How We Estimate

When it comes to measuring your footprint, there are multiple methods and approaches. It’s important to emphasise that our tool is an estimate and by no means an accurate picture of your total footprint.

We are constantly adjusting the tool based on real-world experiences and usage. However, accepting some level of imprecision is a trade-off we embrace for speed; enabling businesses to embark on their sustainability journeys more swiftly and start taking action quicker is more important than accuracy.

Our Data

Our calculations are rooted in the UK Government emissions factors dataset. We take a set of assumptions based on broad industry figures, reports and averages on things like average business water usage, electricity usage, and working hours. From this, we make rough calculations from how you answer a question to produce a figure based on the latest UK Government emissions factors.

Our Approach

When it comes to measuring your footprint, there are two paths:

  1. Spend-Based Analysis - This requires accurate accounting information and giving up your financial data to get an estimate. These tools are becoming increasingly accurate, however, often miss out on tra
  2. Activity-Based Analysis - Much more hands-on and manual, it requires extensive data gathering which is time-consuming and can be a barrier to the important bit - taking your first steps.

Our approach is much more conversational. Though it may lack the pinpoint accuracy of other methods, it gets you thinking about your environmental impact, spotlighting areas commonly missed by other methods. Our tool makes it effortless to consider aspects like visitor travel, which typically go unnoticed or are too cumbersome (and potentially expensive) for consultants to give in-depth analysis.

Instead, through conversational questions we can gather a rough idea of the scale of operations of your business and provide you with an estimated footprint. This takes a few minutes, rather than hours, to set up a Spend-Based Analysis, or days, as required for Activity-Based Analysis.

Our Assumptions

On each question, we make an assumption about your business. The magic is our IP, so we can’t share full details, but let’s take LEDs as an example.

This is part of your Scope 2 emissions, or “Buildings and Energy” category.

We assume that for every employee, there are around 5 light bulbs. Each light bulb is likely around 50W if it is an incandescent bulb or 5W for an LED.

So, per employee we have either 250W or 25W of power being used.

We can calculate this out over a year based on your number of employees.

We assume 250 working days per year per employee, working an 8-hour day.

If you answer “Yes” to full LEDs, this results in a calculation of 5 bulbs consuming 5W per hour, 8 hours a day, 250 days per year, per employee.

This gives us a total energy consumption figure, which we then multiply by the UK Grid conversion factors for that year.

Now, in this scenario, some limitations may mean it’s not as accurate:

  • Extra holidays taken by staff.
  • Longer working hours due to industries such as manufacturing which may be operational 12 hours a day.
  • Changes in number of staff throughout the year.

However, due to follow-up questions, we can make some corrections to adjust this:

  • Is solar power being used?
  • Are timers in place to reduce emissions?
  • Is the organisation a high or low-consumption business?

While this will never be as accurate as finding your bill's data, it should land you in the rough ballpark without needing to go hunting for this information. We have baked in a similar margin for error and self-correcting maths for each question to provide a rough estimate.


Supply Chain

For the Supply Chain, we cannot take into account your total emissions unless we have access to your account data. Even then, it would require your account data to be accurate.

Instead, we ask you about decisions you have made in the business according to suppliers you may have already changed.

We highly recommend looking at what you sell and exploring Life Cycle Analysis tools to identify this if you are a high-volume business, or use Spend-Based methods if you are service-based.

Working from Home

Similarly, if you are working from home we make assumptions that you are working 8 hours a day and from a “usual” house with a mixture of gas and electricity. If you are in a Passivhaus with solar panels and a battery pack, this figure will be inaccurate. For full methodology on the figures used for working from home, please see UK Government emissions factors.

By embracing these simplifications, we aim to place you within the "ballpark" of understanding your carbon footprint, streamlining the path to more sustainable business practices without the need for exhaustive data mining.