Putting Emissions Data into Context for Business Stakeholders

Since the 1970s, our global CO2 emissions have increased by about 90%. Fossil fuel combustion and industrial processes account for around 78% of that greenhouse gas increase.  This points to the important role of industry to take significant steps to reduce their impact.

If you’re reading this, you are already engaged in the importance of company sustainability. But is your organization ready for sustainability reporting? If it’s time to get the team on board, a great place to start is by making the topic of carbon emissions reporting simple and digestible.

What is emissions data?

Companies who are serious about reducing their environmental impact use sustainability reporting to show their performance and impact in environmental, social, and governance (ESG) matters.

This information is important for stakeholders (from the corporate board to employees, investors to the supply chain) because it highlights their accountability and shows areas where businesses need to improve to meet targets.

Emissions data is a vital component of sustainability reporting. It shows how much greenhouse gas a company emits.  For consistent reporting across organizations, it is generally summarized and reported as MTCO2e (metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent).

Why is it important to include emissions data in sustainability reports?

The corporate and supply chain accountability trend is only accelerating as we hear from more companies that their key customers are including environmental and carbon emissions reporting and target setting in contracts. Plus, quantifying your emissions is the first step in finding reduction strategies and gives a clear way to track progress over time. As such, it’s a requirement for every regulatory body and customer you would submit reporting to.

We are at a critical point where accumulative action is required to meet green targets. If more businesses report on their emissions, this data becomes increasingly useful on a global scale.

If you’re looking for an example of how businesses build sustainability reports and use the data to meet their goals, see how SustainaBase enabled this business to meet Walmart’s environmental standards for its partners.

Benefits of reporting emissions data

The benefits of reporting this data go well beyond meeting compliance checkboxes. There are benefits that benefit the bottom line, including:

  • Lower energy and resource costs: By assessing your company’s emissions and taking steps to reduce them, there will be a measurable reduction in energy use and, as a result, lower resource costs. New reports show that renewable energy was the cheapest source of energy in 2020, showing the economic benefit of making the switch.

  • A better demonstration of leadership: Scores of companies are taking steps to improve sustainability reporting by including emissions data. From big corporations to small businesses, there’s a growing expectation to measure and report this activity data. Delivering transparency demonstrates leadership and shows a dedication to being a part of the solution to climate change.
  • Strengthening sustainability credentials: Customers look for companies who are conscious of their environmental impact. Any steps you take to show you are taking the climate crisis seriously will improve your company’s image.

How do I report emissions data?

At the most basic level, you need to report your GHG emissions in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). This should be reported as your headline figure.

Here are some considerations to keep in mind when reporting your emissions in your next sustainability report.

  • Visualize the data: Emissions data can be difficult to visualize when it’s just stats on a page. Using visual aids can make the information easier to understand and helps with tracking trends over time. SustainaBase specializes in not only automating emissions data collection but consolidating the data into simple dashboards that give your business a clear understanding of its carbon footprint.
  • Break down reduction targets by department: Identifying carbon emissions and targets by department is much more useful than relying on one overarching goal. This is a key step in identifying where the business can make the most progress towards sustainability goals.
  • Use layman terminology: Company sustainability reports should be written in layman’s terms so they can be easily understood by everyone. The reports are tools used by stakeholders, investors, HR teams, and even the public. Emissions data should be visualized to make it accessible.
  • Consider quantitative and qualitative results: When planning targets, you should also think about the qualitative impact of your targets and report on the less tangible impacts of your plans. Maybe this is cleaner water in your community or a donation program where unused materials benefit communities in need or become part of a circular solution for your company in partnership with other businesses.

Get started with emissions reporting

Most companies already know the importance of sustainability reporting and planning, and as a stakeholder in your company, you are probably here because you want to make sure you are doing all you can to have your company participate in the low carbon economy.Emissions reporting is an important part of sustainability planning. With clear data, you can begin to put plans in place to reduce those numbers and help your company hit its sustainability goals more quickly.

If you’re ready to get started, SustainaBase is here to help. We automate the process of identifying and tracking your Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions Our easy-to-use platform has everything you need for effortless, dynamic management and reporting.

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