Normative Business Carbon Calculator follows the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the widely-used international protocol for carbon accounting. The engine uses science-based emissions data and a combination of spend-based and activity-based methods to calculate a company’s greenhouse gas emissions.
Each business activity that is input into Normative is paired with a corresponding emissions factor, which generates the calculation of its total carbon footprint:
∑ (Business activity × Emission factor) = Company Carbon Footprint
The Business activity is the input into Normative from your company – for example, the liters of fuel consumed, kWh recorded, money spent, etc. There are built-in assumptions around the business activities that will be listed below.
Emission factors indicate the amount of greenhouse gasses emitted for each activity per unit – e.g. the kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent (kg CO2-eq) per liter, kWh, currency unit, etc.
Normative’s carbon accounting engine uses emission data from government databases, academic studies, company reports, and regulatory disclosures. These are regularly updated by Normative’s Sustainability Engineers.
Data input: liters of fuel used or money spent on fuel
If the number of liters is available, this number is used. If only the amount of money spent on fuel is available, that number it is matched with the prices depending on the company’s country, to convert the total cost into to the amount of liters consumed.
The liters consumed are then paired with an emission factor. Petrol is the assumed fuel type. If heating is marked as natural gas, this is also added in scope 1 by pairing either the energy usage or the amount spent on the gas, and paired with a natural gas emission factor.
Possible fugitive emission or combustion of fuels other than diesel and petrol are not covered with Business Carbon Calculator.
Data input: energy consumed or money spent on electricity/heating, size of facilities
If energy consumed is entered, this kWh is paired with a country-specific emissions factor.
If money spent is entered in the electricity/heating section, this is paired with the cost per kWh in the company’s country, to be converted into electricity usage in kWh.
The electricity usage is paired with the residual mix emission factor in the company’s country of operation. If spend and energy consumption are not available, the average kWh per m2 is used based on the size of facilities data, with the assumption that the facilities are common office spaces.
Heating is calculated in a similar manner, either from energy consumption, spend, or size of facilities, and the average cost per kWh or kWh per m2. For all heating options except natural gas, it is assumed it is under the operational control of the company, thus that the emissions from heating fall under Scope 2.
Possible cooling and steam are not included in the Business Carbon Calculator.
Data input: money spent on different categories
For spend-based calculations, EXIOBASE Multi-Regional Environmentally Extended Input Output (EEIO) Model is used to calculate upstream emissions from expenditure data. The multi-regional EEIO emission factors contain the average ‘cradle-to-gate’ greenhouse gas emissions generated by purchasing a specific product or service, based on the industry.
In the calculations, the world-wide average for the different industries is used. In order to be consistent with the spend-based methodology, the activities not covered by EXIOBASE were addressed by coupling emission factors per unit of activity (e.g. kgCO2-eq/kWh), taken from the British ministerial department DEFRA (Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs), with their respective cost per unit of activity (e.g. EUR/kWh) taken from relevant sources (e.g. EUROSTAT, the statistical office of the European Union).
Downstream emissions, employee commuting, waste, upstream leased assets, fuel- and energy related emissions, and other Scope 3 categories that cannot be deducted from expense data are not included in Business Carbon Calculator.
Calculations based on the costs of services and goods always include some uncertainty. The produced emissions results with the Business Carbon Calculator by Normative are an emissions estimate that can be used to drive action. The results are not verified by Normative, but are self-reported data from each company. If the company does not report all expenses or does not fill in all fields, the full carbon footprint of the company is not covered and the results are inaccurate.