So, you want to write a carbon reduction plan; or maybe you want to be carbon neutral; or perhaps you're just curious. For whatever reason, you've made the decision to calculate the carbon footprint of your business. What's the best way of going about it? Should you use a carbon calculator or a consultant?
This article will explore the benefits and downsides of each approach, and an alternative you may not have considered, before highlighting the most important question to ask yourself before you start.
There are a wide variety of carbon calculators available that vary hugely in the scope of emission sources covered, the amount of organisational complexity they can handle and the frequency and source of data input. If you decide to use a calculator you are going to be doing the work yourself, so you need to choose carefully to make sure you get one that suits your needs and is easy to use.
Consultants offer a bespoke service, tailoring their process to match your goals and the needs of your organisation. They offer total flexibility but may be expensive.
An alternative you may not have considered is a carbon management service, such as Go Climate Positive. This offers many of the benefits of both calculators and consultants at a more affordable price than consultancy by using a standardised process that has enough flexibility to meet most needs.
Before you decide on the best approach to calculating your carbon footprint the most important thing to do is to understand your goals. Knowing why you want to calculate your carbon is key to picking the right solution for your business:
Making a clear list of your goals will enable you to evaluate whether a particular carbon calculator, consultant or carbon management service is best placed to meet the needs of your business.
Want help to decide? Book a free consultation to talk through your options.
Eoin (pronounced like "Ian") is the Chief Carbon Coach and founder of Go Climate Positive. He is a Practitioner member of IEMA (the Institute of Environmental Management) and a sustainability lead on the Cheltenham Economic Recovery Task Force.
Eoin says, "Sustainability is no longer a 'nice to do', it is business critical. My goal is to make it accessible and affordable for every business, however big or small , no matter their market sector."