How to calculate and reduce your company's carbon footprint?

Posted on: 28 December 2022
CO2 is one of the main elements of air pollution. In an ecological approach, calculating the carbon footprint of your company will allow you to evaluate your production of said gas. This will allow you both to know where you stand, to raise awareness, and to discover means of action to reduce your carbon footprint.

Definition of carbon footprint

The carbon footprint is the aggregate of all greenhouse gas emissions that can be attributed to a company, entity or individual. This therefore includes both the emissions made directly by your activity, such as fuel and plastic consumption, and indirect consumption. For example, the gas emissions caused by the production and transport of the raw materials you use are part of your carbon footprint.

In order to enable you to measure your carbon footprint exhaustively, ADEME has defined a method known as the carbon footprint.

The carbon footprint to calculate your company's carbon footprint

The carbon footprint is used in France to account for all the greenhouse gas emissions of a company or an individual. We will see what the specificities of the carbon footprint are, and how you can set it up internally to calculate your carbon footprint.

What is the carbon footprint?

The carbon footprint is a method developed by ADEME, which it defines as “an assessment of the quantity of greenhouse gases emitted (or captured) into the atmosphere over a year by the activities of an organization or 'a territory".

The official name of the carbon footprint is the “balance sheet”, for greenhouse gases. Indeed, although carbon is part of most greenhouse gases, this assessment allows you to assess all of your emissions, even on less represented GHGs.

This method establishes a unique way for all companies to assess the carbon footprint. This allows:

  1. Compare yourself objectively to the market
  2. To have a comprehensive review to find areas for improvement
  3. To benefit from a single criterion to assess your compliance with legal standards

The calculation of the carbon footprint to compare objectively with the market

The State regularly transmits key figures to be reached for different industries according to production. The unique calculation basis that is the carbon footprint allows you to see where your company is in terms of the production of greenhouse gases. If you have improvements to make compared to your competitors, Dametis will be able to support you in these actions.

A comprehensive review of your carbon footprint

The carbon footprint is also the assurance of not forgetting the source of carbon production, which would give you the impression of producing little. On the contrary, you will be able to discover that the choice of your supplier or the storage of your products are potential axes of optimization.

A single criterion for the legal assessment of the carbon footprint

Finally, it is the assurance of fair treatment in the eyes of the law, in particular to ensure that there is a single evaluation criterion for the carbon tax and for the other laws relating to greenhouse gases. This is why all companies with more than 500 employees are required to carry out an annual carbon assessment.

How to set up the carbon footprint to calculate the carbon footprint?

Your company's carbon footprint can be implemented directly internally. Indeed, you have all the necessary resources on the Ademe website. Their site contains suitable resources, whether you are a company, a community or a public institution. This will of course require a lot of time, whether it is to read the documentation, or to get the necessary elements from your colleagues and suppliers.

This is where Dametis comes in. Thanks to our software, you will save time and be more precise on your carbon footprint. Our technicians can also use their expertise to assess your company's GHG emissions and give you peace of mind with the certainty of an exact carbon footprint.

Identify ways to reduce your company's carbon footprint

Identify reduction possibilities, anticipate the future

Once your carbon footprint has been calculated, how do you use it? The first thing is to assess which of your poles produce the most greenhouse gases, and to check whether:

  • It's more than you anticipated
  • The attribution of the carbon footprint share seems logical to you
  • You can earn on some of them

Indeed, in a production plant, you may estimate that your main source of GHGs will be the use of the Plant's machines. In some cases, a more efficient maintenance solution, or, in other cases, the modernization of your installation will allow you to improve your energy efficiency. Energy efficiency can be maintaining your production by reducing your consumption or increasing your production at the same consumption. In particular, the State offers aid to facilitate the ecological work of companies.

If the production of a pole surprises you, it will be necessary to understand the reason for its place in your GHG assessment, and, if necessary, to find alternatives.

For example, if the storage room in which you collect raw materials ten times a day is 15 km from your company, the journeys will impact your carbon footprint. Perhaps it will be more profitable to invest in premises near your place of production for all or part of your raw materials.

Dametis experts support you, on simple cases, as well as more complex optimization cases.

Implement carbon offsetting measures

Finally, there are carbon offsetting measures, which will remove carbon from nature, or allow others to produce less of it. This carbon is subtracted when calculating your carbon footprint.

These measures include, in particular, reforestation, the installation of solar panels intended for use outside the company, or the support of other environmental projects.

Blog articles