What is a carbon footprint and how do you measure it?

A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organisation, event or product.

You can start measuring your emissions by recording how much gas, electricity and water you use in a month:-

For example, if you used 20,000 KWhrs electricity in a month, you would convert that to an amount of greenhouse gas emissions by multiplying 20,000 by 0.21233 (0.21233 is a specific conversion factor issued by UK Government) which gives you a figure of 4246.6 Kilograms of Carbon Dioxide equivalent (KgCO2e) i.e., your carbon footprint.

It is expressed as a carbon dioxide equivalent in Kilogrammes (KgCO2e) because this allows different GHG’s to be compared on a like for like basis.

For any quantity and type of greenhouse gas, KgCO2e signifies the amount of carbon dioxide which would have the equivalent global warming impact (rather like converting several different currencies into a common currency like Dollars or Euro’s for instance).

At AIM Professional Services we are working with SME’s to help them achieve Net Zero emissions. Working with our colleagues Wylde Connections we hope to encourage many more SME’s to show leadership and get on with reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.

Here is a simple 10 step guide to getting started on the Journey to Net Zero.

IT & OFFICES

  • Use power saving mode on computers
  • Power off all desktops, laptops and other equipment at end of day
  • Work from home where possible
  • Avoid printing documents where possible – go digital

LIGHTING

  • Switch off unnecessary lighting
  • Make better use of natural light

HEATING

  • Check thermostat settings
  • Install and check timer switches

VENTILATION

  • Fit and maintain shutters

AIR CONDITIONING

  • Consider whether it is really necessary
  • Check temperatures and times
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