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Climate roadmap helps companies to manage their carbon footprint

Warming climate and its global effects are visible and affect the operations of companies and organizations. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions that intensify the global warming, i.e. the carbon footprint, must be reduced in all sectors globally. Calculating the current state of carbon footprint (baseline) is vital for companies to understand how much emissions are caused from the operations, and which factors are causing the biggest carbon footprint. After calculating the baseline, actions for reductions can be planned by drawing up a climate roadmap.

For an organization aiming at sustainable operations, the first step in the climate work is to determine the carbon footprint occurring in the organization’s own operations as well as in the value chain. In the organizational level carbon footprint calculation, the annual emissions are determined as a whole – i.e. emissions related to the energy consumption of production and business premises, vehicles and transport, and purchases, among other things.

Mapping the current state shows where the emissions are occurring, how great they are, and it often arouses a natural interest in what can be done about the carbon footprint. Setting an ambitious and realistic goal, however, usually requires an understanding not only of the current state, but also of possible actions and their emission reduction potential. In this context, the climate roadmap supports organizations.

Creating the climate roadmap in a workshop

After identifying the most significant emission factors, it’s time to think about the organization’s options to reduce the carbon footprint. In practice, there are two ways to reduce the emissions: emissions can be avoided by not doing unnecessary or extra activities, or emissions can be reduced by reduction activities. Avoiding emissions means, for example, cutting out unnecessary driving in the transport chain. While a reduction activity can be, for example, replacing electricity generated from fossil fuels with renewable electricity. Typically, climate roadmap is co-created in a workshop, where organization’s key persons identify and come up with ideas for activities, their implementation schedule, and the responsible parties to reduce the carbon footprint.

After the co-creation workshop, the emission reductions to be achieved by the actions are numerically assessed with scenario analysis. The scenarios are used to estimate the development of the carbon footprint in the future, which helps both in setting the climate goal, as well as in evaluating the adequacy of the actions in relation to the goals already set.

Monitoring the carbon footprint ensures the achievement of the goals

After the creation of the climate roadmap, the implementation of actions is planted in the organization’s operations. If the carbon footprint calculation is repeated every year, one can be assured that the right things are done and the organization is on the right track. Because several aspects affecting emissions are challenging to predict in advance, identifying and delegating additional actions or measures may come into question. Updating the climate roadmap along with the emission tracking supports the climate work, highlighting successes and, on the other hand, areas for development.

Communication usually plays an important role in the success of climate work. It is good to communicate about goals, practical implementation, and results both within the organization and externally. Especially, the discussions with suppliers and other stakeholders, and the detailed emission data from the value chain help organizations to refine carbon footprint calculation, as well as to set ambitious goals.

We support companies and organizations in setting and achieving climate goals, whether they are, for example, in accordance with the Science-based targets initiative (SBTi), carbon neutrality or other climate goals. If you are interested in finding out your company's carbon footprint and your options for emissions reductions, please contact us. We are happy to discuss more about how we can support your climate work.