User Guide

Carbon Footprints

Carbon footprints belong to an organisation. The number of carbon footprints associated with each organisation is displayed by that organisation's name. To see more detail of the footprint, click/tap the organisation's name. All of the organisation's carbon footprints will be listed with a summary of the current total footprint in either tonnes or kilogrammes of CO₂.

Starting a footprint.

You can start a new footprint directly from the Dashboard, or if you're on the organisation's page already, there is a “Start a new footprint” button. Either will take you to the page where you setup your footprint:

Naming your footprint

Enter a name for your footprint that makes sense to you. There is no need to include anything related to the organisation or group though.

The footprint year

You will come across the term “footprint year” throughout the calculator. 360°carbon is designed to allow your organisation to track its footprint over time, and it's best to cover one year at a time. For most organisations this will mean lining the footprint year up with the organisation's financial year.

One thing to consider is a “Baseline Year”. This is a footprint against which other footprints can be compared in order to see progress over time (though you will be able to compare any set of footprints). A baseline year can be used to set targets for subsequent years and should be the earliest year for which you have a data for the different calculator categories – Energy, Travel, Food, Expenditure, Waste & Water, etc.

Once you start using 360°carbon we recommend that each footprint cover the same period.

Reporting Energy Consumption Emissions

There are two ways that the emissions from energy consumption can be reported when presenting an organisation’s carbon footprint – location-based or market-based.

Location-based reporting reflects the average emissions intensity of the grids (electricity and/or gas) on which energy consumption occurs using the grid emissions factors for the country in question.

For market-based reporting, the quoted emissions figures are based on the tariff that has been purchased; these range from 100% renewable “green” energy to a mix of green and “brown” energy as supplied in standard fuel tariffs.

According to the GHG Protocol an organisation may choose which of the two options to use for their reporting. In general, organisations choose market-based reporting if they are buying energy through a “green” tariff. If your organisation wants to report emissions from gas and electricity consumption on that basis, the overall carbon footprint will be lower than if you report on a location basis.

Market-based reporting tends to hide the more complicated reality of how energy is generated and can, if an organisation is not careful, become a blind-spot in carbon reduction efforts as it appears that all possible savings have already been made. However, buying green energy is no substitute for real year-on-year reductions in consumption.

For this reason, reporting on a location basis is to be preferred when looking at the organisation’s footprint as it will aid the identification of “hot spots” of energy consumption and potential carbon reductions in properties owned by the organisation.