How to add your activity data

Answers to all your questions on how to add your activity data

Read through our list of the most common questions we receive around adding on activity data.

We've broken these down into 5 sections aligned to key emissions categories.

In this guide:


How do you estimate electricity used to calculate work from home (WFH) emissions?

We calculate emissions based on the average electricity usage per day at home per employee. This estimate is based on our research into typical usage of work related devices, lighting and air heating/cooling by country. Given our calculations are based on assumptions, we don't report the electricity usage (kwh) by employee in your carbon footprint breakdown.

How do you classify WFH energy emissions?

Work from home / remote staff electricity emissions are classified Scope 3.

Do I need to add an individual building for my employees WFH office space in the data collection form?

No - by inputting the percentage of time employees work from home we are able to capture and estimate their WFH energy emissions. Buildings should only be added for offices, coworking/ shared spaces, warehouse facilities, owned/operated data centres, storage facilities or warehouses.

How do you estimate energy usage based on the size of a building/workspace?

We have compiled a database of average electricity and water usage by building type per m2. Our estimates are conservative so we recommend providing actual electricity, gas and water usage where possible. If you operate in a building which is known to be energy efficient (e.g. high NABERs rating), please let us know.

We have a shared office space and our utility bill is split between tenants - how do we know the energy we’re responsible for?

Two options:

1) Allocate consumption based on the percentage of the space your organisation specifically occupies

2) Use our estimate based on the size of space you occupy to estimate energy usage

How do we estimate the size of our co-working space - we just hot desk and/or rent a few desks?

Use our benchmark of 9m2 per desk/access pass that is rented.

We’ve switched office spaces during our measurement period, how should we account for this?

Please input both office spaces in the relevant location and make note (in the notes section for each building) the occupancy period for each office. We will take this into account when we complete the measurement. Where possible, please upload your utility bills for the entire period and both locations.

How should we report that we use solar panels in our building?

In the data collection form, for each building that you report we ask what percentage of your energy consumption is from renewable sources as this energy consumption does not contribute to your carbon footprint. This data should be available on your electricity bill. For example, if your total electricity usage was 1,000 kwh and 333 kwh came from solar, you input the total consumption and state that 33% came from renewable sources,

We use a carbon neutral energy provider, does this mean our electricity emissions have already been offset?

Yes - please indicate in the data collection form that 100% of your electricity emissions are carbon neutral.

What’s the difference between carbon neutral, GreenPower and renewable electricity?

Carbon neutral electricity plans mean that your electricity retailer buys carbon credits to offset the emissions from your usage.

GreenPower is an Australian government accredited renewable energy product whereby your retailer purchases large scale generation certificates (LGCs), which represent 1 megawatt hour of renewable energy generated. As such, GreenPower directly promotes investment in the renewable energy industry.

Employee commute

We technically have an office, but we barely go in (less than once a month). How do we account for the commute during times where we did go into the office?

In the commute section, note that staff work from home 100% of the time and therefore have no weekly commute. Then, create your best possible estimate for the number of days employees came into the office and generate an estimate for the amount of kilometres travelled by public transport or car/taxi. Input this estimate in the travel section under “Other”.

Our staff often take 2 modes of transport into the office (i.e. drive to the train station, and then take public transport into the office) How do we account for this?

Please report the commute type that makes up the majority of their commute.

We moved office locations (or our staff moved houses) during the measurement period so commute changed - how should we report this?

Please report the commute type that made up the majority of the year.

Business travel

We only captured travel data by spend during this period. How will this affect my emissions calculations?

Where applicable, Trace recommends reporting kilometre based information for travel. Supplying this information will allow emissions calculations to be completed with greater accuracy. When using spend based data, we will use our estimates for $/km to calculate approximate distance travelled.

We offset some of our flights this year - will they still count towards our carbon footprint?

To ensure we don’t double count any air travel associated emissions that have already been offset, we ask you to report the percentage of flights that were offset at the point of purchase. Please note we will ask you to input the airline carrier to ensure we recognise their offsetting program.

We have company owned vehicles, but we didn’t capture the amount of fuel used this year - what should we do?

Create an estimate where possible. Fuel use falls within your scope 1 emissions boundary (the emissions you have direct control over) so we want to capture this level of detail if possible. If an estimate is not possible, we are able to capture distance travelled (km) or spend ($); however, please note both of these units will provide a less accurate estimate.

What’s the difference between the three accommodation types?

Average - 3 to 4 star hotels (approx $200/night) or Airbnbs

Premium - 5 star, luxury hotels (approx $400/night)

Eco - camping style accommodation (off grid cabin, tent stay, etc)

We use an EV that is sometimes powered by 100% renewable energy - do you account for this?

Amazing! Let us know what the percentage of time charging is from a 100% renewable source. We will factor this into your measurement when doing the emission calculation.

Purchased goods & services (suppliers)

How do you determine if a supplier is carbon neutral?

Our criteria for “carbon neutrality”:

  • Includes scopes 1,2,3
  • Independently verified carbon-offsets
  • Public report that details approach
  • BONUS: has been CN for 5+ years

Can you explain the carbon intensity/assumptions used to calculate supplier associated emissions?

We follow the GHG Protocol methodology for calculating scope 3 emissions, in this case 'Purchased Goods and Services' and use the spend based method which estimates emissions for goods and services by collecting data on the economic value of goods and services purchased and multiplying it by relevant secondary (e.g., industry average) emission factors (e.g., average emissions per monetary value of goods). This is industry standard and provides a robust estimation of the emissions from each industry. The most accurate approach is to gather total emissions of each supplier, divided by total sales and multiplied by your total spend with that supplier. This exercise requires intensive consultation with each supplier, but we believe that initiatives like TCFD will drive further transparency into company emissions in the future.

Most of our Advertising and Marketing spend is on digital ads - would this fall into Advertising and Marketing or Internet Publishing?

Our Marketing and Advertising category captures Agency spend. Please report any digital advertising spend in our Data Processing and Internet Publishing category.


We don’t have any idea how much or what type of waste we produce. What should we do?

That’s ok! We don’t expect you to have completed a full waste audit before using our platform. Simply select that you don’t know how or what waste is produced and give us an estimate for how much is recycled or composted. From this, we will use your inputs of % work from home, office size, and number of FTE to make reasonable estimates of how much of each type of waste would be produced over your specified period.

How do we account for employee’s waste when they’re working from home?

Our methodology excludes waste generated while working from home from an organisation's emissions boundary. We’ve found it is difficult to decipher personal versus work waste and could result in an inflated calculation of waste emissions.

I have a rough idea of how much waste we generate in the office - is providing an estimate okay?

Absolutely! We understand completing a waste audit is dirty work, so an estimate for your baseline emissions assessment is a great starting point. We’ll flag if your estimate seems unrealistic.

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