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.
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.