Carbon accounting is the process of calculating a company’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. Companies should calculate an initial emission benchmark and track reduction efforts across time (for example, annually).
For most organizations, calculating carbon emissions is just the first step. Since most corporate GHG emissions are closely linked with energy use, calculating GHG emissions can help identify ways to reduce energy use, which also reduces costs.
There is a multistep process used to calculate GHG emissions. First, set organizational and operational boundaries. After which, collect data on electricity, fuels, and other business activities that lead to emissions. Review this data for accuracy, completeness, and assumptions used. Next, apply relevant emission factors, which represent GHG emissions per unit of activity. Finally, share your emissions footprint with stakeholders, develop an action plan, and add third-party verification to ensure accuracy.
Identifying the assets that contribute the most carbon can help a company focus its reduction efforts, reach its goals faster, and communicate results to key stakeholders.