User Guide

COVID-19 and Baselines

One of the keys to calculating your carbon footprint year on year is setting a baseline from which you can measure subsequent years. By having a baseline year you can monitor your progress towards any targets that you may decide to set. Your baseline year should be representative (as far as possible) of a typical year in the life of your organisation.

However, 2020 has not been a typical year! COVID-19 has meant restrictions on all of our activities and across the world organisations have seen travel curtailed and energy usage drop as people have been asked to work from home and businesses have been forced to close.

If you are starting your 360°carbon journey in 2020, then 2020 is unlikely to be a suitable baseline year for your organisation. If possible, use 2019 or 2018 as your baseline year. (Our calculator allows you to baseline from 2017 onwards.)

If you do decide to use 2020 as your baseline year then be aware that 2021 is very likely to show an increase in your carbon footprint, and 2022 and beyond may more productively be compared to 2021 - in effect re-baselining your carbon footprint.