Increasingly, businesses are calculating their carbon footprints to understand the impact their products and services are having on the environment. In addition, investors and consumers alike are both looking to support businesses that are committed to making the world cleaner and safer.
So that you know how to prepare for a carbon footprint assessment for your Fox Valley business, we’ve created this article to detail exactly what the process entails.
What is a carbon footprint?
Before you prepare for your carbon footprint assessment, it’s helpful to understand what a carbon footprint actually is.
A business’s carbon footprint is, in short, how much greenhouse gas emissions a business’s production, operations, and services produce over a 12-month period. While there are multiple kinds of greenhouse gases, the most commonly measured greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide ( or Co2). A carbon footprint assessment aims to give businesses accurate data on the level of Co2 it emits so that the business can work to put reduction measures in place.
There are three main sources of greenhouse gas emissions a business can produce.
- Scope 1: These greenhouse emissions are from sources your business is directly responsible for. This means any gas space heating or oil fuel used on-site, as well as the fuel used in company vehicles. Emissions also released during your manufacturing process fall under this scope. And, if your business uses industrial refrigeration or air conditioning, the refrigerant loss is also included in scope 1.
- Scope 2: Scope 2 greenhouse emissions are the emissions your business is indirectly connected to. For example, purchased electricity or energy falls under scope 2 because, while you aren’t directly in control of those emissions, the business is purchasing and consuming electricity. Scope 2 emissions would actually be released at the facility where the electricity is generated.
- Scope 3: Lastly, scope 3 emissions encompass other indirect sources of greenhouse gas emissions. This includes employee commuting, any purchased services or goods a company uses, investments in other companies or industries, and the way a business disposes of its waste.
Determine Your Scope
Prior to calculating your business's carbon footprint and preparing for your assessment, you’ll want to determine which scopes you want to include in the data. And which areas of each scope you want to begin carbon reduction efforts.
At a minimum, scope 1 and 2 emissions should be calculated to create an accurate carbon footprint assessment. The areas you have more control over are where businesses have the most capability of measuring and reducing. Though, recycling your plastics to cut down on scope 3 landfill emissions is a great initiative to put in place.
After determining your scope, the next step in carbon footprint assessment is to collect the data surrounding these scopes. For example, the gas mileage of vehicles, as well as your energy and water bills, are all relevant pieces of data to collect for your assessment.
Calculate your emissions
Once you have your data collected, you can calculate your emissions to determine your carbon footprint. Recalculating on an annual basis can help you keep track of the progress of your reduction efforts. If you’d like professional guidance with this step, at Becher Plastics we offer carbon footprint analysis services.
Create a plan for reduction with Becher Plastics
After you’ve prepared your Fox Valley business for a carbon footprint assessment, the team at Becher Plastics can help you analyze opportunities for emission reduction. No matter your business or industry, we can provide expertise on how to measure and reduce your carbon footprint, and offer guidance on recycling efforts you can use to operate more efficiently.
Contact us today to get started.