Do You Know Your Numbers?

//Do You Know Your Numbers?

You know your profit, your turnover, your margins. You probably see your overheads in your sleep. So is it time more businesses knew the numbers regarding their carbon footprint?

Management guru Peter Drucker’s quote “What gets measured, gets managed”  remains applicable to a surprisingly large range of circumstances, including energy consumption and carbon footprint.

Want to cut the per unit cost of an item you produce? Or increase profit? Or widen margins? You’ll need to measure production time, output and cost and volume of raw materials before you can understand which ‘levers to pull’. The same is unquestionably true of your carbon footprint. Unless you know how much CO2 and other greenhouse gases your processes create – and crucially, which of those process are the worst ‘offenders’ – you can’t target your improvements and you won’t know how much improvement you make.

And yet, most businesses don’t know their carbon footprint. More businesses (and especially large corporations) are taking action to reduce emissions, but for the companies we work with (250 employees or less) emissions is a hot topic that frequently generates a lot of hot air, but not a lot of substance. 

So do you know your carbon footprint?

Because if you don’t, there are lots of benefits to finding out…

What do we mean by ‘carbon footprint’?

Emissions. Carbon. CO2. CO2e. You’ll have seen all of these used in conjunction with your carbon footprint. All are frequently used as ‘catch-all’ terms for greenhouse gases that have a ‘global warming potential’ (i.e. once they escape to the atmosphere they contribute to the warming of the planet).

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most well known of these, but there are six others, including methane, nitrous oxide and hydrofluorocarbons, identified in the Kyoto Protocol. To provide a simple form of measurement, all of the ‘Kyoto gases’ are measured relative to CO2. So your carbon footprint is measured as CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent).

How can knowing my carbon footprint benefit my business?

Benchmark: Knowing your carbon footprint today gives you a baseline to work from when planning improvements. Unless you know the figure now, how do you know what difference your improvements made?

Tendering: It can make tendering easier, because as more organisations add environmental elements to their procurement processes, knowing the numbers cuts the cost and complexity of each tender. We wrote about that here.

Cutting costs: Knowing your carbon footprint can help lower costs in a range of ways:

  • It can help you cut the cost of the energy you buy
  • It can highlight energy peaks and troughs, and help you make improvements to lessen the impact of costly peaks
  • It can identify processes or equipment that are proving the biggest drain on energy and help you make improvements
  • It can lower overall energy usage, which gives you an immediate cost benefit, and a future benefit as energy costs rise

PR: Reporting on emissions is a vital part of many companies’ CSR (corporate social responsibility) work, with a knock on effect for PR and marketing. It’s good to do good. It’s even better to be seen to be doing good. And you can’t do that unless you know your numbers.

Climate: Unless every organisation does more to protect the climate, every element of doing business will become harder and more expensive. So knowing your carbon footprint is a great base from which to make your business cleaner, more efficient and kinder to the planet.

Funding: If there’s a cost involved in making improvements, we’ll provide a grant for 50% of that cost up to £15,000. To access the grant, you need the numbers.

Fortunately, there’s also 12 hours’ funded support (which includes a Carbon Assessment) provided to Lancashire businesses from the European Regional Development Fund alongside the University of Central Lancashire. So you can know your numbers for free.

What gets measured?

We’ll measure your organisational carbon footprint in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the standard accounting tool use by organisations and governments to quantify emissions. It’s a simple process, and aside from supplying us with a few energy bills, there’s nothing more for you to do.

We will put your report together by looking at direct and indirect emissions, and this will include:

  • Fuel combustion
  • Company vehicles
  • Process emissions
  • Fugitive emissions (i.e. emissions escaping from pressurised equipment)
  • Purchased heat, electricity and steam

Making a difference

When you know the numbers, you can take action. And when you take action, you can lower costs as well as emissions. To date, we’ve identified an average saving of £7,242 per client, per year. Those who’ve accessed grant funding through us have saved even more. And the process is quick, simple and hassle-free.

If you’re a Lancashire business, find out your carbon footprint – and lower it – with MaCaW. Call us now on 01772 893963 or contact us


The MaCaW project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).  So if you want to take advantage, do it now while the investment is still there. Talk to MaCaW.  Email or call 01772 893963.