Carbon footprints: What SME’s need to know

by Green Moves 08/02/2024

Services, Social & Environmental Services

This is a sponsored article from member Green Moves.

What’s a carbon footprint?

Your carbon footprint is a measure of the amount of greenhouse gases that you, your product, or your organisation release into the environment. Calculated in terms of carbon dioxide, your carbon footprint is like a mark we leave on the planet through our activities. 

Why does it matter?

Your carbon footprint matters because it quantifies the impact of what you’re measuring on our environment. If you understand your impact, you can reduce it and contribute to a healthier planet. It’s one of the many steps towards environmental responsibility and sustainability. Taking action on climate change now is more crucial than ever because its impacts are accelerating. We’re now experiencing more frequent and severe weather events, rising temperatures globally, and humanitarian concerns due to climate change, resulting in food insecurity, water scarcity and exacerbating poverty.

“We’re the first generation to feel the impact of climate change, and the last generation that can do something about it.”

Barack Obama

Reporting in Scopes

Emissions are categorised and reported in Scopes to ensure there is no double counting. Scopes 1 and 2 are activities the organisation has control over and are mandatory, and Scope 3, reporting indirect emission sources, is voluntary but highly recommended to be included. Scope 3 emissions are required to be reported for any certification. It takes time and is a bit of a process, but its well worth the effort and does get easier each year. Below the process most carbon footprints take so you know what to expect.

Carbon reporting scopes

The process

It takes time and is a bit of a process, but it’s well worth the effort and does get easier each year. Below is the process most carbon footprints take so you know what to expect.

Image Source: Climate Active

How much does it cost?

The cost of this process varies based on business size, complexity of the organisation and how much you do yourselves. Carbon Neutral Certification with Climate Active also adds an extra layer of costs which are determined by the size of the organisation and emissions.

How long will it take?

For the initial footprint, you can expect anywhere from 1-6 months from start to finish and this is dependent on how quickly the raw data is obtained. Climate Active Certification extends the initial period to 5-12 months and also depends on data availability. Climate Active recertifications must be done within 4 months of the period end (for example if 30 June 2024 is the period end date, the recertification must be lodged by 30 October 2024).

Where to get help?

While it’s possible to do your own carbon footprint, it’s best to get an expert help you with the process and calculations, at least for the first few footprints. We’d like to encourage organisations to commit to measuring and managing their emissions. The goal is to not only minimise emissions but also work towards achieving carbon neutrality, and net-zero in the future. 

If you need assistance in conducting inventories, creating transition plans, or navigating the intricacies of carbon footprints, we’re here to help.  Information on crafting your carbon footprint can be found here. If you’re looking for certification learn more here. Or contact us for a discussion.

This is an article from a Member. The views and opinions we express here don’t necessarily reflect our organisation.

by Green Moves

This a sponsored post published on behalf of Green Moves.