Methodology of Greenspect calculations
The methodology is based on the GHG Protocol standard, specifically the Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard, the GHG Protocol Scope 2 Guidance, and relevant guidelines in the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard and ISO 14064-1:2018 Greenhouse gases — Part 1: Specification with guidance at the organization level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals . Greenspect is also in line with the Estonian national guidelines for organizations when calculating the climate impact recommended by the Ministry of the Environment. Based on the consumption data entered by you, Greenspect calculates the size of the carbon footprint using relevant and accurate emission factors.
It is an internationally recognised and the most used methodology among companies and institutions for calculating their climate impact. GHG Protocol is the number one standard, referred to by sustainability regulations (e.g., the European Union Sustainability Reporting Directive), the PCAF standard used by banks to assess the climate impact of their loans and investments, rating agencies and indices assessing the sustainability of companies, as well as national climate impact calculation guidelines for organisations (e.g., by the Estonian Ministry of the Environment).
The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTI), which is the only recognised body in the world that validates the compliance of the carbon footprint reduction targets started by companies with the scenarios of the Paris Agreement, has also required the use of the GHG Protocol to calculate the company's greenhouse gas emissions.
GHG Protocol is basically the only standard in use the world, which is used as basis and referred to by other guidelines. It is the A to Z for all organisations that want to calculate their footprint and report to partners – big and small, service and manufacturing, private and public sector institutions.
The Greenspect model is based on the principle of operational control. It means that GHG emissions are taken into account, arising from sources/activities over which your organization has control. According to this, the responsibility for emissions rests with the party that is in the best position to control GHG emissions and reduce them, including by picking suppliers and the products and services purchased from them.
The GHG Protocol standard divides the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the organisation's activities into three areas of influence or scope:
Scope 1. Direct greenhouse gas emissions: from sources owned or controlled by the organization (e.g., vehicle fuels, stationary fuel burning equipment, and diffuse emissions)
Scope 2. Indirect emissions resulting from outsourced energy: (e.g., emissions related to outsourced electricity and thermal energy production)
Scope 3. Other indirect emissions that occur as a result of activities directed upwards or downwards in the organisation's value chain (taking into account the particularities of the organization, the standard compels to choose all relevant sources of emissions from 15 categories, e.g., Greenspect covers outsourced products and services (category 1), fixed assets (category 2), fuel and energy related activities aka indirect impact (category 3), waste (category 5), work trips (category 6), and employee mobility (category 7))*.
* The calculation of scope 3 may be wider than what Greenspect covers today – for example, impact related to the use and end-of-life of the services and products offered.
Carbon offsetting or any offset mechanism are not taken into account in the assessment of the organisation's carbon footprint.
Emission avoidance is also not taken into account in the GHG inventory calculation
The first solution of the Greenspect model is suitable for service sector companies and public sector and local government institutions, and covers the areas of influence 1, 2, and 3 (in the scope of office and administrative activities).
In spring 2023, a solution for all other companies (excluding agriculture, mining) will be added to the Greenspect model, within which the measurement of impact areas 1 and 2 will be covered. This is the minimum calculation scale to start a climate impact assessment. We recommend asking us for the tailor-made solution for a comprehensive calculation of the climate impact in impact area 3 resulting from the specifics of the company's field of activity and supply chain.
The Greenspect model is not suitable for agriculture or mining companies, because their impact area 1 and 2 emissions are specific (e.g., emissions from land use) and require a separate calculation to obtain a sufficient and accurate result, so we recommend contacting us for a tailor-made solution.
Greenspect uses reliable international specific emission factors to calculate the impact of emission sources where location is not important (i.e., the climate impact of using the same material or product is the same in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, but also in Poland, France, and Paraguay). You can be sure that the calculation made by Greenspect does not use global averages, which may significantly differ from your location-based factor.
According to the greenhouse gas reporting standard, emissions resulting from energy consumption (impact area 2) must be reported on the basis of two calculation methods: the a) location-based and b) market-based method.
The market-based method reflects electricity emissions related to choices made by the organization in the electricity market (e.g., if a renewable energy package has been selected).
The location-based method expresses the emission of electricity production in a specific area, regardless of which energy package the organization has chosen and whether the electricity consumption is compensated with a certificate of origin proving the origin of renewable energy or not.
The purpose of dual reporting is to ensure consistency and comparability of GHG reporting as it helps better identify trends and changes in a company's carbon footprint. At the same time, the results of the two approaches are not combined, but are presented separately. When displaying the final aggregate result, the result of the market-based calculation methodology will be taken into account.
Methodology for calculating the climate impact of employee mobility between their residence and place of work
To assess the impact of the organization's employees on their daily commute to and from work, we will help you conduct an online survey among your employees, in which employees report on:
which means of transport they use on a typical workday;
how many kilometres they travel to work on a typical workday.
The online survey created for this purpose has been created in advance by Greenspect and is ready for you to send to your employees. The aggregate result of the received answers will automatically be added to the company's other data on the Greenspect form, you do not need to make separate intermediate calculations. The average carbon footprint of one employee's mobility will be calculated based on all the responses, this will be extended to the entire organization based on the average number of employees.
To evaluate the emissions resulting from the use of home office, we will help you conduct an online survey among your employees (the same survey for assessing the commute to and from work, i.e., you only have to send one survey to your employees), in which employees report on:
an estimate of how often they worked from home;
what IT equipment was used for this;
whether the home was additionally heated/cooled while in the home office, compared to daily use.
Only additional energy use that was only due to working from home and that differs from the usual household energy use, is included in the home office impact calculation. This means that the energy consumption of electronic devices running in the background, such as a refrigerator, is not included in the calculation. In evaluating energy use and emissions, input is also obtained from scientific literature, international databases, and relevant reports.
The aggregate result of the received answers will automatically be added to the company's other data on the Greenspect form, you do not need to make separate intermediate calculations. The average carbon footprint of one employee's home office will be calculated based on all the responses, this will be extended to the entire organization based on the average number of employees.
Greenhouse gases (GHG) – gases in the atmosphere that absorb heat radiation and cause the greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse effect – a phenomenon caused by greenhouse gases, which warms the atmosphere near the Earth's surface (troposphere). Without the natural greenhouse effect, the temperature would be below zero. However, human activity has significantly amplified the greenhouse effect and is causing global warming and climate change.
Carbon footprint – the quantitatively expressed total amount of greenhouse gas emissions (measured in CO2 equivalents) that occurs as a result of the activities of a company/organization or other unit. Also dubbed 'climate impact', colloquially also 'CO2-footprint' (although it includes all greenhouse gases).
CO2-equivalent (CO2-eq) – a universal unit of measurement of greenhouse gases that reflects their different potential to cause global warming, expressed in CO2-equivalent. The impact of GHG emissions in the atmosphere are considered to occur over a 100-year period (GWP100)
Emission factor (special emission factor) – a ratio that expresses the amount of greenhouse gas released in a certain area of human activity per unit of action (e.g., 0.173 kg CO2-eq per one kilometre driven by a diesel car).
Global warming potential (GWP) – shows how many times a molecule of another greenhouse gas is stronger than a molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) in terms of its ability to absorb heat energy. The global warming potentials used in this report are based on those presented in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) (considering a 100-year period).