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How to calculate your company's carbon footprint?

In summary

Calculating a carbon footprint for a company is a crucial step in understanding and reducing its environmental impact. This article guides you through the various steps of calculating a carbon footprint, the environmental and economic benefits, and the tools and resources available to help you in this endeavor.
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What is a Carbon Footprint?

A carbon footprint is an accounting of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by a company's activities:

It quantifies both direct emissions, such as those from the combustion of fossil fuels, and indirect emissions.

The goal of a carbon footprint assessment is to identify the main sources of emissions to implement effective and optimized reduction strategies.

This process helps companies and organizations better understand their environmental impact and contribute to the fight against climate change.

Why Calculate Your Company's Carbon Footprint?

Environmental Benefits

Calculating your company's carbon footprint offers several environmental benefits:

It measures the impact of activities on the climate by quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

By identifying the main sources of emissions, the organization can implement targeted actions to effectively reduce them.

It contributes to the fight against climate change by decreasing the company's overall carbon footprint.

It promotes the adoption of more sustainable practices.

It encourages ecological innovation.

It motivates more responsible use of natural resources.

Economic Benefits

Conducting a carbon footprint assessment also presents significant economic benefits for companies:

Identifying sources of energy waste and optimizing processes can lead to substantial savings in operational costs.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions can open access to specific subsidies.

Better resource management improves overall efficiency and productivity.

Complying with environmental standards and anticipating future regulations protects the company from financial penalties and costs related to non-compliance.

Regulatory Compliance

Calculating your company's carbon footprint ensures compliance with current environmental regulations. In France, the Law Grenelle II requires companies with more than 500 employees to conduct a carbon footprint assessment. In Belgium, emissions reporting is mandatory for certain industries under regional environmental law. At the European level, the Regulation (UE) 2018/1999 on the governance of the energy union requires monitoring and reporting of emissions. Internationally, the ISO 14064-1 standard governs the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. Complying with these standards helps avoid penalties and improves the company's credibility.

Comment calculer le bilan carbone de son entreprise

Brand Image Improvement

Conducting a carbon footprint assessment and taking measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions significantly enhance a company's brand image. Consumers and business partners are increasingly sensitive to sustainable practices and prefer companies committed to environmental protection.

By transparently communicating efforts and results, an organization can strengthen its reputation, attract environmentally conscious customers, and positively differentiate itself from competitors.


Using tools like D-Carbonize and consulting carbon experts allows you to easily conduct your carbon footprint assessment, while complying with regulations and improving your organization's image.

Steps to calculate your company's carbon footprint

Define the Scope of the Carbon Footprint

Defining the scope of the carbon footprint is the first step in conducting a carbon footprint assessment. It determines the sources of greenhouse gas emissions to include. It is essential to consider direct emissions (Scope 1), such as those from fuel combustion, and indirect emissions associated with energy consumption (Scope 2).

It is also recommended to include other indirect emissions (Scope 3), such as those related to business travel, raw material purchases, and waste management. This delineation allows for a comprehensive and accurate evaluation of a company's carbon footprint.

Data Collection

Data collection involves gathering all information related to energy consumption (electricity, gas, fuel), business travel (mileage, public transport), and production processes. It is also necessary to collect data on raw material purchases, waste management, and logistics activities. These data must be precise and complete to ensure the accuracy of the results. Using specialized software, such as D-Carbonize, can facilitate this task and ensure compliance with international standards. Depending on the enterprise type: multi-sites companies, factories, SEM, ect the number of data collected may significantly vary. However, note that the data collection complexity is directly correlated to the organization of the enterprise. the more organized, the easiest it is.

Use of Emission Factors

Emission factors are coefficients used to convert activity data into greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions:

They vary depending on the type of energy source and the processes used. For example, each liter of fuel or kilowatt-hour of electricity consumed can be multiplied by a specific emission factor to obtain the corresponding emissions in CO2 equivalent (CO2e). The

These factors are generally provided by recognized organizations such as the ADEME or the GHG Protocol.

Their use standardizes the calculation of emissions and ensures the comparability of results between different organizations and periods.

Calculation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

The calculation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions involves converting collected data into CO2 equivalents using appropriate emission factors. Each source of consumption, such as energy, travel, or raw materials, is multiplied by its specific emission factor.

The results are then summed to obtain the company's total emissions. This calculation includes direct emissions (Scope 1), indirect emissions related to energy (Scope 2), and other indirect emissions (Scope 3).

Analysis and Interpretation of Results

Analyzing and interpreting the results of the carbon footprint assessment involves identifying the main sources of emissions and understanding trends:

This step determines the most emitting sectors and assesses the impact of the company's activities on the climate.

By comparing the results with sectoral averages, it is possible to position the company relative to its competitors.

Finally, this analysis helps define emission reduction targets and prioritize actions to improve the organization's environmental performance.

Tools and Resources for Carbon Footprint Calculation

Carbon Footprint Software

Carbon footprint software are essential tools for calculating and analyzing a company's greenhouse gas emissions. D-Carbonizeis a comprehensive and intuitive software that simplifies this process. It allows for the collection of accurate data, calculation of emissions according to international standards, and easy generation of detailed reports. D-Carbonize also offers interactive dashboards to visualize emission sources and track progress. Using such software facilitates emission management and the development of effective reduction strategies.

Methodological Guides and Reports

To calculate a company's carbon footprint, it is essential to rely on recognized methodological guides. ADEME provides standardized methodologies and practical guides for conducting an accurate carbon footprint assessment. The GHG Protocol also offers tools and guidelines for measuring greenhouse gas emissions. These resources allow companies to follow structured approaches that comply with international standards. By consulting these guides, companies can ensure the rigor and reliability of their carbon footprint assessments, thereby facilitating the implementation of effective reduction strategies.

Specialized Carbon Consultants and Service Providers

Hiring specialized carbon consultants and service providers can also facilitate the carbon footprint assessment for a company. These experts possess in-depth expertise and use recognized methodologies to accurately evaluate greenhouse gas emissions. They offer services ranging from data collection to result analysis and formulation of emission reduction recommendations.

By calculating your company's carbon footprint, you identify the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions and implement effective strategies to reduce them. Using tools like D-Carbonize and consulting carbon experts helps optimize your efforts while complying with regulations and enhancing your organization's image.

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