How do I calculate my business' carbon footprint?

In today's sustainability-minded world, understanding and addressing your business’ carbon footprint is a strategic imperative. Companies are under increasing pressure to measure, manage, and reduce their carbon emissions — but those that do can reap the rewards with greater brand reputation, potential sales, and investment.

Indeed, 44% of consumers now consider the overall energy used in the products and services that they purchase; and 89% of investors consider ESG (environmental, social, and corporate governance) factors in their investments. Chief among these is lowering carbon emissions. Yet, 87% of small and medium-sized businesses in the UK don’t know what their total carbon emissions are. Hence why we’ve created this six-step guide to calculating your carbon footprint.

Step 1: Gather Data

Start by collecting data on your business operations, including energy usage, transportation, waste generation, and other activities contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. 

Step 2: Calculate Emissions

Utilise carbon footprint calculators or software tools tailored for businesses to input your data and estimate your carbon emissions. These tools consider factors like energy sources, transportation distances, and waste disposal methods.


Step 3: Identify Hotspots

Analyse your results to pinpoint areas within your business that contribute the most to your carbon footprint. This could include energy-intensive processes, transportation, or supply chain activities. From this, you have a clear framework for reducing your emissions either by investing in new energy sources or electric vehicles, or installing automatic heating and lighting (more on this later).


Step 4: Set Reduction Targets

Establish clear and achievable carbon reduction targets aligned with your sustainability objectives and budget. These targets should be specific, measurable, and adaptable to evolving business needs. Involve stakeholders from across your business to ensure widespread buy-in and to understand how different business functions can contribute to your carbon reduction efforts.


Step 5: Implement Efficiency Measures

Use your insights on emissions hotspots and your reduction goals to identify the technologies, processes, and fuels you can invest in to decrease your carbon emissions. Look for quick wins, such as switching to a lower carbon fuel like LPG (liquid petroleum gas), or promoting sustainable behaviours among employees.

Read more: How can my business shift to a lower carbon fuel?


Step 6: Monitor and Report

Regularly monitor your emissions and track progress toward your reduction targets. Transparently reporting your efforts enhances your business's reputation and demonstrates a commitment to sustainability to stakeholders. It can also encourage employees to keep finding new ways to improve your business’ carbon footprint, since they see their efforts paying off.


An Ongoing Commitment

Which segues nicely into the final point, that reducing your business’ carbon emissions is an ongoing effort. Small actions every day can add up to a lot of progress long-term — positioning your business as a responsible steward of the environment while driving your future success.


Learn more about your carbon footprint and how LPG can support it in our new eBook