Do a basic calculation
The simplest way to get started is to collect yearly amounts of electricity use, fuel consumption and refrigerant top-ups related to your business.
Using 12 months of data allows seasonal variations to average out. It can be helpful to align the measurement period with your financial or calendar year.
To do this you will need yearly totals for:
- electricity in kilowatt hours (kWh)
- natural gas in kWh or cubic meters
- liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in litres
- petrol or diesel in litres
- refrigerant top-ups in kilograms
Use the SME Carbon Footprint Calculator to calculate your carbon emissions in metric tonnes per year.
Use the GHG Protocol: Scopes 1, 2 and 3
The Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol is widely used to report carbon emissions to the government, suppliers, investors and others.
It puts emissions into categories called ‘scopes’ and provides a more complete accounting of the carbon produced by your business. To comply with the GHG Protocol you must measure Scopes 1 and 2. Scope 3 is optional.
Emissions produced directly from your business activities, including:
- petrol or diesel used by company vehicles
- LPG, natural gas or other fuel burned on site
- refrigerant losses
Emissions produced from the electricity, heat and steam your business buys.
Emissions produced indirectly from your business activities, including:
- water supply and treatment
- shipping and distribution
- employee commuting
- goods and services you buy
- how customers use your goods and services
Calculate using conversion factors
Each scope has ‘conversion factors’ that calculate emissions produced per the amount of business activity.
To help decide what should be counted in Scope 3 calculations, use the GHG Protocol’s Scope 3 Evaluator. You can also download their detailed guide (PDF) to measuring Scope 3 emissions.
Hire a consultant
If you can’t measure emissions on your own, consider hiring a sustainability consultant. They can create a strategy to measure emissions in line with your business needs.