calendar year.

 

Carbon footprint assessment provides an insight into the resulting GHG emissions by product categories, input resources, and different production processes. We follow recognized standards and methologies, such as Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards (primarily The Corporate Reporting and Accounting Standard) – ISO 14000 series (internationally used framework for life cycle assessment – LCA) and other standards and guidelines (mostly for specific sectors and products). Carbon footprint assessment considers all of the greenhouse gases included in Kyoto Protocol (e.g., CO2, N2O, CH4), presenting the result in CO2 equivalent (CO2eq). According to the GHG Protocol, organization´s climate impact is connected to company´s direct activities (scope 1 emissions), the generation of used energy (scope 2 emissions) and upstream, downstream resources and activities (scope 3 emissions).

In addition to carbon footprint (i.e., climate impact) we also evaluate other types of environmental impact. For example, applying for Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) requires a LCA which evaluates the impact associated with each lifecycle stage of the product (e.g., production, use, disposal etc.). Besides climate impact, LCA also considers other impact categories such as acidification of waterbodies and soil, water use, ozone layer depletion and toxicity.

 

Carbon footprint assessment is executed in three stages:

The first stage focuses on identifying the sources of GHG emissions, for which all processes, inputs (e.g., electricity and materials) and end-products are mapped within the organization. Assessment will begin once the necessary input data has been collected and results with a custom-made calculation model as well as a results report with suggestions for impact reduction. This process establishes a data-based foundation for setting business´ sustainability goals and developing a roadmap towards impact reduction.

Calculating your carbon footprint provides you with a quantitative starting point for measuring your future progress and finding opportunities for process optimization and cost reduction.

Contact us to discuss the possibilities for measuring your company’s carbon footprint!

Veeli Oeselg
CIVITTA partner
[email protected]

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