Carbon footprint definition

A carbon footprint is the total amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated both directly and indirectly by human activity. These emissions include carbon dioxide (CO2) and other gases released into the earth’s atmosphere.

Greenhouse gases can be emitted by burning fossil fuels, clearing land and producing and consuming food, trans­port­ation, buildings, manufac­tured goods and much more.

It’s important to understand your carbon footprint so you can understand your contri­bution to global warming and take steps to reduce it.

How to measure carbon footprint for your business

How to measure carbon footprint for your business

A carbon footprint is usually measured as tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) emitted per year. The CO2e unit considers CO2, plus other greenhouse gases like methane and nitrous oxide.

Calculating a carbon footprint involves adding up all the emissions that occur at every stage of a product or service’s lifetime. These stages range from the production of materials, to manufac­turing, use and the end of its lifecycle.

It can be hard to get an exact measurement of your carbon footprint. Larger companies often use the services of an external consultancy to calculate their emissions. There are also free online tools that can help smaller businesses make a rough estimate.

How to lower your carbon footprint if you manage a fleet

How to lower your carbon footprint if you manage a fleet

There are many ways you can lower your carbon footprint on the road. The following driving behaviours can help boost fuel efficiency and cut CO2 emissions:

  • Observe the speed limit.
  • Adapt a “green speed”: a recommended speed based on fuel efficiency and the speed limit.
  • Keep your tyres properly inflated.
  • Regularly service your vehicles.
  • Avoid idling, harsh steering and heavy braking.
  • Be aware of appropriate gear changing.
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A fleet management solution like OptiDrive 360 can help drivers adopt a more responsible driving style, which in turn helps reduce your carbon footprint. Businesses can also benefit from reports that give insights on fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and maintenance.

Fleet managers may also consider adopting more fuel-ef­fi­cient vehicles or electri­fying their fleet. If all the fleets that were estimated to be able to make the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) did so, their collective CO2 emissions would be reduced by 31%. Webfleet’ Fleet Electri­fic­ation Report can evaluate your current fleet and recommend which vehicles could be replaced with an EV.

If you’re unable to reduce your emissions any further, you can take part in carbon offsetting. This means investing in envir­on­mental projects around the world to compensate for the carbon footprint from your activities.

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