Do you offer Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) certification?
Yes! Compare Your Footprint was designed with you in mind. Once you have measured your data via our tool, we will provide you with a certificate to show adherence to SECR.
Watch this space for a dedicated section with everything you need to know about using our tool for your Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR).
The cost for using Compare Your Footprint for this service is £1,999 + VAT per year.
How do I use Compare Your Footprint?
We have a comprehensive step-by-step guide to set up and use Compare Your Footprint for your carbon emission results.
What data do you measure?
Compare Your Footprint measures usage data to cover Scopes 1, 2 and 3 emissions. See relevant FAQ for more information.
Each year the UK government publishes an updated set of greenhouse gas emission conversion factors for calculating carbon scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions for a range of activities and processes. Compare Your Footprint uses this set of average carbon factors for UK-based organisations, and where relevant also for some international operations, in the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol average data method.
View our Usage Data Guide to see a the complete list of factors and an explanation of how to gather the data.
Do you measure Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions?
Yes! We think it is important to include Scope 3 in your results because it is usually the greatest share of your carbon footprint.
Many people ask us is what is the difference between scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions? Emissions are broken down into three categories by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol in order to better understand the source.
Scope 1 – All Direct Emissions from the activities of an organisation or under their control. Including fuel combustion on site such as gas boilers, fleet vehicles and air-conditioning leaks.
Scope 2 – Indirect Emissions from electricity purchased and used by the organisation. Emissions are created during the production of the energy and eventually used by the organisation.
Scope 3 – All Other Indirect Emissions from activities of the organisation, occuring from sources that they do not own or control. These cover emissions associated with business travel, procurement, waste and water.
Can I plug-in to my accounting software?
We are in BETA phase with Xero online accounting software and will expand our offering to other providers very soon.
Watch our introductory video below to see if our plug-in is right for you and how to set it up once you have a Compare Your Footprint account.
We rent office space, how do we ask our landowner for usage data?
The helpfulness of your landowner will of course vary. If your building is managed by a building management company, them they will have been asked for this data before. Its worth asking if they have set up a system to pro-rata the energy for their tenants and include the monthly service charge.
Even better, they may have sub-meters on the risers divided by tenants' spaces and so the actual meter readings are available.
The data we recommend you ask for is as follows:
- Metres Squared (m2 ) of your building
- m2 occupied by tenant
- Total annual electricity and gas kWh for whole building or for your organisation's portion
- m3 of water for whole building or for your organisation's portion
- Tonnes of waste by waste type for whole building or for your organisation's portion
If your landowner does not have a building manager or building management system in place, then consider creating an Excel spreadsheet with the above in columns for them to complete.
For further advice on asking your landowner for data, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We rent shared office space (e.g. WeWork), how do we get the data we need?
Sometimes landlords cannot or will not provide actual usage of energy within the buildings they manage. This can be the case if you use the entire space (see previous FAQ) but more frequently when we share space. The following list will provide you with the best practice and what information is required. The below is listed in most accurate to least accurate data:
- Actual usage based on sub-metered data specific to areas occupied in the building (measured in kWh)
- Apportioned total building/ floor energy based on m2 (measured in kWh per m2)
- Spend on electricity and/ or gas based on amount used (Measured in £)
- Below are average figures you can use:
Electricity (kWh / m2 office space)
Gas (kWh / m2 office space)
Water (m3 per employee)
Here are some questions to ask the landlord/office owner applicable to energy consumption:
- m2 of building
- m2 occupied by tenant
- total annual (or hourly if applicable) electricity and gas kWh for whole building or for the tenant's portion”
For further advice on asking your landlord/office owner for data, please contact us at email@example.com.
Can I measure my organisation's digital footprint?
To date we have the ability to capture third party data centre hosting (i.e. where your servers are not hosted in-house), web and cloud hosting through the hosting company providing kWh. Hosts do provide this information in the best case scenario, but are often reluctant to do so. We are hoping this will improve as more organisations look to measure their digital impact and request this info. Failing that we can use the financial spend on these services where other data is not available – but this is not as accurate.
