ISO Show

#92 The Seven Steps of Carbonology – Quantify


This episode is the second of our 7-part mini-series explaining our Carbonology service, a 7 step methodology to help companies become Carbon Neutral.

We’re joined by our resident Carbonologist David Algar to talk through the second step of the Carbonology process, Quantify.

What does the Quantify Step entail?

Calculating your emissions : This will be carried out for Scope 1 2 and 3 emissions.

  • Scope 1 refers to sources you own, and are direct emissions from combustion or fugitive emissions from systems that contain GHGs, so gases that have escaped from somewhere they shouldn’t have such as an AC system.
  • Scope 2 are emissions from imported energy, this refers to electricity for most organisations but can also include steam, heating and cooling. For ISO 14064 and PAS 2060 you’ll need to quantify 100% of the Scope 1 and 2 emissions within boundaries
  • Scope 3 refers to all other indirect emissions from sources you don’t own or necessarily have control over. For example business travel in vehicles your staff own. Scope 3 makes up the majority of emissions for most organisations and is generally more complex to gather data for.

What information do you need to quantify your emissions?

You’ll need to collect and process data. This can be:

  • Activity or financial data on a specific source. Common examples include utilities bills, meter readings and expense reports for business travel or fright
  • Interviews and surveys. For instance a survey to better understand how staff commute to work, or the proportion of staff that work from home.

Why is Transparency so important?

There are 6 key principles of ISO 14064, but one David is particularly mindful of is Transparency.

  • Ultimately your work will be made publicly available, and not everyone may agree with your methods, but you’ll need to record all estimates, assumptions, exclusions, and uncertainties associated with your methods. As well as generally being good practice, being transparent allows the end user of the work you produce to make informed decisions with a reasonable degree of confidence.

So what’s the purpose of quantification?

As well as giving you a total footprint for a specific time period, calculating your carbon footprint will enable you to do a few things:

  • Firstly you’ll be able to see what are the most emission-intense areas of your organisation, i.e. where the emissions are coming from, whether this is a specific location, or activity or even department
  • Secondly, by using this information you will be able to prioritise the areas that need to have their emissions reduced. This will form the basis of your Carbon Footprint Management Plan which we will go into more detail on in the next few episodes.

What are the Outcome and Deliverables?

One outcome of this exercise is a GHG Inventory. This is a requirement of ISO 14064 and put simply, is a big list of categorised emission sources, and the specific GHGs they produce. Here you’ll also list all emission conversion factors you used to turn activity data into tonnes of specific GHGs.

Another useful outcome is that you’ll be able to instantly and credibly respond to any tenders that require you present green credentials. As we’ve mentioned in previous podcasts, in the UK it is now a requirement for most large public sector contracts for the tendering organisation to outline its emissions.

Being able to easily present your carbon footprint to a potential tender could help in winning new business, particularly if you’ve completed this in line with an international recognised standard

Join us next week as we move onto the next step, Commit.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 14064, PAS 2060, or another standard – Contact us!

David Algar is also available for a free Carbonology consultation until the end of March – Book your slot Here

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