We hear about emissions all the time and reducing carbon footprints is the number one climate change issue. What exactly does this mean for companies and multinational organisations? Let us clarify that and provide the answers.
“A ‘carbon footprint’ measures the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by a person, organisation, event or product. The footprint considers all six of the Kyoto Protocol greenhouse gases: Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).
A carbon footprint is measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e). The carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) allows the different greenhouse gases to be compared on a like-for-like basis relative to one unit of CO2. CO2e is calculated by multiplying the emissions of each of the six greenhouse gases by its 100 year global warming potential (GWP).
The main types of carbon footprint are:
Organisational: Emissions from all the activities across the organisation, including buildings’ energy use, industrial processes and company vehicles. Product: Emissions over the whole life of a product or service, from the extraction of raw materials and manufacturing right through to its use and final reuse, recycling or disposal.”
Opportunity lies in the ability to first measure and then reduce emissions across your organisation, and communicating this to customers and shareholders. By taking action on carbon emissions now, you will not only demonstrate your commitment to climate change today but take important steps to meeting the more stringent abatement requirements of tomorrow.