Measuring carbon impact

As FIDI launches a much-needed carbon measurement tool for Affiliates, Sustainability and Strategic Communications Manager Magali Horbert shares her thoughts on how best to collate and measure our carbon footprint

Sustainability reporting for RFPs and the wider business are increasing fast, with new legislation formalising these requirements. To make this more straightforward for our membership – and as we reported in the last issue of FIDI Focus – FIDI is launching a carbon calculator that allows companies to input and crunch transport, travel, office, energy, and other data, to give measurable (and comparable) carbon-usage figures.

As we do this, I thought I’d share some of the most important learnings that have come from working on developing FIDI’s sustainability tools for our Affiliates.

  • Carbon accounting is not an exact science. I am not questioning the science of measuring the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere, which is an established science. However, attributing these emissions to specific commercial activities across complex supply chains is another thing, and no industry has this figured out completely – transportation and logistics included.
  • If you get hung up on the exact numbers, you will lose track of the main purpose of the exercise, which is to define a baseline to understand and report on your company’s carbon footprint, and lower the impact based on the data.
  • Requests from clients and legislators to report on your sustainability efforts are set to increase – and are becoming more detailed and data-centred. You will be asked for your carbon footprint report soon, if you haven’t been asked already!

There is currently no coordinated approach to carbon measurement and reporting in international relocation. Suppliers are being asked to report in different ways and with very little guidance, putting immense pressure on them. The reason for this is that, mostly, even clients/bookers don’t understand what is being asked from them.

FIDI’s approach to supporting its members (and the wider industry) in this area Why has FIDI decided to develop a bespoke carbon calculator for relocation businesses? There are two main reasons.

First, understanding what goes into carbon calculation is complicated – but we are all facing exactly the same challenge. If each company has to source and pay for its own consultant to solve this for them, it would be very expensive for everybody.

Second, there are many solutions available: if every company chooses a different solution, we can’t compare data across the industry, making the actual calculations useless (and still expensive!)

The FIDI x Worldfavor calculator will allow:

  • A free-of-charge facility for relocation companies to calculate the carbon emissions linked to their main activities
  • An industry-wide, coordinated, and transparent approach to CO2 calculations, making data comparable between companies and regions
  • Industry-wide insights, allowing for data-drive decisions to be taken by all stakeholders across the value chain.
  • It is important to remember that the calculator will only be as good as the data you feed into it. Collecting and inputting the data is still the responsibility of the company.
  • Reporting on sustainability efforts and replying to sustainability questions in RFPs is a time-consuming and complicated exercise.

The FIDI x Worldfavor calculator only helps with the actual carbon footprint calculation of your Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions; you will still need to: collect the data to put into the calculator; use the results to populate your sustainability report and your RFP submissions; and act on the results to lower your impact.

The actual data-collection process is fundamental, as you will need the most accurate and detailed data you can get to ensure the best possible results. You will also need to show consistency in your data collection, so getting it right from the beginning will avoid future headaches.

We strongly recommend that you take time at the beginning to structure your approach in such a way as to make future collection easy and reliable. Putting one person in your company in charge of this process will ensure accountability and proper follow-up.

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