James Cannings

James Cannings

James is the Chief Sustainability Officer of MSQ, a global digital marketing group, and the Co-Chair of the BIMA Sustainability Council.

Location United Kingdom

Activity

  • Hi @LiaVeres - I think there are some definitions on page 2 of that PDF. If not check this link:
    https://www.carbonfootprint.com/docs/2020_09_emissions_factors_sources_for_2020_electricity_v14.pdf
    (see page 2)

    The definition is a little complex and I won't repeat it here. But "Production mix" is the correct one for working out you "location based"...

  • Fair comment! Actually the old UK data used to show EVs as zero emissions. Now there is some new data available which I'll add into the model soon. It's around 0.06 kg per km driven (about 80% lower than an average deisel vehicle).

    I'll need to have a think about how I make this correct for other countries since it will of course relate to the average grid...

  • Good question. I should probably make that clearer. My numbers were worked out ex-VAT so I suggest that you use the same approach. It's a bit of a crude / simple approach (with the benefit of helping people get a rough order or magnitude!) which I will try and make more granular next year.

  • It's a good question! I'm actually not 100% sure. The most details information on Scope 2 emissions is here:
    https://ghgprotocol.org/sites/default/files/ghgp/standards/Scope%202%20Guidance_Final_0.pdf

    The table on page 41 would imply to me that you can subtract the kWh exported to the grid from the kWh that you use. So if you are using a location-based...

  • It's just based on an average headcount over the year so as long as you can get a reasonable estimate of that. Of course the vehicle types will change but as lot as the profile of vehicle types is approxiamately right it's probably about as accurate as you can be. The other alternative (if agency works are not PAYE staff) is that they fall under the spend on...

  • That's my understanding although I should state that I've not used them before (we used VCS and Gold Standard schemes when we went through the PAS2060 certification). But their website does state that:
    "The Woodland Carbon Code is internationally recognised for high standards of sustainable forest management and carbon management and is endorsed by ICROA, the...

  • @MatthewMcGuire yes - that's what we do. Official "avoidance" offsetting is still a great thing to do. Even if it doesn't really bring things back into balance (mostly just investing in projects that help stop the situation from getting worse.....which is great of course!). Next year we are considering using permenant carbon capture projects to remove our...

  • Per product is certainly relevant. But Net Zero will require companies to reduce by 90% in absolute terms (regardless of growth). That's just the nature of the battle against climate change being somewhat at odds with manufacturing and selling lots of stuff!

  • Hi @EdwardBlogg off the top of my head is the Accenture report that I mentioned in the Cost & Benefit section:
    https://ugc.futurelearn.com/uploads/files/1d/12/1d125fbf-a97d-41b8-8208-8808a609ca6c/Accenture_-_Shaping_the_Sustainable_Organization_Report.pdf

    If others on here have links to other reports about the success of sustainable brands hopefully they...

  • You are only responsible for the emissions caused by people within your company flying. That would be scope 3 (unless you owned the aircraft!). There is always double-accounting with scope 2 and 3. So those scope 3 emissions would be scope 1 emissions for the airline. But if you are just creating adverts to encourage others to fly then you don't have to...

  • Thanks @AlexandraMirea - I'll try and get Romania added soon!

  • @MatthewMcGuire great question! It would be great to see this. A bit like the energy ratings that we get on buildings in the UK. You could have an environmental rating that also factored in those types of thing. If those statistics exist it's not something I've seen.

  • @MatthewMcGuire I've not come across anyone going to that level (and you don't need to). But I am aware of a number of apps that businesses can encourage staff to use (I list out some of my favorites in week 6!). I prefer those that focus on "gamifying" personal carbon footprints of your teams. But I've seen some that will track commute data via the app. I...

  • Hi @JasonJames - yes, this is exactly how you would do this. If you find a good source for the information (tonnes of pellets > CO2e emissions) then please do share it with me and we can find a simple way to include that as a resource for others.

  • Yes - it certainly would. My plan is to add something into the modelling tool on this course. For a professional services company (which is what we are!) it's a fairly small percentage of our overall footprint so we didn't originally include it. But for this course I need to add something. In the short-term hopefully you could find a 3rd party tool to help...

