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What are the steps of a carbon accounting?


Reducing your organisation's carbon footprint starts with understanding the steps involved in a carbon audit.
This complex but essential process involves preparation, data collection, calculation of emissions, analysis of results, implementation of reduction actions and regular monitoring.
By defining clear objectives, collecting accurate data and involving all stakeholders, you can not only reduce your carbon footprint but also improve your operational efficiency and enhance public confidence.
Start your decarbonized future in good hands


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Carrying out a carbon accounting is a complex and yet essential task to measure an organization's emissions and make effective decisions to reduce its impact on the environment. Discover in this guide all the steps to carry out a carbon accounting easily.

Sheets of notepads and a marker symbolising the stages involved in carrying out a carbon accounting

Step 1: preparation of the Carbon Accounting

Setting goals

First, it is essential to determine why the organization wants to carry out a carbon accounting. Goals can range from regulatory compliance, to improving environmental responsibility, to identifying opportunities to reduce energy costs. Clarifying these goals helps guide all decisions made in the next steps.

Delimitation of the perimeter

The scope of the carbon accounting refers to the activities and emission sources that will be included in the analysis. This can include the company's direct emissions, as well as indirect emissions. Defining this perimeter is crucial to ensure that the Carbon Accounting is representative of the organization's activity.

Step 2: data collection

Types of data to be collected

To collect carbon accounting data, several types of data must be collected, such as energy consumption (electricity, gas, fuel), transport (company vehicles, business trips), consumables (supplies, raw materials), waste management, and water use.

Methods and tools for effective collection

For efficient collection, automation via specific software helps to minimize errors and save time. A good integration of the company's systems also facilitates the transfer of the necessary data. Finally, training and communicating with the personnel involved is essential to ensure the accuracy of the data collected.

Step 3: emissions calculation

Calculation methodologies

The calculation of emissions for a carbon accounting uses emission factors, which are coefficients indicating CO2 emissions per unit of consumption (e.g. tonnes of CO2 per kWh). These factors vary depending on the energy source or mode of transportation. Emissions are calculated by multiplying consumption by these factors. For a representative calculation, it is essential to distinguish emissions into three categories, Scopes : direct (Scope 1), indirect energy-related (Scope 2) and indirect (Scope 3).

Use of software or spreadsheets for calculation

To facilitate these calculations, companies can use specialized carbon accounting software that incorporates up-to-date databases of emission factors, or spreadsheets such as Excel for small or start-up businesses. These tools help manage data, perform accurate calculations, and track emissions over time.

L'engagement des parties prenantes : un levier puissant pour des actions de réduction durables.

Step 4: analysis of the results

How to analyze the data obtained?

To analyze carbon accounting data, using graphs and tables makes it easier to understand emission trends and distributions. In addition, comparing these results with internal and external factors makes it possible to assess the sustainability of current practices and identify needs for improvement. Finally, looking at changes in emissions helps to identify seasonal or operational fluctuations.

Identification of the main emission items

Identifying the main sources of emissions by category helps target areas where interventions are most beneficial. Assessing emissions according to scopes 1, 2, and 3 helps to identify where the company directly controls emissions and where it depends on third parties.

Step 5: implementation of reduction actions

Emission reduction strategies

To effectively reduce emissions, it is essential to start by optimizing the energy efficiency of the processes that consume the most. This makes it possible to switch to renewable energies to reduce energy-related emissions. Minimizing unnecessary travel by promoting teleworking and optimizing logistics, while investing in less polluting vehicles, also reduces the organization's environmental footprint.

Importance of Stakeholder Engagement

Actively engage all stakeholders by regularly training employees on emissions reduction targets, collaborating with suppliers and partners to adopt sustainable practices, assigning clear responsibilities for monitoring reduction actions, and communicating your progress and commitments externally to strengthen your reputation and encourage others to follow. These coordinated strategies are essential for effective and sustainable emission reductions.

Step 6: monitoring and reporting

Regular monitoring of emissions is crucial to assess the effectiveness of abatement strategies, enable rapid adjustments and alignment with sustainability targets. Carbon accounting software, such as D-Carbonize, improves this task by reducing errors and providing real-time data. In addition, emissions reporting must adhere to international standards such as GRI or ISO 14064, to ensure transparency, comparability, and build stakeholder confidence.

Now you know the essential steps to achieve a carbon accounting, from preparation to analysis and reporting. Each phase is crucial to understanding and reducing your organization's environmental impact. By implementing these steps methodically, you can not only achieve your sustainability goals but also improve operational efficiency and build stakeholder trust.

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