Change what we measure and incentivise

Measure and reduce your carbon emissions

Developing a carbon emission measurement and reduction strategy is an essential step in understanding your carbon footprint and improving your practices.

Did you know that if 50,000 of us reduced our personal carbon footprints by a quarter over the next year, we’d save 250,000 tonnes of carbon; the same as taking 54,000 cars off the road or planting four million tree seedlings!

A carbon management strategy is critical to growing your commitment to climate action. It involves developing a plan for measuring, avoiding, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and then offsetting (or onsetting) any remaining emissions.

As an individual, there are free apps you can use to measure your personal carbon footprint, take action and track your progress and impact.

If you are a small to medium sized business, you can use an online carbon emissions calculator as a basic guide to estimating your emissions. You can then put in place an action plan to reduce emissions which has management approval and team support, based on an understanding of your major areas of impact.

There are a couple of calculator options available currently, you can explore them below:

Climate Clever (Australia)

ClimateClever is an innovative, data-driven, online platform that enables you to calculate and reduce your carbon footprint, track energy, water and waste consumption and costs, compare your carbon footprint and utility consumption, and increase knowledge about climate change, sustainability and low carbon living. ClimateClever also provides a streamlined and simple process of enabling businesses to achieve their ESG (Environment, Social & Governance) goals. 

Climate Zero

Climate Zero provides a comprehensive product suite aimed at supporting businesses on their path to achieving net zero. They can help you with emission management software to track your emissions, learning modules, and carbon offsets. Collaborating closely with Rewild Agency, their sustainability consultancy and sister company, they can deliver a complete sustainability package for you.

One Small Step

One Small Step is a free mobile app with tailored programs to help you measure your personal carbon footprint, take action and track your progress and impact. It uses technology and behavioural science to make it easy and rewarding to successfully adopt greener habits that suit your lifestyle.

You’ll first complete a quiz designed to give a breakdown of your carbon footprint. Then, you’ll be able to see how your impact compares with others before receiving a roadmap on how to get where you need to be. The goal of the app is to help people reduce their carbon footprint to 2 tonnes of CO2e or below, in line with the UN’s 2050 goal for annual per capita carbon footprints.

Take it further

If you are a business ready to undertake a full greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment of your business operations and commit to developing a more formal plan, implementing a formal carbon reduction strategy should be the focus. This will both ensure you are taking positive action to protect people, wildlife and environment, as well as responding to the significant business risks associated with climate change.

Your carbon reduction strategy should aim to measure, avoid and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions associated with your business operations, and then offset (or onset) any residual emissions.

Ideally, your business should shift as rapidly as possible towards carbon neutrality (or net zero emissions). Some businesses will be able to achieve climate positivity - with initiatives undertaken to remove additional carbon emissions from the atmosphere.

This process of carbon emissions management is often referred to as managing your direct (scope 1) and indirect (scope 2) emissions. Direct emissions come from sources owned and controlled by your business, while indirect scope 2 emissions result from the generation of purchased energy. Scope 3 emissions are other indirect emissions which occur through your supply chain and consideration of these enables a genuine assessment of your company’s carbon footprint. Larger emitters in Australia are required to report their Scope 1 and 2 emissions to the Australian Government under The National Greenhouse & Energy Reporting Act 2007 (NGER).

A number of frameworks for emissions assessment are publicly available including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol which is widely used globally. However, you may wish to engage a specialist consultant to undertake a full greenhouse gas emissions audit and calculate your carbon footprint. The audit will identify and calculate the GHG emissions associated with your business activities, break down your carbon footprint for further greenhouse gas reporting and tracking, and provide a base-line for measurement and reduction.

Impact Sustainability

Impact Sustainability are a team of sustainability specialists who help businesses set targets, take action, track progress, and get real results. They are a passionate about making it simple for businesses of all sizes to create, deliver, and be in control of their sustainability strategy.

They closely with their sister company, Rewild Agency. The partnership means we have a broader team of specialists across many fields to help more organisations on their sustainability journeys by offering a wider range of services.

Becoming carbon neutral

For the majority of businesses, becoming carbon neutral or achieving net zero carbon emissions should be a goal. This means your business activities have no net negative impact on the climate.

In Australia, you can become formally certified for carbon neutrality under the Australian Government’s Climate Active program (previously known as the National Carbon Offset Standard). Climate Active certification can be achieved for your organisation, products, services, events, buildings and precincts. The certification program requires measurement of your greenhouse gas emissions, developing an emissions reduction strategy, offset of any residual emissions through Climate Active approved carbon credits, independent verification of the above, a Public Disclosure Statement, application and an annual license fee.

  • Visit Climate Active for further information about certification and to access a register of consultants

Adopting a science-based target

Adopting a science-based target (SBT) approach may also be an important consideration for your company and the next step after setting voluntary emissions targets. Essentially, “science-based” targets are targets which are aligned with what climate science states is required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement - to limit a global temperature increase this century to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C. By setting science-based targets for your business, you will be joining a powerful network of global companies leading the way on decarbonisation.A number of steps are involved and there are three key methods.

Know of any other groups or resources? Let us know.

Measuring and reducing your carbon emissions is part of a larger collective response. Learn more and find other actions here.