  • @RoySchweiker I've updated the note on standing charges in this section. Thanks for the feedback

  • @RoySchweiker I've updated the note on standing charges in this section. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Thanks @RoySchweiker - as per my comment to you post about the electricity emissions later in the week it seems like the standing charge in the US is a much higher percentage of your bill than in the UK (where it is typically less than 10%). But I'll change the guidance in both section.

    The reason that it seems unduly complex (fair comment!) is that I've...

  • Hi @RoySchweiker - thanks for the feedback. It seems like the standing charges are setup very differently in the US to the UK so I may need to adjust for that market. I'm just looking at my (personal) bill now and my standing charge is less than 10% (£7.62 against a total bill of £95.37). But clearly that's not the way that things are setup in the US so I'll...

  • Yes - at the moment, if it's handled by another company then it is scope 3 and would be a "service" that is covered here. Of course the model is a little crude in this regard (aimed to help companies get started quickly with a rough order of magnitude). I'm hopeing to develop an (optional!) "Advanced mode" for this section soon for companies that want to split...

  • Yes - any emissions from company owned vehicles or emissions coming direct from a company owned factory / office would be scope 1.

  • @MatthewMcGuire Yes - this is certanily the most commonly adopted by larger corporates and the public sector (certainly in the UK from my experience). There will be other frameworks and standards but this seems to be the most well regarded.

  • The problem with Google is that there have been lots of people "defining" Net Zero in general terms. The reason that the SBTi have formally defined it as a 90% reduction (with only 10% being removed) is, I believe, because permenant carbon removal technologies (which we'll discuss in week 4) are not yet fully proven at scale. So we just can't rely on them and...

  • @AdrianPepper good question. I think so but I'd have to do some more digging. All I would say is that the conversion factors I use in my model are from the BEIS datasets:
    https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/greenhouse-gas-reporting-conversion-factors-2021

    These are widely considered to be one of the best standards for emission factors (across things...

  • @AdrianPepper don't worry - you are absolutely correct. There is lots of double-accounting in carbon calculations (and that's ok!). Only your scope 1 emissions won't be double-accounted! Your scope 2 emissions will be your energy companies scope 1 emissions. The products you buy will require emissions all the way down through the supply chain to be factored...

  • @AdrianPepper Thanks. They are on my list and I'll try and get them added soon. I'll also try and make it simple for people to add their own countries (might be hard for me to support all of them!).

  • It's on my todo list. Sorry - it's not on there yet. The model does allow you to calculate this separately and add it in. I'll try and get it added to the modelling tool soon.

  • That's fairly enough! It's just an interesting statistic that surprises people. As an EV driver it certainly is a bit of a mess at the moment (you have to have about 10 apps installed to find and use the different types of chargers from different suppliers andn different cars have different connectors so there are often cables all over the place!). Hopefully...

  • Should be. I see a UK ££ version and they support lots of currencies. They are a UK business. Not sure what's going on there.

    Yes - if you just offset via Ecologi then this is greenwashing! You have to do the reduction piece. But that doesn't mean that these are great projects to support in the meantime.

  • Maybe - but I think storing it in rocks like this is a very permenant solution in that it's hard to convert that back to CO2! You could certainly argue that it's more permenant than tree planting. What happens if they burn down / die / get chopped down etc? Obviously there is a biodiversity benefit there too!

    I would argue that it is a very exciting...

  • @MatthewMcGuire exactly right. We cover "homeworker emissions" in week 3 and it's included in our modelling. Overall the reduction in travel during covid (for us at least) was much larger than the uptick from people working from home. But (in the UK at least) the problem there is that there is a lot of gas central heating that then appears in scope 3. I think...

  • @MatthewMcGuire all good points! I'm really just pointing out the two official mechanisms that can be used to report on your emissions. And I still think that businesses switching to renewable energy companies sends the right signal to the markets and puts money in the right place which should speed up the transition (rather than just hoping that goverments...

