- Why have I received a Net Zero Survey?
- What is a corporate carbon footprint?
- Guidance for specific questions
Why have I received a Net Zero Survey?
A company may send you a Net Zero Survey for a variety of reasons, but usually, it's because your company in some way stood out when they calculated carbon emissions in their value chain (Scope 3). The survey is designed to give the other company insight into your emissions and plans to reduce them so that they can decide on the next steps to collaborate with you and other companies that they survey through our platform.
What is a corporate carbon footprint?
A corporate carbon footprint measures the emissions of your entire company or organization, and is defined in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol as consisting of:
- Scope 1 - Direct emissions from vehicles, fuel use and/or chemical leakages
- Scope 2 - Indirect emissions from bought electricity, heat, cooling and/or steam
- Scope 3 - Indirect emissions occurring in the organization’s value chain.
You can read more about the process of calculating a corporate carbon footprint in Carbon Accounting Explained.
This is in contrast to a product carbon footprint which measures the emissions of a specific product that you offer. Such a footprint is sometimes called a life-cycle assessment (LCA) or an Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) and is currently not accepted in our Net Zero Survey, but may be in future.
Questions in the survey
The Net Zero Survey contains questions on three main topics:
- Emissions: Your emissions during a particular period
- Intensity: How your emissions measure in relation to your revenue and workforce
- Reduction: Any targets or plans you have to reduce your emissions in the near future.
NB: If you are company of 50 people or below and do not know your emissions yet, you can use the Business Carbon Calculator by Normative to estimate them.
Scope 1 emissions
Your Scope 1 emissions are given in metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e), and refer to your direct emissions from vehicles, fuel use and/or chemical leakages, given in metric tonnes of CO2.
In this section you are also asked for your the percentage biofuel that your vehicles use, which is an indicator of how much you have reduced your emissions in scope 1.
Scope 2 emissions
Your Scope 2 emissions are given in metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) and refer to your indirect emissions from bought electricity, heat, cooling and/or steam.
Percentage renewable energy
The percentage of the energy that you use that is certifiably renewable, i.e. where your energy supplier has certified that it comes from renewable sources.
The way in which your emissions in scope 2 were calculated and can either be location- or market-based.
Scope 3 emissions
Scope 3 emissions are often the most complex to measure, and refers to emissions from activites in your value chain. These, too, are given in metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e).
Scope 3 emission categories
Emissions in Scope 3 are divided into 15 categories according to the Greenhouse gas protocol. Each of these categories is measured using different data and not all categories apply to all companies. Here is a full list of the 15 categories. Usually the categories that apply to your company will be listed as part of your sustainability report.
Percentage supplier-specific data
The percentage of data that you have collected straight from suppliers is an indicator of how much of your data comes directly from your suppliers and is an indicator of how accurate the data you have used in your scope 3 calculations are.
Some companies have their emission footprint audited to assure that the calculation is correct and a good foundation for reporting and reducing their footprint. While not required, this may be interesting to the customer that sent you the net zero survey as an indicator of how verifiable your emissions measurement is.
Emission intensity can be calculated on any number of dimensions, but the specific ones requested in our survey are:
Your company's emissions divided over your revenue. This can be used as a de-facto emission factor to calculate emissions in a spend-based analysis.
Your company's emissions divided by the number of employees. This can be tracked over time and show emission reduction in relation to the size of your workforce.
Reduction targets & activities
This section's main purpose is that of giving the sender of the survey insight into your ambitions ahead: are you on a path to reducing your emissions or is this further into the future for your company?
Questions in this section refer mostly to targets that your company may have set to reduce your emissons. A target is made up of a scope, a percentage and a target year, coupled with the base year that reduction measured against.