Companies of all sizes have a responsibility to lead the way and commit to going green. One of the most effective ways to see the impact your business is having on the environment is through carbon monitoring.
Pledging to get to a Net Zero future sooner rather than later doesn’t only make a more positive impact on the environment, but it helps boost your reputation with customers and stakeholders. Not to mention the long-term cost savings associated with energy efficiency.
Plus, the UK government have enforced a Procurement Policy Note that requires companies who want to bid on major government contracts to commit to achieving Net Zero by 2025 and to publish an individual ‘Carbon Reduction Plan’.
You can read our previous blog post that explores why carbon monitoring is important for businesses in more detail here.
It’s one thing to understand how important carbon monitoring is, not only for cost and energy efficiency purposes but to make a more positive impact on the environment
But if you’ve never done it before, where do you even start?
Keep reading to find out the steps involved in how to undertake carbon monitoring.
Step #1 – Undertake an energy gap analysis
The first step to undertake carbon monitoring is establishing exactly what your energy usage is, and where it comes from.
This needs to include all of your direct and indirect emissions. Generally speaking, your carbon emissions can be split into three key areas:
- Scope 1 : Direct
These are emissions that exist within the decided system boundaries and will include any energy consumption your business directly uses, such as gas, vehicle fuels, and emissions from physical premises.
- Scope 2: Indirect/Upstream
These emissions come from the generation of energy that the company purchases to do business, such as electricity or heating.
- Scope 3: Indirect, upstream and downstream
These emissions are a bit trickier to measure, as they are caused by business activity, that you can’t strictly control. Examples can include employee commutes, waste disposal, and production materials.
If you aren’t sure where to start, our Self-Assessment Energy Audit will be able to help. Simply fill out and submit your report and one of our experts will be in touch to help with the next steps in undertaking carbon monitoring.
Step #2 – Real-time carbon monitoring
Once you have evaluated all of the different points of energy consumption within your business, it is time to get data on where you are using energy efficiently – and where you aren’t.
You could try and evaluate all of this yourself with complicated calculations – but why not use a specifically designed carbon monitoring system instead?
For example, we use a system called Eniscope.
Eniscope is used worldwide for end-to-end energy management. The easily installed hardware sends granular data to your dashboard, which you can access on any device, anywhere, anytime. Getting real-time insights into key energy statistics such as occupancy, temperature, and humidity helps to put your energy use into real-world context, rather than being a string of numbers.
We recommend using a carbon monitoring system for a minimum of three months, so you can see fluctuations over time and have enough data to make informed decisions.
Step #3 – Analyse data and set goals
Once you have accurate and recent data on your carbon consumption, you can start making plans to cut down your usage and set benchmarks of activity to help you stay on track.
You can choose to either work on cutting down emissions as a whole or reducing energy consumption in a particular area of your business. It is entirely up to you and will largely depend on what your data is saying.
Make sure any objectives you set are specific – for example:
Reduce excess electricity use in the head office by 13% over the next six months.
Your objectives also need to be realistic, based on the data you have been provided with.
Working with an expert will help you to set realistic and sustainable goals, creating a robust strategy that helps to move your business one step forward to achieving Net Zero.
Step #4 – Make operational adjustments
This is where you start to make changes!
Using your data and working with your account manager, you can start to implement updates to make your operations more energy efficient.
The actions you take will be specific to your organisation but could include investing in energy-efficient technologies such as renewables, upgrading transportation methods, or further optimising your production processes.
As you make these updates, continue to monitor your data so you can evaluate whether your energy performance is moving in the direction you would like it to.
Step #5 – Continuously monitor progress
Here is perhaps the most important point of all when it comes to how to undertake carbon monitoring effectively: it cannot simply be a one-off, tick-box exercise. The only way you can consistently reduce your carbon consumption is if you keep tracking your progress, and adjust your goals based on your results.
This is why, if you choose to work with us on your carbon monitoring, we will check in with you every quarter to analyse your data in-depth and make adjustments to either your goals or your activity if needed.
In conclusion, how do you undertake carbon monitoring
Hopefully, this blog has given you some insight into how to undertake carbon monitoring.
Carbon monitoring can be a complex subject to get your head around if you don’t have much experience in dealing with it. The most efficient and effective way to understand your energy use will be to work with an expert who can guide you in how to reduce waste across your business.
At Utili-Tay, we are driven to help you achieve a greener future. Not only do we offer carbon monitoring services, but we can also help you to convert to renewable energy sources too. Get in touch today to speak to one of our team.