The short answer – we can’t prove it!
With carbon calculator software developing and improving each week (or so it seems!) it is difficult for small businesses to calculate their own emissions affordably year on year and get comparable results. At the end of 2020, we beta tested the Carbon Labs calculator designed for service-based SMEs. At the time it was one of the few accessible and affordable calculators to incorporate spend based scope 3 emissions. This calculator was discontinued. We did our best at the end of 2021 to come up with comparable data.
By March 2022 we were asked to beta test the new Normative calculator which made it possible to compare some year-on-year data
So we have one set of figures that show that we have reduced our emissions per employee slightly and another that says we have increased them slightly. Should we worry when between 98 – 100% of our emissions (depending on calculator used) are Scope 3 indirect emissions? Although we have updated our sustainable purchasing policy most of our supply chain emissions are out of our control. While we continue to lobby our suppliers, we cannot measure what impact this might have had – if any. (See Appendix 1 for 2021). But we can rationalise our purchases further, including an investigation of secure, zero emission cloud storage. We will lobby our main suppliers to become carbon neutral as part of a commitment to Net Zero emissions and change suppliers if necessary. There are other areas that we can work on see full reportfrom page 4.
Meanwhile we are continuing to beta test new carbon calculators that integrate with bookkeeping software. We think this is the way forward and hope that this will simplify the process for busy and potentially cash strapped SMEs. We hope to have some results of our research soon. As these business calculators evolve there will be less differences between each calculator. Meanwhile we advise our clients not to get hung up on the measurement – but to concentrate on the actions needed to reduce emissions with a workable net zero strategy.
You can read the whole story here which includes:
- What is going well to reduce emissions/ achievements in 2021
- Strategy for 2022 – as suggested by the TBLA team
- Offsetting– To compensate the 2021carbonemissions
- Summary of TBLA Climate Advocacy in 2021
- TBLA employees’ individual changes since last workshop
Fran joined TBLA in 2019 after a long career in teaching. Her roles include human resources management, ESG and Marketing. During 2020 and 2021 she developed the TBLA Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) impact service. As part of the process, she has carried out an impact analysis of the TBLA social and governance profile and a whole company carbon calculation with accompanying target setting, carbon reduction action plan and impact narrative. Fran is now working alongside the growing ESG team to help more SMEs plan for Net Zero around the UK. Fran is also on the board of the Norwich Business Climate Leaders hoping to accelerate the transition to Net Zero.