What To Expect

Module three

Measuring your carbon footprint can be daunting, but this module is packed with practical resources to help you get started, and that’s exactly what you need to do - just get started! By the end of this module you’ll have your first carbon footprint measured.

Our guidance will get you to a great starting point for your first measurement. You’ll have your carbon footprint figure without getting overwhelmed in mountains of data and taking years to do it. You won’t get the measurement perfect first time, and that really is ok – you’ll improve over time. It’s better to have an imperfect measurement so you can start reducing your impact straight away, rather than spending time creating a perfect measurement without taking any action.

Our suggested minimum requirements of what to measure, and what we give guidance on in this toolkit, are all Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and some Scope 3 emissions.

For Scope 3 emissions we ask that you, at a minimum, measure:

  • employee commuting
  • business travel including accommodation
  • employees working from home
  • water usage and waste
  • purchased goods and services (measured by monetary value)

We also have a materiality tool to help you assess what other Scope 3 emissions you need to measure. Scope 3 emissions beyond our suggested minimum can be extremely difficult to measure and we don’t cover that in this toolkit, but you can use our list of useful organisations to find help calculating them.

We’ve included a range of Scope 3 emissions as it’s where your largest emissions are and where the biggest carbon reduction potential is. We’ve chosen certain Scope 3 emissions based on what most businesses have. Reducing these is a great position to get to so you can build on it to include more Scope 3 emissions that are unique to your business in the future.

Your data will show you where the hotspots are in your business and what aspects you can spend time refining measurements on. From there you can build on each aspect, whether that’s drilling down into your purchased services and goods emissions, including more variables in your working from home calculations or calculating your investments’ emissions – the possibilities are endless.

You’re not alone in this. Many of our ambassador companies have shared with us that they’re starting to retrospectively improve historic carbon footprint data as their knowledge expands, which is something you can do too.

This was last updated in October 2021 by Heart of the City.

Climate for SMEs: 4 Steps to Action is funded by the City of London Corporation in support of its Climate Action Strategy targets for a net zero and resilient Square Mile.

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