Carbon Footprinting

Welcome to the Carbon Footprint section. Here, you can find instruction videos, recommendations and tips to calculate your footprint. In general, we encourage you to follow the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to conduct your organizational carbon footprint calculations.

In order to calculate greenhouse gas emissions we advise to follow the following seven steps. Step 1 to 4 are required for calculations, while step 5-7 are useful next steps in developing your climate strategy.

  • Step 1 - Determine scope & boundary
  • Step 2 - Collect data for Scope 1-2 emissions
  • Step 3 - Collect data for Scope 3 emissions
  • Step 4 - Calculate emissions
  • Step 5 - Develop decarbonization roadmap
  • Step 6 - Engage suppliers
  • Step 7 - Engage employees

To get started with carbon footprinting, please have a look at the video tutorials and recommendations below.

Key terms introduced in this video: setting an organizational boundary, setting an operational boundary, defining Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions and defining Scope 3 categories

Recommended next steps

  1. Determine your organizational boundary, using an organogram.

  2. Map your company’s processes and identify direct and indirect emissions, categorizing them in Scope 1, 2, and 3.

  3. Check the fifteen Scope 3 categories of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and assess if they are relevant to your organization.


  1. Document your Scope and Boundary in an accounting manual to ensure consistent reporting over time.

  2. In case your organization is part of a group, ensure corporate alignment and agree on the consolidation approach.

  3. Make use of the guidance documents provided on our supplier portal, including the Greenhouse Gas Protocol – Corporate Standard.

Step 2 - How to collect data for Scope 1-2 emissions?

Key terms introduced in this video: collecting activity data and emission factors, supplier-specific data versus industry-average data 

Recommended next steps

  1. Collect activity data by engaging your relevant colleagues such as finance and procurement colleagues.

  1. Collect supplier-specific emission factors from your electricity supplier.

  1. Collect (generic) emission factors from public databases, such as DEFRA (UK) or (NL).


  1. Make sure to document sources of emission factors and keep emission factors up to date every year as they are subject to change.

  1. Pay close attention to units of measure (1 MWh = 1000 kWh; 1 tCO2e = 1000 kg CO2e, etc.)

  1. Before calculating, make sure to check our video on carbon calculations (step 4) and consider using the tools made available on this climate hub.

Step 3 - How to collect data for Scope 3 emissions?

Key terms introduced in this video: using Primary versus Secondary data, databases for Scope 3 emission factors

Recommended next steps

  1. Make use of the GHG Protocol Scope 3 guidance and assess the 15 Scope 3 categories based on a spend analysis.
  2. For all relevant Scope 3 emissions categories, collect activity data and (secondary) emission factors.
  3. Identify your high priority suppliers with a spend analysis.
  4. Engage high priority suppliers that jointly represent at least 67% of total volume and request (primary) emissions data.


  1. For the spend analysis and the collection of activity data, make sure to engage colleagues from Procurement, Finance, and/or Business Control departments.
  2. Consider using an online Scope 3 screening tool, such as the one from Quantis or Sustainalize
  3. Emission factors for food products are available via the following links:

Step 4 - How to calculate emissions?

Key terms introduced in this video: supplier-specific method, hybrid method, average-based method, spend-based method, calculation tools for Scope 1-2 and Scope 3

Recommended next steps

  1. Calculate Scope 1-2 footprint using the supplier-specific method. Consider using existing Excel-based tools, or create your own.
  2. Depending on your experience and access to data, calculate the Scope 3 footprint using the supplier-specific, average or hybrid calculation method.
  3. Please check our Documents section for available excel-based calculation tools.


  1. Provide an audit-trail and save data sources in case of external verification of your footprint.
  2. While annually updating your footprint, don’t forget to update emission factors accordingly (especially electricity is subject to change on an annual basis).
  3. Always be mindful of correct use of units of measurements (grams, kilograms, tons, etc.)

Step 5 - How to develop a decarbonization roadmap?

Key terms introduced in this video: emission reductions longlist, decarbonization roadmap, internal carbon price

Recommended next steps

  1. Create a longlist of potential emission reduction measures.
  2. Enrich the longlist with management information for example, impacts and costs and consider using the Emission Reduction template provided on this platform.
  3. Rank and prioritize measures, and if needed, develop a business case.
  4. Engage your management and use the decarbonization roadmap to facilitate decision-making and accountability.


  1. In evaluating reduction measures, be mindful of desired or undesired side-effects.
  2. Consider using the emission reduction template in our Documents section.
  3. In your decarbonization roadmap, don’t postpone complex measures into the distant future. If extra knowledge and experience is needed, act today, for example, by doing a market study or a pilot.

Step 6 - How to engage suppliers?

Key terms introduced in this video: spend analysis

Recommended next steps

  1. Identify the suppliers you will engage based on a spend analysis, and create prioritized subsets of suppliers to differentiate your engagement.
  2. Proactively communicate your plans and ambitions to your suppliers, for example in personal dialogues, via a letter, or via an introductory webinar.
  3. Start onboarding your high(er) priority suppliers and facilitate the exchange of data.


  1. Facilitate learning & development in your supply chain, by referring to e-learning materials, such this knowledge portal or SME Climate Hub.
  2. To accelerate emission reduction, facilitate sharing of best practices among your peer suppliers.
  3. To enhance engagement, consider integrating climate KPIs into your standard documents and processes, in for example a supplier code of conduct, tender requirements, or annual supplier review checklists.

Step 7 – How to engage employees?

Key terms introduced in this video: awareness campaign, employees as sustainability ambassadors, internal price on carbon, hero projects

Recommended next steps

  1. Build internal awareness about climate change and your organizational carbon footprint.
  2. Develop a governance structure in which management is accountable for progress on climate metrics.
  3. Develop a community of sustainability ambassadors and give them ownership over innovative “hero projects”.


  1. Share your organizational footprint among staff and address actions that they can do to make them part of the solution.
  2. Work with an internal price of carbon, so that emissions are monetized. This creates an environment in which your decision-making is more likely to contribute to climate action.