  • It's a good question @MatthewMcGuire. I'd never actually thought about why they did that! You could have just classed "Emissions from purchase of electricity steam, heat and cooling" as an additional category in scope 3 (which would then have probably been called scope 2!). i.e. just separated them into direct and indirect emissions. Perhaps someone will be...

  • Ah - that might be an Excel specific thing because it is using a dynamic lookup to get an up to date currency exchange. So, for France the "Currency exchange" says "GBP/EUR" and the "Exchange rate" box is a formula that says "=B4.Price" (which dynamically gets the exchange rate). At the moment that puts the value "1.17" in that box. If that's not working for...

  • It's a reasonable point and of course you might be more comfortable with location-based reporting. There are inefficiencies in generating electricity from renewable sources (e.g. you might consume 10kWh of electricity but 11kWh had to be generated at the turbine and 10% was lost due to efficiencies). But you can still make the arguement that there were no...

  • @HellenK. If you are purchasing your emissions from a renewable supplier then you can certainly record them as zero (using the "market-based" approach. Of course there are a lot of emissions created in the constuction of a wind-farm! But you don't have to worry about that at this point.

  • Thanks @AdrianPepper - you can use that approach if you use the "Advanced" mode (on the next step). The model uses the BEIS data for emission factors like gas and electricity. So you can put in the exact kWh usage if you can get the data and that's how it will work. However, for lots of SMEs I've found that they stuggle to get hold of that information. In...

  • Thanks @StefanieWegner do you have another source so that I could update? In terms of the % breakdown above there are a number of sources that will give values close to that. For example:
    https://www.nrdc.org/stories/greenhouse-effect-101
    (given as 76%, 16%, 6% and 2% so a little different to my 80%, 10%, 7%, 3% figure).

    I've certainly seen very...

  • Great question @H.P - it's probably the subject for another course! Driving awareness around digital footprints is another area of my work. In fact I recently launched a low-carbon website with a curated list of resources to help teams measure and build lower carbon digital solutions:
    https://thegreenpages.bima.co.uk/the-green-pages/

    The carbon footprint...

  • @RoySchweiker I think we are actually sort of saying the same thing. The point you are making above is that, if 10% of people paid for 100% renewable nothing magically changes in terms of the countries over all grid emission factor (it's still 10% renewables in your example). But if 100% people switch it still sends a very strong message to the market about...

  • @MikWisniewski Yes - thanks for the correction! Sad to see companies like Bulb failing in the energy crisis. I don't think that losing ethically focussed businesses like that can be good for consumers (or climate change in the long term). I try to pick energy companies that ONLY supply renewale energy rather than supporting those that have a mix (with some...

  • Hi @SallyCole - I assume this is a general question about modelling the footprint of the building rather than about this step (reporting periods). I'd need to understand a little more about your company and it's relationship to the building. Do you own the whole building? Does your company run the community centre? Or perhaps you are just responsible for /...

  • Great to see that they were accurate with their desription of the target! Too many people incorrectly are referring to that as "Net Zero by 2030"

  • @omalakapanagoda well done for working out how to override them in the settings! I'll get Australia added soon (although I'll probably also create a simple way for people to do what you've done as I can't really add every country!). The gas figure you have works out at 0.234kgCO2e/kWh (divide by 277.778 to convert). Just wanted to check that you'd done that...

  • That's very generous of someone! If they are not generators owned by you (sounds like that aren't) then they would fall into scope 3. I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to find the average emissions from a deisel generator per hour. You could multiple that by an estimated number of hours that you run the generators across the year and drop that total into the...

  • I think youo have a few options here @NichWoolf . The subcontractors can all be counted in scope 3 (under "Amount spent on purchased goods and services per year") although it might be less accurate than treating them as staff. If you can't easily pick an average for full time staff and people that just help at festivals then you could try running two versions...

  • True - but in week 3 I'll show you how we work that out using data from a whitepaper that came out last year. It allows us to use averages for gas and electricity based on the average number of people that work from home. It's not perfect but no company is going to want to measure the actual kWh usage (and supplier) for every member of staff. Getting a...

