In this step, you collect the data that is needed as input for your business carbon footprint calculations. Carbon emissions originate from use of fossil fuels, electricity, and other energy use and activities.

Data collection explained

The data hierarchy in carbon footprints 

Every organisation has different versions of the data you need for the carbon footprint available. These different versions of data also lead to different quality of the outcome.

In general, we distinguish between an activity-based and spend-based analyses. 

  • Activity-based analysis takes the actual activity into account and depends on the availability of data representing that activity. 

  • Spend-based analysis determines the impact of an activity based on monetary value. This, however, results in less detailed impact insights because it relies on databases that approximate impact based on monetary value as a proxy set for the actual activities.

In general, it is preferred to gather data as high as possible in the data hierarchy, because this leads to your company carbon footprint becoming more precise.

Data Hierarchy

In the free version of the Hedgehog carbon dashboard, you can, for example, collect the following data points to include in your company carbon footprint:

  • Cubic metres of natural gas consumption for heating
  • Litres of petrol used in company vehicles
  • Litres of propane for forklifts
  • Litres of refrigerants consumed for A/C and freezing systems
  • kWh’s of electricity used
  • Air travel for business purpose in km’s
  • Employee commuting by car in kilometres.

Take the data hierarchy into account, by trying to gather as much activity-based data as possible. Depending on the administrative system in your organisation, you can collect invoices, bills, receipts, fuel passes, ledgers, mileage registration, travel agency booking history, etc. etc.

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