How to calculate a company's carbon footprint
In order to reduce a company's carbon footprint, it first needs to be suitably measured. This has to be based on good methodology, defining its scope, collecting and analysing both direct and indirect data. These factors enable us to calculate the carbon footprint of our company, and establish an effective action plan in which the reduction objectives are detailed by means of specific actions.
Some of the measures to reduce the footprint may involve changes in workers' habits, reorganising spaces, and adjusting to new standards of efficiency and technology.
Calculating the carbon footprint step by step:
- Activity data: One of the methods to calculate the carbon footprint consists of multiplying the data for the activity (or consumption) by the emission factor. The data for the activity indicate how much of that activity generates greenhouse gases. An example could be the amount of fuel used to maintain heating.
- Emission factor: This indicates the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by each unit of the activity data. These emission factors vary depending on the company's activity.
- Result: The calculation resulting from this formula will be a specific amount of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2 eq), which can be measured in grams, kilograms, tons, etc. Based on this, a reduction plan should be elaborated and any regulations and changes required need to be established.
Measures to reduce a company's carbon footprint
Some companies that are now very aware are concerned about addressing this situation and are taking steps to reduce their carbon footprint:
- One of the best practices is ecological and forest restoration on damaged lands throughout Spain. This is what Endesa is doing.
- Companies like Seat have developed one of the most significant and largest photovoltaic plants in the world. They have managed to generate 17 million kW/h per year. This is equivalent to the energy needed for 20% of the production of its León model.
- The cement company Cemex is committed to reducing its emissions by 25% by next year, and to developing construction solutions that are more sustainable and energy efficient.
In addition to companies as important as these, all workers can contribute if the management of the organisations instils the 3 'R's: Reduce, Re-use and Recycle. These principles are essential, since there are elements that may be in our hands for just a few minutes, but that will remain on the planet for millions of years. We ought to be thinking whether they could have another use before throwing them away.
There are many ways to minimise waste in our daily lives. From taking a cloth bag when going to the supermarket, to avoiding the purchase of packaged products or those that are packaged in plastic or glass. Buying in bulk, using one bag for a number of products, re-using bottles and boxes, all these are good options, as well as using re-cycling bins properly.
The sustainable use of electricity at home is another ideal measure that is easy to implement. Reduce the hours you use domestic appliances, make the most of the washing machine's capacity, adjust the thermostat on air-conditioning systems, use energy-saving light bulbs or LEDs, and unplug equipment that you are not using. In addition to these measures, Endesa can also help you save money and take care of the environment by consuming only renewable, sustainable and green energy when you contract the Única tariff.
Manage procedures online to avoid having to travel by car to in-person appointments, or consider options such as public transport, scooters, bicycles and electric cars. Find out how many things in your daily schedule you can do on foot or in an electric vehicle.
How to reduce the carbon footprint of an SME
Endesa, with the collaboration of the Excellence in Sustainability Club, have drawn up a guide to good practices for CO2 management with a view to reducing the carbon footprint of companies and SMEs.
It is possible to make a gentle transition towards decarbonisation which avoids new investment in fossil fuels and ensures security of supply. This involves using electricity as the source of energy.
Spain has made a firm European commitment to achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2050. This involves the application of different rules with regard to public policies and business initiatives.
A commitment to energies that guarantee greater sustainability enables the suitable management of the companies that use them, as they conscientiously examine the impact of their carbon footprint and this is what enables them to reduce it. If you have an SME, we can show you the help available to make your business more energy efficient.
We have developed a guide to help you to manage the opportunities and risks of the greenhouse effect, since it covers emissions from right across the business value chain. This makes carbon an essential part of decision-making.