What is your company’s carbon footprint?

Reducing emissions by 55% by 2030 and reaching union-wide carbon neutrality by the year 2050

It’s more than eight years from the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015 when 195 countries took joint responsibility for limiting climate change. One of the key ways of stopping our planet´s warming is by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are being emitted into the atmosphere. In light of this, the EU has committed to two principal climate goals: reducing emissions by 55% by 2030 (compared to the 1990 levels) and reaching union-wide carbon neutrality by the year 2050.

In addition to the Paris Agreement, the political landscape is also being shaped by the European Green Deal which every business and citizen has the opportunity and, in fact, a duty to contribute. More and more companies are leading the way by committing to strive for increased environmental sustainability and reduced climate impact of their activities. The soon-to-be-finished Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will not leave room for inactivity, as it will make certain sustainability-related actions mandatory for the in-scope organizations.

But the sustainability rationale extends beyond the political agenda

Within the recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the market demand for sustainability which, in turn, has significant financial implications for businesses:

  • Reducing the climate impacts often helps to identify different possibilities for resource efficiency or waste reduction, thus lowering the operating costs.
  • Political goals of the European Union and its member states provide new directions for businesses’ climate actions, as achieving the goals by 2050 requires the development of new relevant support measures. Climate impact (incl. its reduction potential) assessment is becoming a mandatory prerequisite for applying for EU funding (e.g EU Innovation Fund).
  • Demand for sustainably produced products is rising in B2B and also B2C sectors. In the retail sector, the demand for sustainable retail goods is over 5 times faster than for regular goods (NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business, 2019).

At Civitta, we also believe that dealing with one’s environmental and climate impact is a driving force for the company’s development and a differentiating factor in the competition. Besides helping to identify potential risks and opportunities, sustainability action also enables cost reductions throughout the organization.

We advise companies to start their sustainability journey with identifying their impacts – for example via carbon footprint assessment. This assessment provides a detailed overview of the company´s current climate impact and helps to identify its main sources.

Carbon footprint assessment provides an insight into the resulting GHG emissions by product categories, input resources, and different production processes. We follow recognized standards and methologies, such as Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards (primarily The Corporate Reporting and Accounting Standard) – ISO 14000 series (internationally used framework for life cycle assessment – LCA) and other standards and guidelines (mostly for specific sectors and products).

Carbon footprint assessment considers all of the greenhouse gases included in Kyoto Protocol (e.g., CO2, N2O, CH4), presenting the result in CO2 equivalent (CO2eq). According to the GHG Protocol, organization´s climate impact is connected to company´s direct activities (scope 1 emissions), the generation of used energy (scope 2 emissions) and upstream, downstream resources and activities (scope 3 emissions).

In addition to carbon footprint (i.e., climate impact) we also evaluate other types of environmental impacts. For example, a prerequisite for applying for Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is LCA which enables to evaluate the impact associated with each lifecycle stage of the product (e.g., production, use, disposal etc.). Besides climate impact, LCA also considers other impact categories such as acidification of waterbodies and soil, water use, ozone layer depletion and toxicity.

Carbon footprint assessment is executed in three stages: 

The first stage focuses on identifying the sources of GHG emissions, for which all processes, inputs (e.g., electricity and materials), and end-products are mapped within the organization. Assessment will begin once the necessary input data has been collected and results with a custom-made calculation model. The assessment ends with a clear and transparent report which provides a concise summary of the analysis results. 

This can be done in a free format or by following certain reporting frameworks, such as the widely recognized Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards. In addition to the results, we also provide suggestions for impact reduction.

Carbon footprint assessment establishes a thorough, data-based foundation for setting a business sustainability goals and developing a clear roadmap towards impact reduction. The established quantitative starting point enables to measure your future progress and find opportunities for process optimization and cost reduction.