In Compare Your Footprint we can currently measure:
Website dwell time (amount of time in minutes that goes by from the moment a user clicks on a search result and enters your website, to the moment they return to the search engine results page (SERPS).
Digital: Web and Cloud Hosting meaning that third party company's emissions to host reporting company's websites, cloud and/or data centre, provided by the hosting company either as kWh of energy used, or supplier-specific tonnes CO2e calculated on your behalf. Measured in CO2e or Electricity: UK & Australia Grid (we are adding more countries in time)
Watch this space for further development in this area!
Can I subtract carbon offsets from my organisation's carbon footprint?
Compare Your Footprint adheres to the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard. Under this standard, you are not allowed to subtract any carbon avoidance or removal (e.g. carbon offsets) from your carbon footprint.
At Compare Your Footprint, we are on a mission to help as many organisations as possible to reduce carbon emissions from their operations, rather than offset what they could remove. For this reason we do not include this type of subtraction within our system.
Our recommendation would be to measure your baseline emissions and then the sources with the highest emissions, and start to make changes in those areas. Then you can measure year-on-year to see how your emissions have reduced. For example, the first step you could take would be to switch your energy supplier to one that generates electricity from 100% renewables.
From a communication point of view, it’s a much stronger message to say that you have reduced x emissions by doing x,y,z or you plan to reduce % emissions by doing x,y,z, than to say you have offset these emissions.
Here are links to some guides to help you to reduce where possible and ensure you are setting realistic reduction targets.
What are the reputational risks of claiming net zero? (I urge you to read this as many organisations are being lead down the wrong path with Net Zero hype).
Does the tool only work in the U.K.?
Compare Your Footprint can be and is currently being used globally. We utilise a variety of data sources including our own allowing us to service most geographic regions. Plus, we can always add in new data points if the demand requires.
Can I get help with a reduction strategy?
Absolutely! We have a fantastic team of sustainability consultants on hand to help with any stage of the carbon footprinting process. We are super flexible and can offer as much or as little support as you require.
How can I get information from suppliers?
With the likes of your energy use, it can be as simple as pulling the kWh from your bills. You should also be able to get the fuel mix from your supplier, which adds a great bit of granularity to your data.
For other points deeper in your supply chain, it is always worth asking your supplier for the information. You might be fortunate and they will have the information but even if they don't, asking such questions will raise this on their agenda and hopefully inspire change for the future. The more of us asking the questions, the better.
If you are in a position to do so, selecting suppliers that have 'sustainable' credentials and the capacity to share information about their practices will certainly help you in your goals to reduce any negative environmental impacts.
What government support is there to help my journey towards more sustainable practices?
There is also scope to implement a salary sacrifice system (similar to that of the cycle to work scheme but with cars) to incentivise transition towards electric vehicles for staff. This can cost next to nothing for the business and may be a great perk for employees. It will also reduce the impact of commuting for the business footprint. Octopus offer a great package.
The Scottish government also offer interest free loans supporting companies and the Energy Savings Trust summarises this information here.
Encouraging and facilitating active transport is another great way of engaging with staff. Find more information on what support is available here.
What is the difference between 'location-based' and 'market-based' emissions when reporting on electricity use?
There are two methods for reporting emissions from electricity; location-based reporting and market-based reporting. Location-based reporting uses the average UK grid fuel mix to calculate emissions from electricity, whilst market-based reporting uses the fuel mix of the electricity purchased. This method therefore takes into account the fuel mix of your specific electricity tariff/supplier. Therefore, if you purchase a 100% renewable electricity tariff, this will mean emissions associated with electricity will go to zero (scope 2) under the market-based reporting, but will remain unchanged for location-based.
You can record your fuel mix when inputting electricity use by hitting the 'do you know your fuel mix toggle'. If you don't know it, most providers publicly publish this information on their website and if not, they should still be able to provide the information if you contact them.
Why are there scope 3 emissions in my electricity usage? (T&D Losses explained)
Transport and Distribution (T&D) refers to the emissions associated with moving the energy you used from the source to where it is required. These emissions appear next to the electricity you have entered as the scope 3 emissions, together with the well to tank upstream embodied emissions. T&D losses are automatically calculated for you when you enter electricity data.
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