Measuring our organisational carbon footprint

December 21, 2021

How we are working to reduce, measure, and report our carbon emissions.

At Creative Land Trust, we’ve voluntarily adopted the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) for measuring and reporting our carbon emissions. It’s not mandatory for us but we think it’s an essential tool for monitoring the climate impact of our activities. 

How does the GGP work?  

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHGP) is internationally recognised and provides accounting and reporting standards, sector guidance, calculation tools and training for businesses and local and national governments. 

It aims to express emissions in a consistent format (Kgs or tonnes of CO2). Companies should measure emissions that they are directly responsible for (Scope 1) and indirectly via their energy use (Scope 2). There is then the wider question of Scope 3, which is everything else – eg supply chain, end of life disposal, employee travel and commuting. 

How do we apply it at CLT? 

As we have no office or vehicles, we have no scope 1 or 2 emissions as an organisation, so we have looked at our scope 3 emissions in as much detail as possible. 

We record all business travel mileage (other than trips taken by bike) and we also calculate a footprint for every product that we buy and for our estimated computer use. We used standard measures where possible (for example government-defined conversion factors for mileage) but sometimes we have to make an educated guess. For example, we may not be able to work out the exact footprint of a desk, but we can look at a range of data for furniture and determine an average. 

What does it tell us? 

For the six months 1st January to 30th June 2021, we have calculated our carbon impact as 0.16 tonnes, the equivalent of driving about 780km in an average car.  

However, the point of ongoing monitoring and reporting is less about coming out with an absolute figure and more about understanding which activities contribute the most to emissions. It certainly makes us think carefully about every single site visit and in-person meeting. 

What about our properties? 

In standard GHGP reporting, emissions from tenants are not considered to be part of the organisational footprint. However, we recognise that as landlords we can influence (negatively or positively) the footprint of the building and we will work with all our tenants to measure and reduce this. 

What else are we doing? 

In the past year, we have taken business decisions that will keep our footprint low, such as sourcing second-hand goods, and deciding not to have an office. All of our business processes are paperless. We have asked potential suppliers about the carbon footprint of proposed work, and we selected our auto-enrolment pension scheme based on the net-zero aspirations of the provider. As we work to open our first two studios in 2022 we will continue to calculate and reduce the footprint of our buildings and activities. 

Reducing carbon emissions is just one part of our sustainability policy – for more about this see here