Business activities are a company’s actions that generate GHG emissions, for instance electricity use in buildings, and employee travel to work. To build a Log, you need to enter raw data — utility bills, purchase orders, travel records, cloud usage reports, and more.

Sourcing the right data is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to a company's carbon footprint. It is important to consider when deciding the scope of business activities to include within the carbon footprint, and when deciding how to report activity data in the Log emission categories. Moreover, collecting data is challenging because the company needs to coordinate with its suppliers and customers as well as with internal departments of the company.

Why is it important to collect data with sufficient quality?

  • Ensure that the inventory appropriately reflects GHG emissions
  • Support company’s goals
  • Serve decision making needs of users

Prioritizing data sourcing: screening method

The first step in data sourcing is to select the activity categories that should be of a high or low priority in order to focus data collection efforts on the former. Here are some criteria to base the screening process on:

Generally, significant activity categories should receive the most precise data sourcing treatment.

Data sourcing options

Cozero Logs offer activity data entry options. In general, a hierarchy of data entry options are offered. These are below, and listed from high to low data accuracy.

  • Primary data from suppliers – Data from specific activities within a company’s activities and value chain. Generally, the most accurate source of data as it provides better representation of a company’s activities. For instance: Company specific emission factors.
  • Secondary data sources – Data that is not from specific activities, mostly estimations. For instance: industry-average data (e.g. published database, statistics) or proxy data. Secondary data are generally less accurate than primary data as they are not representative of specific activities but they are useful when primary data is unavailable or of poor quality. For instance: Estimated distance traveled based on industry-average data.
  • Spend data – Data that is not from specific activities, mostly estimations. For instance: industry-average data (e.g. published database, statistics) or proxy data. Secondary data are generally less accurate than primary data as they are not representative of specific activities but they are useful when primary data is unavailable or of poor quality. For instance: Amount spent on product or service type.

Users should choose the method that is the most appropriate to the data available to them, to their business goals and the significance of the emissions of the category.

Data sourcing on Log

The majority of your emissions could well lie within Scope 3, which could make these emissions simultaneously the most challenging and the most important.

Principles for getting started on data sourcing include:

  • Select the activity data that is readily available. Often, users start by sourcing spend based data, and then build granularity over time.
  • Choose a manageable and representative sample of Locations to report emissions against.
  • Limit the number of suppliers you get emissions data from.
  • Select categories that are relevant for your business, and where data is available.

Once you are up and running you can add detail and quality over time, for instance by sourcing primary data from suppliers.

Please get in touch with our team if you require additional support in the calculation of emissions: support@cozero.io