The first step in any journey is choosing your destination.

Getting to Net Zero for your business can feel like a mammoth task, as can planning how you get there. Net Zero as a concept is yet to be officially defined, but organisations have outlined their standard requirements:

Target A: United Nations ‘Race to Net Zero’
A campaign which drives Net Zero commitments that are in line with the Paris Agreement. This includes halving the global emissions by 2030, to achieve this the UN expect a 90% reduction in emissions in scope 1 and 2 and a 50% reduction in scope 3 emissions, all by 2050.  

Target B: Science Based Target Initiative (SBTi)
The SBTi has a foundation of 4 key requirements: rapid, deep emission cuts, set near and long-term targets, no Net Zero claims until long-term targets are met, and go beyond the value chain. This reporting standard helps businesses set targets to tackle global warming and become Net Zero by 2050.

Target C: To scope 3 or not to scope 3?
Currently, there are no UK legal requirements to reduce scope 3 emissions. But that doesn’t mean we should ignore it. Scope 3 emissions are from assets your organisation indirectly impacts – for example, employee travel to work.

They are also impacted by who you choose to buy from and partner with and how you or your customers dispose of products in a way that creates the least emissions. With conscious and thoughtful networks, scope 3 emissions will naturally decrease in line with infrastructure improvements to a level that ensures minimal impact on our world. 

Packing your essentials 

So, you’ve chosen your destination target. Now you need to record a standard, baseline year to measure your emissions against. As an example, Stark chose 2019 as their baseline year as 2020 was less than typical, in many ways. You will need to record a year’s worth of data.

To do this, you will need to breakdown and categorise specific pieces of information about your business in order to then calculate the emissions.  Don’t worry about having different units for each item, they will get converted later. Where you have your utility data on Stark ID you can use our energy analytics reports to help you with quantifying your carbon emissions.

This is where our checklist comes in:

The checklist 

Scope 1

  1. Number of vehicles within your business, fuel type, vehicle type and miles (Bonus points if you get the grams per Km from DVLA!) 
  2. The gas usage of your buildings (this can be found using Stark ID)
  3. Bioenergy (if you have it) 
  4. Refrigerants (if you have it) 

 Scope 2

  1. The electric usage of your buildings (this can be found using Stark ID)
  2. Overseas Electric (Use the countries conversion factor)
  3. UK electric for EV (Make sure you don’t double count)
  4. Heat and Steam (AKA heat networks)

 Scope 3

  1. Separate your emissions by upstream / downstream (prior / post of point-of-sale)
  2. Liaise with key-internal stakeholders to establish:
    • waste throughout the business,  
    • capital goods related emissions
    • Travel by internal staff to external meetings / events
    • Distance and method of commuting
    • Anything else relevant (like concrete if you’re in construction) … basically look at the below link for factors related to your business 

Get going!

Once you’ve completed the checklist for each scope, you can begin converting the different quantities to a singular metric, KgCO2e (kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent). This can be done by using the UK Government’s GHG reporting conversion factors.

There are different conversion factors for each year – make sure you use the correct conversion factor for the year you are converting.

And now your baseline year is calculated and ready to be reduced and measured against.

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Our Net Zero Commitment [Video]

Benji Martin, Head of Stark Zero discusses Stark joining the UK Government’s SME climate hub and the United Nations’ Race to Zero campaign and Stark's commitment to be Net Zero by 2030.