Understanding the need: Why calculating carbon footprint matters

by VesselBot’s Marketing Team

November 7, 2023
footprint calculator for carbon calculations

Scope 3 emissions include all indirect emissions that occur outside of a company’s direct operations but are vital to its functioning. These emissions, often generated by suppliers, transportation services, or in the post-production phase, can sometimes exceed the emissions from direct operations, especially in big corporations. Their complexity makes Scope 3 emissions too significant and challenging to build your company's reduction emission strategy on average conversion factors.

Almost every conversation about curbing global warming begins with the significance of compliance in big corporations. As major contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions, these organizations hold responsibility for leading the change.

Compliance with regulations demands a thorough procedure to calculate carbon footprint, particularly regarding indirect emissions included in Scope 3. It’s about acknowledging that a company’s environmental impact stretches beyond its immediate operations, reaching far into its supply and value chains. As regulations tighten and the global community becomes more eco-aware, corporations that overlook these emissions risk regulatory backlash and reputational damage.

Learn more about Scope 3 emissions

How to calculate carbon footprint on a basic level

The most popular method for corporations to calculate carbon footprint is multiplying each of their activity’s data by its average emission factor. Methodologies like UNE-ISO 14064 and GHG Protocol are based on this model. But why use average emission factors instead of accurate data?

Underestimating or overestimating emissions by relying on generic conversion factors can leave corporations vulnerable to accusations of greenwashing. Nowadays, more than ever before, corporate integrity is under scrutiny, and companies cannot afford missteps in environmental reporting.

With VesselBot, businesses can confidently sidestep such pitfalls, ensuring their environmental claims are both accurate and credible.

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Why average emission factors don't reflect actual conditions

Let’s take maritime operations as an example. Average emission factors for vessels don’t consider the multitude of variables affecting their carbon emissions. First and foremost, the distance a ship travels directly impacts fuel consumption, with longer routes causing higher emissions. Each company may choose a different route for its shipments. Don’t you want to know which ones are the greener ones?

Additionally, a vessel’s speed can influence emissions, as faster vessels steam more due to the fuel they consume. Ships navigating through shallow waters (squat effect) or sensitive ecosystems might need to adjust their speed or take alternate routes, potentially increasing their carbon footprint. Weather conditions, such as strong winds or rough seas, can escalate fuel consumption. Fuel type is also a significant factor as some fuels, like heavy fuel oil, are more polluting than others.

Also, the TEU utilization factor of a vessel is of paramount importance. A fully utilized vessel has a lower environmental impact since it transports more cargo for the same amount of emissions produced.

All these crucial details and parameters can’t fit in calculation systems based on average factors. If you want to be precise in your company’s carbon footprint calculations, you need accurate data!

Why use accurate data to calculate carbon footprint (CCF)?

The ability to accurately calculate carbon footprint is essential for corporations as legislations become more demanding. CCF (Corporate Carbon Footprint) calculation holds businesses accountable for their environmental impact and provides a framework for adaptation strategies, ensuring sustainability and compliance. Alongside the analysis of direct carbon emissions comes the need for accurate external data that help effectively measure indirect Scope 3 emissions.

co2 footprint

Calculate carbon footprint using VesselBot’s data

It’s becoming more and more evident why precision and real-time accuracy are essential when determining a corporation’s carbon footprint. VesselBot’s GHG Emissions Monitoring System ensures that businesses get clear and accurate data about their Scope 3 emissions, whether they originate from ships (vessels), airplanes, or trucks.

With an impressive data accuracy of around 92%, VesselBot grants detailed insights into your organization’s carbon footprint.

Using a top-notch carbon calculator, actual data, and a commitment to transparency, the corporate world is well-poised to lead the change, championing sustainability values that ensure both their success and our planet’s. Informed choices, strategic collaborations, and assessing their carbon footprint are valuable starting points for companies initiating their sustainability endeavors.

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