When a company wants to measure its environmental impact, one of the first steps is to calculate its carbon dioxide emissions. This is an important step because CO2 emissions make up the majority of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. In this article we explain what the Bilan Carbone® method for calculating carbon footprint is and why it’s important in a sustainable strategy.
What is the Bilan Carbone® method for calculating carbon emissions?
The Bilan Carbone® method was originally developed in France to assess the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions generated by an activity. It was founded in 2003 by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME). Other methods for calculating carbon footprint do exist and differ in a number of ways. With the results, business managers have an accurate view of the carbon footprint their activity generates and how it impacts the environment.
Calculating carbon emissions is therefore the first step to raising awareness of a company’s environmental impact. The Bilan Carbone® method provides a detailed diagnosis and makes it easier to identify priority actions needed to reduce the carbon emissions generated by an activity.
What do we find in this method ?
A comprehensive approach to assessment that takes equal account of:
- “Direct” emissions (Scope 1)
- “Indirect” emissions (Scopes 2 & 3)
This means that the company’s entire operations are taken into consideration and all stakeholders are able to better understand the how and why of implementing an emissions reduction strategy.
Why is it important to calculate CO2 emissions?
As mentioned above, calculating carbon footprint using the Bilan Carbone® method helps a company to understand its impact on the environment and to become aware of its share of responsibility in the issues currently facing our society.
Beyond a company’s commitment to corporate responsibility, certain external factors can no longer be ignored: the climate emergency, a growing demand for “due diligence” and the expectations of increasingly aware consumers are all reasons to calculate a company’s carbon footprint.
In summary, calculating carbon footprint has two objectives and allows companies to:
- Measure their greenhouse gas emissions and then create a roadmap to reduce them
- Understand the future challenges of fossil energy and to “decarbonise” as far as possible, to no longer be entirely dependent on this type of energy
Once a company knows its carbon footprint, emissions calculation and reduction are not the only benefits. It can also use this new information to:
- Build brand image and customer engagement. Bring legitimacy to the company’s sustainable approach
- Anticipate future regulatory obligations on pollution
- Reduce costs. The idea that reducing emissions has a bigger cost than payback is a myth. By reducing energy costs and avoiding carbon taxes, your company is able to allocate these funds to other departments
- Access potential financial aid to initiate a carbon footprint assessment. Several institutions such as ADEME offer financial assistance to relieve the cost of the process
How to start the carbon footprint process ?
First, it’s important to understand that a Bilan Carbone® assessment cannot be carried out by just anyone. A company seeking to do so must call upon an ADEME-certified service provider or else appoint an internal project manager trained in this method.
Other calculation methods are available and may differ in a number of ways, in which case you will need to do some research and contact a professional whose calculation method is closest to your needs.
Calling on a specialist consultant is generally the best option because s/he has knowledge and expertise specific to the process. The consultant can work with your internal project manager to collect the figures needed for measurement and also understand the company’s operations in order to best adapt the future action plan.
There are several phases to calculating carbon emissions, each as important as the other. The consultant will propose an awareness-raising campaign on the company’s environmental impact. S/he will identify the necessary activities and data, and collect and analyse them. Once the analysis and calculation are complete, a customised roadmap can be recommended for launching the company’s emissions reduction strategy.
At A Beautiful Green, we collaborate with our partner Traace. Traace provides companies with a platform to calculate and monitor carbon emissions. Their mission is To technologically equip all organizations to accelerate their transition to a sustainable model for the environment and society.
A sustainable and responsible strategy is made up of several steps, the most essential being measurement of a company’s carbon emissions. If you’d like to know more about the process or want to discuss your “carbon footprint” project with us, get in touch!