A carbon footprint is a climate change metric, calculated as the total greenhouse gases (GHG) emitted by an individual, organization, region, or product. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is considered the most important GHG given the high levels of global emissions, its capacity to absorb thermal radiation, and how it remains in the atmosphere longer than other similar gases contributing to climate change. Therefore it is used as a single point of reference, and most carbon footprints are calculated in CO2 equivalence. This calculation is standardized so that footprints can be compared between products and organizations.
But why calculate carbon? It is becoming increasingly important to monitor and reduce greenhouse gas emissions or even achieving the ambitious target of being climate neutral. Measuring your carbon footprint is an advantageous way to start taking a look at the overall impact your product or organization has on the environment and society, and setting emission reduction targets. Carbon calculations are also necessary for sustainability reporting, such as in complying with the Global Reporting Initiative, participating in the Carbon Disclosure project, or seeking an Eco Label.
Financially, direct prices for carbon are increasingly applicable as a result of carbon taxes, emission trading schemes (EU ETS), and businesses incorporating internal carbon prices. By measuring and managing their carbon footprints, companies can better understand and reduce their current costs and future risks associated with their carbon emissions. For instance, high levels of carbon-equivalent emissions can signal areas in need of energy efficiency upgrades, which can lead to future cost savings.
At Ecomatters, we are very experienced with carbon footprint calculations and can:
- Calculate the carbon footprint of your product or organization
- Help you set emission reduction targets and strategies
- Support your organization in calculating internal carbon prices
- Analyze costs and risks associated with pricing, tax, and trading schemes
The EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) establishes binding measures to help the EU reach its 20% energy efficiency target by 2020 and 30% energy efficiency by 2030. The directive requires companies with more than 250 employees (FTE) or an annual turnover of € 50+ million and an annual balance sheet total of € 43+ million, to conduct energy audits at least every 4 years.
The purpose of an energy audit is to increase insight into your own energy use and to map the potential savings measures. An energy audit gives an overview of all energy use and flows, and can highlight potentially outdated technologies and/or areas for efficient investment. This way, companies can most effectively implement energy efficiency and cost-saving improvements, which in turn help the EU as a whole achieve its ambitious energy efficiency targets.
In order to comply with EED policy, Ecomatters can help you:
- Perform an energy audit on location
- Create a schematic overview of existing energy flows (including transport)
- Identify the most important factors that influence energy consumption
- Develop a quantified overview of your company’s energy saving potential for the next 4 years
- Identify possible cost-effective energy saving measures to help you achieve energy savings