(Last Updated On: 13th March 2012)

In case you’ve missed it, it is Climate Week. We’ve committed to write a blog a day this week to share our tips, stories and successes in running a sustainable business.

Today: we’re talking about our carbon footprint.

We’ve calculated our carbon foot print for the last 6 months and compared this to the last 3 half year periods.

Here are the results:

Scope Emissions in CO2e tonnes6 Months to 31 December 2011 Emissions in CO2e tonnes6 Months to 30 June 2011 Emissions in CO2e tonnes6 Months to 31 December 2010 Emissions in CO2e tonnes6 Months to 30 June 2010
Scope 1

  • Natural Gas
  • 0.05
  • 0.08
  • 0.09
  • 0.12
Scope 2

  • Purchased Electricity
  • 0.31
  • 0.32
  • 0.33
  • 0.33
Scope 3

  • Business travel, including, train, bus, taxis, and car share.
  • 0.18
  • 0.02
  • 0.09
  • 0.11
Total Non-Renewable CO2e tonnes
  • 0.23
  •  0.10
  •  0.18
  •  0.23
CO2e tonnes as a percentage of turnover
  • 1.98%
  •  1.02%
  •  2.34%
  •  92%

When it comes to measuring your carbon footprint, you need a base year – a comparative point. So it is only after 2 years of measuring that we can start to see trends emerging.

Let’s look at some of those trends.

Natural Gas

When we compare this last 6 months to 31 December 2011 to the 6 months ended 31 December 2010, it implies we’ve done more to save Gas, which is primarily heating. This year we put up double glazing film, which is very cost effective. We’d already put in draught excluders around the doors, but this double glazing film really made a difference. And if it was really cold, we kept the blinds down as well.  Luckily our blinds still let in the light!

Talking about blinds, we’re just about to install new ones, and found you can buy ones which help save energy by also acting to keep draughts out.  I’ll let you know how they go.

Although I’d love to take the credit for keeping the heat in, I think this years’ milder winter has helped reduced gas use too.


From January 2010 to June 2011 we signed up to a hydro-electricity tariff.  From July 2011 our supplier has been Good Energy who provides 100% renewable electricity.  Therefore our business does not generate the carbon emissions detailed in the table above, but we include electricity so we can monitor the carbon emissions we would have produced if we’d chosen a fossil fuel supplier.  That way we keep our focus on reducing use, which saves us money.

You can read more about how we chose of energy suppliers in our blog: Have you thought about changing your energy supplier?


From the start we made the conscious decision to work with local businesses so we reduced our travel emissions. By being active within Brighton & Hove (and the surrounding areas) we have built strong relationships and knowledge of businesses and the community here. This enables us to provide a better service to our clients and a sense of belonging and wellbeing to staff.

When I look at the detail behind the numbers above, the reason for travel ‘jumping’ around is due to one particular piece of work….

I’d always wanted to work with young people, and use my training and facilitation skills to share experience and knowledge. Through a recommendation from Charlie Allsebrook (a big thank you to Charlie), I met Aroop Tanna at Magnified Learning.  They gave me with the opportunity to facilitate their programmes in schools around the country. This is a fantastic opportunity to help develop young people, and although it’s sometimes daunting stepping into a classroom full of 15 year olds, it’s a hugely rewarding experience.

But, it does mean the business’ carbon emissions increase.

Sometimes we need to make a decision between taking on a project or not. This particular project has a huge positive influence on young people’s life experiences whilst at school. I feel Magnified Learning’s approach is better than other providers in the local area and I therefore decided the carbon emissions were worthwhile.  Magnified Learning support reducing travel wherever possible and we take public transport or car share, so those emissions are kept to a minimum.

Reducing Emissions

I signed up to Brighton and Hove 10:10 campaign which asks people and organisations to commit to reduce their emissions by 10%.

I set up my business to run with low emissions from the start so I’ve found it particularly difficult to reduce emissions further. But I’m still trying!

It’s also a problem if your business is growing, as mine has done.

One way to still gain a realistic view of emission reductions when your business is growing is to measure emissions as a percentage of turnover. You still need to be careful of odd results, for example my emissions as a percentage of turnover in the first 6 months were 92%! Not because my emissions were high, but my turnover was very low!!

You need to remember to compare like with like, e.g. compare a full year or compare comparative 6 monthly periods. Don’t compare summer with winter if a large portion of your emissions are from heating.

If I compare the 6 months ending 31 December 2011 to 6 months ending 31 December 2010 my absolute emissions have gone up but as a percentage of turnover they have gone down 0.36% which is a fall of 15.3%.

I’m excited that I’ve reached my carbon targets for this period, but it’s no time to stop.  New technology is always coming onto the market to help us work smarter with lower emissions and lower costs.

If you’re also monitoring your emissions, I’d love to hear about your successes.



Note, some of the prior period numbers have altered
as I improved the accuracy of my calculations and
have amended prior periods so I can compare like with like.


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