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Why and How You Should Measure Your Carbon Emissions From the Get-Go

Measuring carbon emissions might seem “optional”, but you’ll gain significant advantages from it in the short and long-term. Here, we give you a step-by-step outline of why collecting carbon emissions data is important, and how to measure it most effectively.

Measuring your carbon emissions now

Beginning today will benefit you today

It’s never too early to start measuring your carbon emissions, and measuring these will benefit you from the get-go.

“We’ll start measuring and reducing our carbon emissions when we get bigger,” is a very common notion among companies with limited budget and resources. But the increased efficiency, awareness, risk mitigation, and future-proofing that results from measuring your carbon emissions as soon as possible are invaluable.

Budgets can be tight. Operational efficiency is therefore imperative. A key way to measure that is through your carbon emissions. Take a paper manufacturer, Papyrus Co. as an example. By measuring carbon emitted, the company was able to identify which areas of the factory were producing the most emissions, and introduce measures to reduce them. Heating Papyrus Co.’s facilities was contributing disproportionately to their carbon output. They therefore re-adjusted the default settings on boilers, which decreased the carbon emitted from heating by 8%.

Additionally, measuring carbon emissions builds awareness around the impact your company is having on our planet. There is a growing importance placed on reducing our carbon footprint, and a business’ climate responsibility and awareness is key. Having robust numbers to describe exactly what carbon you’re emitting can help make carbon emissions more tangible for your staff and customers by showing how your company is contributing to the overall health of the planet.

As the climate crisis becomes more severe, more regulatory compliance around carbon emissions is being enacted. By proactively measuring and managing your carbon footprint, you can stay ahead of evolving compliance requirements. This not only safeguards against potential legal repercussions but also positions the company as a responsible and compliant entity in an ever-changing regulatory landscape.

Future-proof your business

Above all, measuring your carbon emissions now, will make it much easier to measure in the long run and hit decarbonization targets as you evolve. Decarbonization not only contributes to your sustainability goals and boosts your reputation, but also benefits your business’ bottom line.

By measuring your carbon emissions from the get-go, you’re able to instill best measuring practices, observe the evolution of your carbon emissions as you grow, and begin to roadmap your decarbonization goals immediately.

Instilling the best measuring practices

By starting carbon emission measurement early, you’ll be able to trial measurement practices and find what suits your business best. Of course, specialized decarbonization software solutions can help you and your team with some quick wins.

Carbon emissions evolution data

Your organization’s carbon emissions will naturally grow as your business grows. Measuring this evolution enables your business to accurately predict how further growth will impact your carbon emissions.

For example, Papyrus Co. increased their manufacturing capabilities in 2012 by doubling their facilities. They haven’t expanded since but are planning to in 2025. Thankfully, they kept a thorough record of what impact the expansion had in 2012, so they can predict carbon emissions and adopt measures accordingly and better plan for 2025.

Begin decarbonization from the start

Growing your business while decarbonizing is difficult, but simply measuring carbon emissions from the get-go is already taking steps towards decarbonization. By collecting the data and analyzing it, you will naturally spot areas for improvement that can easily be addressed.

Zeigo Activate provides carbon emissions-related “quick fixes”, or operational measures or actions which reap rewards relatively soon

How to measure your carbon emissions from the get-go

Determine your carbon emission metrics

For different businesses, different carbon emission metrics will be relevant. While Papyrus Co. focuses on energy use, a transport company might focus on fuel consumption, and a commercial real estate company on heating. Different metrics might also be relevant for different parts of your business too.

Make sure you’re collecting the right data.

Get your carbon emission data in one place

Once you’re collecting the right data, make sure it’s useful! It’s important to make measuring carbon emissions as simple as possible, so collecting all the data in one place methodically is essential. Additionally, this makes it easy to share with stakeholders if and when that’s necessary.

On the Zeigo Activate platform, users are able to log their Scope 1 and 2 emissions data, and view all the data on a dashboard which displays their company’s historical and ongoing data all in one place.

Create a system to collect Scope 3 emissions

Scope 3 emissions include those indirect greenhouse gas emissions that occur in your value chain but are outside of your company’s direct control. These emissions can result from the activities of entities that you interact with, such as suppliers, customers, and other stakeholders.

Given that these emissions are indirect, collecting data for these sources can be more difficult. To collect them effectively, creating systems which involve your partners is important. As these systems often take time to set up and fine-tune, getting started immediately can avoid bumps later down the line, when Scope 3 emissions are perhaps more significant in your business.

Set a carbon emissions baseline

Setting a baseline for your carbon emissions is key to providing a point you can measure against. This makes it easier to identify changes or trends in your emissions data, and is an essential step in decarbonization. Starting to measure emissions as soon as possible enables you to have a baseline sooner, so that you can measure against it.

Set a target

If you’re beginning your decarbonization journey at the very start of your business, you might want to set a not-so-ambitious target at the start. Nevertheless, getting into the habit of setting a target to go along with the measured baseline, and involving employees in carbon reduction, is very beneficial for later decarbonization too.

Having a target is key to drive decarbonization. A solid number provides a tangible metric that your company is working towards and gives you a goal for which to track progress.

Zeigo Activate, a specialized sustainability software providing solutions for companies with 10 sites or less, enables you to determine your baseline based on historical energy data and identify relevant and achievable decarbonization targets.

Create a decarbonization roadmap

A target must be accompanied with a strategy to achieve it. That’s where creating a roadmap specific to your business comes in. The more data you have, the easier it will be to assess which actions will be most effective in reducing your carbon emissions. That’s why measuring your carbon emissions from the get-go is absolutely essential!

You don’t have to do this alone: Zeigo Activate helps you build your customized decarbonization roadmap. Based on your company’s baseline and selected target, the software helps you track and reduce your carbon emissions while providing manageable projects that you can begin right away.

There’s no better time than today! Click here to create your account and start tracking your emissions!