baseline carbon footprint

  • steve baird

  • Bogong Horseback Adventures
  • Tawonga

We are about embark apon a major restructure of our business including investment in new built facilities. How do we record a baseline carbon footprint so we can assess the improvements we make.

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Hi Steve,

Great question. Sounds like a good opportunity to start measuring.

It may at first seem complex but depending on your business activities measuring a baseline carbon footprint can be a straight forward process.

Firstly, determine your businesses activities that have carbon emissions and the time period you would like as your baseline. Emissions sources are usually related to building's energy consumption, vehicles, flights, and waste. Check an online carbon calculator as these should outline common carbon emissions sources. Have a look at the solution linked below.

The time period can be for any 12 month period. Best to choose a 12 month period that is appropriate to your business. Businesses often choose to calculate their carbon footprint either for a financial or a calendar year.

The next step is to collect all the relevant data for this time period and enter it into a carbon calculator, and it will give you your carbon footprint/baseline. This will be your baseline which you can use to compare your new facility's footprint against in the future.

Alternatively you can enter your energy and other carbon related data into a spreadsheet. You might find this is a better solution for ongoing carbon footprint monitoring. To do this you will require some additional details to convert your energy consumption in to carbon emissions. EPA Victoria have a great carbon footprint (also referred to as a Greenhouse Gas Inventory) that outlines how they calculate their annual emissions. Have a look at http://epanote2.epa.vic.gov.au/EPA/publications.nsf/PubDocsLU/1299?OpenD...

If you choose to monitor your emissions yourself you will need to get emissions factors to convert energy and waste into carbon emissions. You can find these documented at http://www.climatechange.gov.au/publications/greenhouse-acctg/national-g...

Finally, you could engage a consultant to complete the carbon footprint for you. VECCI Sustainability Services can calculate your baseline footprint and provide this in a report. If this sounds easier call VECCI Sustainability Services on 03 8662 5196 

Good luck,Andrew

Added: 5 Nov 2010
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