Measuring your carbon emissions (your carbon footprint) will give you a clear picture of the amount of carbon created by your business, and from which sources. Once you know the size of your carbon footprint you can think about the specific things you can alter to reduce your emissions. There are many tools available to help you do this, but the process is the same: Compile a year's worth of data to get a baseline measurement, and then use that to calculate your footprint. You can then make a plan and set targets to reduce your carbon, and if you want to go further, you can offset your carbon footprint to become carbon neutral or carbon positive.
The first step is to decide how you plan to calculate your footprint. There are a number of free calculators available, or you could choose to use a service such as those available from Toitū Envirocare or Ekos - both offer support to calculate your footprint, and can also make recommendations on how you can reduce it, and offset your emissions if you'd like to go carbon neutral or carbon positive. The calculators and requirements for the various services are slightly different so once you've decided which you'll use, double-check what the data requirements are before you start compiling the information.
You'll need a year's worth of data to come up with your carbon footprint. This can be a calendar year or financial year - whatever works best for you. So the first thing to do is to decide the time period and then compile the data - it's easier than you think!
You'll find information about what data you need to collect (and what to do with it) on this page: How to measure your carbon footprint (note - the data requirements outlined on this page are based on the requirements of the free Ekos Business Lite calculator. If you plan to use another calculator, check the requirements first).
If you need support, there are several organisations that can help you with this step - see the Helpful Resources below.
Once you have a year's worth of data, it's just a matter of using the calculator you've chosen to work out your carbon footprint. Check out the Helpful Resources below.
This article outlines what information you need to collect to measure your carbon footprint, where to find it, and how to record it.
Toitū Envirocare (formerly Enviro-Mark Solutions) has several tools which enable you to calculate and offset emissions for your travels, or your household activities. Alternatively, you can also directly offset your emissions if you have already calculated your footprint. There is a special deal for TIA members.
The Ekos purpose is to help build a low carbon economy by making carbon offsetting and carbon neutrality more affordable and accessible. They provide a cost-effective solution for businesses wanting to measure their carbon footprint and work towards becoming carbon neutral. Ekos is a charitable trust. Check out their free carbon calculator for businesses
The Ministry for the Environment has produced guidance for New Zealand organisations wishing to self-report their greenhouse gas emissions. It encourages best practice in greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting. It explains how to produce an inventory, provides the latest emissions factors for common sources of emissions in New Zealand, enables organisations to easily calculate their emissions through an interactive spreadsheet, and provides examples to show what a GHG inventory and GHG report look like.
Carbon Click has easy to use calculators to estimate the carbon footprint of your household or business.
This is a free emissions calculator
Catalyst® Ltd has easily downloadable, excel-based carbon calculators for businesses and households.
Our Climate Declaration is an incorporated society, inspiring and empowering people to act to fight global warming.
Want know more about carbon footprints? Read this article: What is a carbon footprint and how can you measure it?