Sustainability should be easy and accessible. To help you get started with your sustainable organisation we offer our free carbon footprint calculator with a carbon dashboard. With this dashboard you can monitor your greenhouse gas emissions, any year, until 2030. This carbon calculator and dashboard are compliant with the GHG protocol.
Companies are an important stakeholder in the climate debate. If you don’t know where to start with sustainability, a carbon footprint is a good starting point. A carbon footprint creates an overview of your organisation’s contribution to climate change. This insight can provide you with guidance for an efficient sustainability strategy.
The carbon footprint with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG-protocol)
The GHG-protocol was established through a partnership between the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the Business Council for Sustainable Development (WCSD). It provides a greenhouse gas accounting and reporting standard for both the public and the private sector.
The GHG-protocol structures your carbon footprint with pre-determined emissions sources. The resulting GHG inventory is divided into scope 1, scope 2 and in scope 3 carbon emissions. This allows you to structurally identify and reduce emissions of your company and its supply chain.
Direct and indirect emissions in your carbon footprint
The GHG-protocol classifies for direct and indirect emission sources to be considered. Scope 1 carbon emissions are direct carbon emissions. Scope 2 and scope 3 carbon emissions occur in the supply chain and are therefore indirect carbon emissions.
Scope 1 GHG emissions
Scope 1 takes all direct emissions from company assets into account. This concerns emissions released by your own building from heating, your fleet and production-related activities. Most of these emissions occur from combustion of natural gas, diesel or petrol. Some production processes release GHG gases like methane into the atmosphere, or there are cooling or AC systems that leak refrigerants.
Scope 2 GHG emissions.
Scope 2 includes emissions from direct energy usage but not emitted directly by company assets. Best example for scope 2 emissions is the generation of purchased electricity. The emissions do occur on the electricity production site. However the energy use is direct and can be influenced by company decision making. Other examples are direct heating or steam.
Scope 3 GHG emissions
The scope 3 inventory includes all other indirect emissions in the supply chain. Examples are the upstream emissions from the production and transportation of purchased materials, or business travel and employee commuting. Emissions that occur downstream such as from transport to users, the use phase and waste processing are also included. In total there are fifteen scope 3 emission sources categorised in the GHG protocol. You can find an overview of these, and the scope 1 and 2 sources in.
“Box 1: Example Scope 1 en 2 emissions
Erinaceus is a marketing company with 4 employees. They have a small office and all employees use a middle-sized leased car (diesel).
Erinaceus has a standard non-renewable energy contract.
The office uses 1.500 m3 of natural gas per year for space heating.
The electricity use of the offices is 3.000 kWh per year.
Employees drive an average of 7.500 business kilometres per year.
Scope 1 emissions
Natural gas: 1,884 (kg CO2-eq per m3) * 1.500 (m3) = 2,826 ton CO2-eq
Leased cars: 0,176 (kg CO2-eq per km) * 7.500 (km) * 4 = 5,280 ton CO2-eq
Scope 2 emissions
Electricity: 0,556 (kg CO2-eq per kWh) * 3.000 (kWh) = 1,668 ton CO2-eq
Total Scope 1 en 2 emissions
9,774 ton CO2-eq emissions per year”
Scope 1 & 2 vs scope 3 in your carbon footprint
Collecting data and calculating your carbon footprint within scope 1 and scope 2 is relatively easy. We encourage organisations to monitor these scopes themselves with our free carbon calculator and dashboard. Calculating scope 3 emissions might require you to hire an expert.
Moreover, you will also see that for most organisations scope 1 and 2 are only the tip of the iceberg in their carbon footprint. Indirect emissions in the supply chain are many times higher, especially for companies downstream in the supply chain. It's a good idea to start reducing your scope 1 and 2 emissions today, since they're easier to reduce and the financial benefits can be significant. And if all organisations would tackle their scope 1 and 2 emissions, we inherently reduce all scope 3 emissions as well.