Measuring Your Carbon Footprint
Measuring the environmental impact of your business will help you decide which areas to focus on first. You can then also monitor the impact of any changes you make over a longer period of time.
There are a wide range of free online tools to help you calculate your carbon footprint.
Here in Cumbria, CAfs (Cumbria Action for Sustainability) has developed a carbon calculator tool for small to medium-sized businesses, which measures carbon impact in units of carbon dioxide equivalents: C02e.
Use the CAfs carbon footprint calculator
The University of Cumbria’s ECO-I North West scheme is also providing free carbon audits.
The Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiative
Developed by the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance to help calculate the carbon impact of overnight stays and meetings within hotel venues.
Creative Green Tools
Take the first step and measure your impacts with the CG Tools. Created specifically for the creative industries.
Offers a carbon calculator for service businesses, based around three areas: office, travel and consumption.
The Emissions Calculation Tool
Helps businesses internationally to estimate their greenhouse gases based on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol.
Reducing your carbon impact is always the best option (and this toolkit gives you plenty of advice and practical tips to do this). However, you may also want to look at carbon offsetting.
Carbon offsetting is all about trying to balance out the C02 and greenhouse emissions your business produces by reducing emissions elsewhere, often in the form of environmental projects such as investing in renewable energy projects or reforestation.
Some carbon offsetting schemes are better than others, so beware of ‘greenwashing’ – when a company focuses more on marketing itself as eco-friendly than genuinely reducing its environmental impact.
Increasingly eco-conscious consumers are looking for authenticity and won’t settle for anything less, so if you are going to offset your carbon make sure you can prove your carbon calculations and thoroughly research offsetting schemes. If you can, it is better to use a local offsetting scheme so the impact is felt locally.