March 14, 2024

How Are Carbon Emissions Measured?

How Are Carbon Emissions Measured?

One of the things we value at Net0 is guiding customers in the direction of market trends and regulations. Since things are constantly changing, we are consistently innovating to keep your business eco-friendly, competitive, and compliant.

If you want to know how to measure carbon emissions precisely and analyze them for effective net zero strategies, easy reporting, and transparency, then this article is for you. We'll show you how to use Net0 emissions management software to measure and analyze carbon emissions across all scopes. Whether you are just getting started on your net zero journey, or you've been in the sustainability game for a while, Net0 can streamline and simplify your entire emissions management process.

Scope 1, 2, 3, and 4 emissions explained

A corporate carbon footprint includes all direct and indirect emissions related to a company’s activities, thus taking into account all upstream and downstream activities happening outside of the reporting company's walls, including the life cycle of a product and how it is disposed of.

Here is the brief on scope emissions:

  • Scope 1 direct emissions come from owned or controlled sources by the reporting company.
  • Scope 2 indirect emissions come from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling used by the reporting company.
  • Scope 3 are indirect emissions that occur in a company’s value chain, outside of the reporting company's walls.
  • Scope 4 emissions refer to emission reductions that happen outside of a product’s life cycle or value chain, but as a result of the use of that product. It also includes home working emissions.
scope 123 emissions value chain emissions flow chart

Why are carbon emissions measured?

Besides the overwhelmingly hot temperatures that have gotten increasingly worse every year this past decade, the obliteration of microscopic organisms which are crucial for the food chain and set off a dangerous chain reaction if disturbed, the health of the planet is alarming and without immediate action will only continue to spiral.

  • Consumer demands

Conscious consumers have developed a moral mentality to buy products and use services that are greener when given the option. They want proof of no greenwashing. With social media, for every compliment or referral given to an eco-friendly company, backlash is also hurled at companies that are unwilling to meet the demands of a dying planet and its protective Millennial and GenZ target audience that will have to suffer in the future as a result of past generations' actions. Now that we know more and have better technology, there's no excuse not to utilize it.

Regions across the globe have begun implementing regulations to measure and report carbon emissions. We'll look at one example below regarding Europe:

Due to new CSRD measures, here is what the next few years will look like in the EU and for non-European countries that generate "a net turnover of €150 million in the EU and which have at least one subsidiary or branch in the EU":

According to the European Council, "the application of the regulation will take place in three stages:

  • 1 January 2024 for companies already subject to the non-financial reporting directive
  • 1 January 2025 for large companies that are not presently subject to the non-financial reporting directive
  • 1 January 2026 for listed SMEs, small and non-complex credit institutions and captive insurance undertakings"

Reporting must be completed by an accredited independent auditor or certifier. Net0 is aligned with all globally-recognized standards and generates GHGP-compliant reports in real-time, empowering you to become Net0 Certified™ with verified certificates that are hosted on our blockchain-powered platform. Not only does this protect you from risking your compliance with an unknown entity, but it increases your desirability amongst investors and stakeholders increasing your revenue. Moreover, it reduces a significant amount of effort for businesses when they don't need to seek various sources for accounting, reporting, and certifications, making Net0's carbon accounting software the most complete solution out there.

  • Investor expectations

Even investors who aren't "ESG investors" are trusting sustainable companies and backing them as a priority instead of businesses that have no net zero strategy and don't provide ESG data.

How do you calculate your carbon emissions?

First, plan your carbon accounting methodology by taking all of the activity-based data you can collect from suppliers and then use spend-based data to calculate any of the left over emissions data for the GHGP recommended hybrid approach to carbon accounting. This is easy to do with Net0 by entering raw data in the custom emissions factors fields or by uploading utility bills and invoices from direct emissions and letting automation do the rest.

The custom emissions factors in Net0's platform enable businesses to enter data from various resources across the supply chain or in diverse industries, covering anywhere from business travel with what type of plane tickets were purchased, exact distances in commutes and long-distance travel, fuel types used in any type of vehicle, manufacturing emissions, purchased electricity, leased assets, purchased goods, energy related activities, food consumed and wasted to move toward carbon neutral events, athletes' and teams' travel and diet regarding carbon neutrality for sports, and the list goes on.

Since Net0 allows businesses to add anyone they choose to the platform, everyone can get involved. Companies can add colleagues and vendors so individuals onboarded are responsible for recording and measuring the emissions data allotted to them. This integrates various parts of the value chain and not only alleviates the pressure of one person doing all the work, but it also brings to light the impact that carbon emissions have across the supply chain, thus diagnosing exactly where the sources of emissions came from. This shows key people the carbon reduction opportunities they can take towards carbon neutrality and how those changes will affect others in the supply chain while bringing value.

While the most precise way to measure indirect carbon emissions is to request consumption data from suppliers and service providers you work with, you don't always manage to collect all of it. This is why GHG reporting is normally done with a hybrid approach to carbon accounting, so as many emissions can be accounted for as possible.

Related content

For additional resources about carbon accounting please read the following articles:

How to Measure Your Business' Carbon Footprint
Carbon Accounting Methodologies for Measuring Emissions
10 Reasons Net0 Is the Best Carbon Accounting Platform
What Is Carbon Accounting?

How are carbon emissions measured?

1. Utilize AI-powered data retrieval via Net0's 10,000+ integrations and take advantage of fully automated emission calculations using 50,000+ emissions factors. You can't measure the data you don't have and that will lead to quantifiable reductions later on.

2. See your carbon emissions being measured in real-time. Net0's dashboard will come to life as it fills in with visuals, charts, and graphs to see the big picture, mapping your carbon footprint so you can reduce it.

net0 emissions management platform dashboard with colorful charts of your carbon footprint

3. Use Net0's simulator tool with predictive analysis to evaluate what your carbon footprint would look like when taking different emissions reduction approaches.

simulator tool with net zero targets filtered by date

4. Watch as the marginal abatement cost curve (MACC) tool evaluates what carbon cutting measures you can take now that lead to profitable decarbonization. This will help you reduce emissions with quantifiable data to stabilize your plans.

mac curve with carbon reduction options and filtered by country company sites

5. Set targets for your net zero strategy and report on progress on the Net0 dashboard that you can share with stakeholders if you choose to.

Why Net0 carbon management platform?

When businesses are able to measure precisely and analyze their carbon emissions in one platform, emissions management becomes uncomplicated and they can finally report quantifiable progress in the direction of net zero, boosting transparency, minimizing greenwashing, and supplying products and services that help people without harming the environment. This also empowers the business to provide the highest quality products and services to their customers and build their rapport as an eco-friendly business.

Net0 is committed to our clients achieving success through getting to net zero. Not only success from the result, but during the whole journey. Our platform offers unmatched, diverse climate action features, helping dozens of organizations around the world thus far measure, analyze, and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

Book a demo to experience how Net0 guides corporations in measuring and analyzing their emissions with our intelligent simulations that help set benchmarks and targets in your organization that will get you to net zero effectively and fast. Start now and get on the path to deep business transformation.

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