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Carbon Footprinting

The Green House Gas Protocol identifies a company’s emissions in three categories. Scopes 1, 2 & 3 are the basis for mandatory GHG reporting in the UK (Carbon foot printing) The scopes are based on an assessment of which emissions from your operations you can directly control and which you can influence.

Scope 1. Green House Gas (GHG) emissions that a company makes directly, for example, company facilities, including air-con and vehicles.

Scope 2. GHG emissions made indirectly e.g. electricity purchased, heating, cooling. For a company like Workbench Scopes 1 and 2 are likely to be small as we have a modest office space and a medium size team.

Scope 3. The big one. GHG emissions the company is indirectly responsible for. In Workbench’s case for example the steel, glass, timber we buy and then the emissions generated in the fabrication of that material. It includes anything a company has influence over. Below is some of what Workbench measured.

To be able to substantiate year on year carbon reductions it is our understanding that a company should measure its current footprint and report it so that it can then demonstrate the reduction achieved going forward. We used certified consultants who specialise in carbon management to help us measure and report. If you would like more information on the resources we used please get in touch.

Carbon Neutral Workbench is carbon neutral because it has measured Scopes 1, 2 and 3, has had this verified by a third party and then has off set its total carbon emissions by investing in United Nations approved projects. Workbench knows this has a positive impact but it is not a longterm solution, we must aim for Net Zero.

Carbon Net Zero This is only achieved when a company has demonstrated that it has reduced its carbon footprint to the lowest carbon emissions possible, whilst still being able to fulfil the functions to keep operating, and then offsetting the remaining emissions. For this reason a company is highly unlikely to be able to achieve Carbon Net Zero straight away. Companies must first identify and measure their footprint before they make claims of reducing it. Companies will need to have documented proof of how they have reduced their footprint to the lowest possible level and will need to have it verified by a third party and or be assessed to a certified standard to legitimately claim Net Zero. Workbench is measuring and reporting its carbon emissions publicly and is aiming to reach Net Zero within 5 years.

How SME’s can make a difference Collectively SME’s are enormous. At the start of 2021 there were over 5.5 million SME’s in the UK (0-49 employees) SMEs account for three fifths of the employment and around half of the turnover in the UK private sector. If SME’s all measured their carbon footprint, introduced reduction targets and in the meantime off set their carbon it would be a massive shift in the UK's carbon footprint.

This information is based on research that Workbench has undertaken. We always welcome feedback and are happy to learn from the experiences of others.


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