User Guide

Your Organisation

Getting Started

In starting your footprint, one of the key questions that you will need to answer is: “What are we going to include?”

This is the “boundary” of your carbon footprint and needs to cover the emissions that are reasonably considered to be “yours”. Your emissions are generally the things that you have control over in some way – either directly by, for example, turning off lights, or indirectly by what you choose to purchase (emissions relating to purchased goods and services other than Energy are covered under Expenditure).

Once you have decided what is to be included in your footprint, you should continue on the same basis for subsequent years as far as is possible. The first section of the calculator is optional – if you leave it blank you can still carry on and calculate a carbon footprint for your organisation. We use the data entered here to produce different performance indicators that you can use to track how your organisation's footprint is changing over time. Depending on the type of organisation you are calculating a footprint for, the start page will vary.


You need to think about how your building(s) are used and who to include in your carbon footprint. You need to think in terms of the types of people/groups to include. For example, will you include casual visitors who come to look at the architecture of your church building amongst “How many people use the building during weekdays”?

The performance indicators for churches are:

  • Carbon emissions per person.
  • Carbon emissions per hour of use.

Because building usage varies enormously from church to church, we have tried to make the questions in this section as broadly applicable as possible. The overall aim is to establish an estimate of the number of people who “pass through the doors” in any given year, and the amount of time that buildings are using energy.

Both these numbers give an indication of how efficiently you are using your resources. They also allow you to account for growth (and shrinkage) over time. For example, your church's energy usage may go up by 20% over two years, but if you have been running more activities, welcoming more people into your buildings and generally doing more “stuff” – then a 20% increase in energy usage may not be a problem, the relative measure of emissions per person may have gone down – a truer measure of efficiency, and a good indicator of how well energy usage reduction measures are working.

However you choose to answer the questions in this section, try to use the same basis year on year. For example, if you decide that you will count usage of a church hall for a mothers and toddlers group in 2018, if that same group is using the building in 2019, you should count them in 2019 too. If you decide, at a later date, that you didn't want to include a certain group you can edit the “Your Organisation” section, change the numbers and save them – the two figures mentioned above will then be re-calculated.

Use the “Notes” field to keep a record of who you have chosen to include in your carbon footprint, you can then refer to this in subsequent years.


The performance indicators for charities are:

  • Carbon emissions per £, $ or € of income.
  • Carbon emissions per full-time equivalent staff member.
  • Carbon emissions per direct beneficiary of your programmes.