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A holistic approach to solving a company's carbon footprint

Carbon footprint management is a multidisciplinary field and therefore requires a comprehensive approach. As the carbon footprint generated by the company is also an indicator of economic activity, its optimization is intertwined with the functioning and structure of the entire company. From energy, operation of technologies and buildings, waste management, purchase of materials, investments, logistics to human resources. A holistic approach to the carbon footprint management system therefore covers all areas of society, as it addresses each of them in detail in relation to the total carbon footprint produced.

Carbon footprint balance

If you are going to throw yourself into optimizing your carbon footprint, which should always precede compensation, you need to make a basic consideration. In this balance sheet, you identify in which area you have the greatest potential for reducing it. Each company will have this unique carbon footprint balance sheet, even within a single industry. It is therefore not possible to generalize the balance sheet and transfer it across different fields.

A certain tool is the GHG protocol, today probably the most widespread basic manual for quantifying the carbon footprint. While the financial balance sheet distinguishes between assets and liabilities, the carbon footprint balance sheet is divided into so-called scopes into three areas:
Scope 1: Direct emissions
Scope 2: Indirect emissions
Scope 3: indirect emissions from outside the company's own activities. Scope 3 is then differentiated into another 15 sub-areas.

A plan for subsequent optimization will emerge from the basic balance sheet conceived in this way. Pareto's rule also applies in the case of the carbon footprint, where 80% of its production is usually caused by 20% of the company's activities. And it is necessary to concentrate the most energy on these 20%.

Carbon footprint enumeration and management

It is good to rank the individual measures according to the cost of optimizing one tonne of CO2 equivalent. After all, there will be a difference between changing the vehicle fleet, purchasing energy from renewable sources and optimizing the operation of air conditioning or central cooling. This is where the multidisciplinarity and holistic approach mentioned above manifests itself the most. It is possible to quantify the carbon footprint on the basis of knowledge of coefficients and procedures according to ISO standards, ie GHG protocol.

However, if you want to competently design carbon footprint management in order to gradually minimize it, it requires a deeper knowledge of individual processes. For these reasons, we recommend involving a wider range of responsibilities on the part of the client within our projects and not just the corporate energy or ecologist.

Regulation and reporting

Last but not least, the energy footprint projects also include energy-climate regulation. The outputs must be prepared so that the company can subsequently use the carbon footprint data according to sector-specific GHG reporting requirements, whether direct or secondary. The latter may typically be, for example, towards financial and banking entities for which the obligations under Directive 2019/2088 / EU (SFDR) will be new and will transfer this burden of GHG reporting from funded projects to their clients (product level ESG or principle adverse impacts).

Carbon footprinting and optimization is a multidisciplinary field. As a technology company, we bring a technological aspect to the originally scientific field in the areas of its quantification, reporting, optimization, compensation or we provide online monitoring of the carbon footprint.