Trace Demo: 5 steps to provide your carbon assessment data

Making the carbon assessment data collection process easy and streamlined for our customers is a central part of our mission to help reduce the barriers for businesses to take climate action. 

The Trace data collection process has been designed to capture the data points required to ensure the final result is accurate, but also save you as much time as possible, so you can get on with the important work to start reducing your emissions.

Why do we collect data?

The three steps to make your business carbon neutral are:

  1. Measure & calculate your carbon footprint
  2. Offset the emissions from your last 12 months of operations
  3. Start planning how you will reduce your emissions over the coming 12 months (...until the process starts again!)

Because carbon emissions are created via the various activities your business undertakes as part of its operations - the energy it uses, the waste it creates, the emissions associated with travel and suppliers and so on - and because every business is different, we need to understand data points like how much energy you use and waste you produce, and how often you travel for business. We then take this data - referred to as an ‘activity rate’ and multiply it by the relevant emissions factor associated with that activity.

An emissions factor relates the quantity of CO2 released into the atmosphere to the activity associated with the release of that CO2. Here’s an example of how your data could be used in this equation: 

KWH electricity used x emissions factor = CO2 emitted

We have an extensive data base of credible emissions factors that are reviewed on a regular basis in our platform, meaning you don’t need to worry about this part of the equation. This means the data collection process should only ask you for information you already know or could easily access about your business.

Where you’re unable to find the exact ‘activity rate’ for any data point, you can either source alternative data points which have slightly lower accuracy, or we can help with providing informed benchmarks based on other businesses like yours.

What kind of questions do you ask?

We’re so glad you asked…!

Each of the below videos walks you through the most common questions required for an organisation to complete their data collection.

Step 1: Getting started

Depending on the size and complexity of your company, we find most businesses can collate the data they need within 2 hours. A small service-based business with one office may take less. A large organisation with 100s of staff working from multiple locations can, however, take longer.

Step 2: Define your measurement period

Our carbon assessment will look at data covering 12 months. We highly recommend using actuals (i.e. a prior 12 month period - this can be YTD, calendar, FY) as long as it is clearly defined in this step,  it will be represented in the output. While we do provide the option for a future 12 month period, do keep in mind using forecasted data will require a ‘true up’ at the close of the 12 month period. This means we will collect data at the end of the period and compare it to our estimates to compare how accurate they were and ensure we offset the correct number of tonnes of CO2.

Step 3: Energy data

Energy is typically the largest part of your footprint. In this section we’re looking for the location, number of employees, and the amount of time employees typically work from home.  When entering your electricity, gas and water usage - you have two options: providing actual consumption (we understand this is often difficult to access) or using our benchmarks based on the square metres of your space.

Step 4: Commute & business travel data

Travel is broken into two sections, (1) employee commute and (2) business related travel.  Commute is divided into the categories of: walk/cycle, car (including taxis and rideshare) and public transport. Business travel includes all transport related to business operations (including: air travel, public transport, taxis and rideshare, business travel using private vehicles) and corporate accommodation. 

Step 5: Supplier spend, waste data & sustainability initiatives 

Supplier spend is any expense you incur to procure goods and services for your business. These are part of your ‘scope 3’ emissions and can often account for a significant amount of your own organisation's carbon footprint. 

Waste can be challenging to measure.  Because of this, we’ve provided three different options based on the data you have: (1) actual data, (2) estimated data, or (3) no data (we use the m2 of your space against our benchmarks).

We also want to know the sustainability initiatives your company is working towards. We’ve categorised sustainability actions into four key areas - (1) energy and buildings, (2) policies & travel, (3) circular economy and (4) philanthropy. Tick the boxes your company has implemented or are actively working to achieve. 

Step 6: Final touches!

The final part of our data collection process simply requires you to agree that the data provided is a true reflection of your organisational activities during the selected measurement period and sign off on our terms of service.

How do I get started?

To get access to the Trace Data Collection portal and learn more about becoming carbon neutral with Trace - book a call with our team, or submit an enquiry.