  • @SusiArnott you've probably got there already, but you'll see that I talk about B Corp in the next section. I think B Corp can be great for any type of company. In fact it's much easier to go for it when you're a start-up. I'm in the middle of the process for MSQ. With 10 seperate companies across 5 countries under a parent group it's really (really!) hard...

  • @MartinCouzins good question. No, that's certainly not the assumption. As we get into the course and the measurement you'll see that we factor in working from home (and the emissions caused by a fully remote workforce). They become a Scope 3 emission at that point but it's certainly covered! The measurement tools on this course certainly work for a hybrid or...

  • Thanks @SusiArnott that's kind!

  • Sorry - I was using calander year quarters (more normal for carbon footprint reporting) and not financial years. Although that's the standard financial year, companies can then have any financial years that they like (ours is the 1st March to 28th February!).

  • For us business wasn't impacted very much and revenue was fairly similar. That's because we're a global digital marketing / tech business so could easily have a workforce that worked remotely and the B2B nature of the work meant that we were less impacted than many. So these reductions in 2020 were really just the impact of a company having to operate in a...

  • @SusiArnott I think that's right Susi but I'd argue it depends on the messaging. We need to help people reduce (I discuss some fun staff schemes and apps to help gamify that in week 6). And perhaps, as the costs come down and it scales, we'll be able to do more permenant carbon capture (rather than this standard offsetting). But it's a tricky balance because I...

  • If the car is charged at the office then it would move from a scope 1 emission (i.e. what a deisel car would be) to scope 2 because this will add to the company electricity bill. The emissions would then depend on whether the company is using a location-based or market-based approach to measuring scope 2 (which is covered in a couple of steps time!).

  • I think it's best to combine this with the "working days in the year" (step 2.10) to find a number that works for you. For example, if you have 12 staff but everyone only works 1 month of the year then you could put "12" for this setting and "30" (days) for the average working days in the year. If it got very confusing then you could run two separate versions...

  • Good question. I'm not an accountant either! Might be best to look up the GHG Protocol PDF on how to treat large capital expenditure. I would assume that some things could / should be spread over multiple years. e.g. if there is a large investment for capital goods that will last 10 years then I suspect the emissions should be spread. I'm planning to update...

  • I hope we'll make that clearer as we go through the course! No, if you are using a location-based technique then you always report on 100% of your emissions. If your country or state supply is 90% renewable then the "grid emission factor" (which converts kWh used to CO2e) will be very low. e.g. over-time, if we use location-based reporting for scope 2...

  • @MikeArfsten - sorry if that's not clear. No, you can just enter everyting in US dollars and the calculator will work it all out for you. As it's just dividing one number by the other it won't really impact the gas and electricity values that much (if you changed the total paid and the price per kWh). But it would impact the Scope 3 "Amount spent on purchased...

  • @MuhammadFarhanAli There are a few sources for this. And looking at this table makes me wonder if I actually missed a "0" off this when I wrote the course!
    https://climatechangeconnection.org/emissions/co2-equivalents/
    (look at the table at the bottom).

    Essentially it's the estimated warming effect of the gas versus CO2.

  • I would say that this article is a little out of date now that we have the formal definition of Net Zero. The problem with "carbon neutrality" is that the formal standards for this (PAS2060) allow this to mean that you are balancing emissions with offsetting. But protecting a forest is NOT the same as permenant carbon capture (because the forest was there...

  • When you pick a "Country of operations" the grid emissions factor is pulled from a lookup table and set in cell D5 of the "Emissions settings" tab. So if you can find your coutries grid emission factor (here might be a good place to start):
    https://www.carbonfootprint.com/docs/2020_09_emissions_factors_sources_for_2020_electricity_v14.pdf

    ...then you could...

  • @SusiArnott Good question. I think the GHG Protocol gets you so far and then there are often edge cases that aren't clearly defined. In your example I would say that the emissions from the audience travelling to the show are certainly part of the Scope 3 of the TV show. Perhaps officially they don't sit under "Commuting" or "Business travel" (because the...

  • I think it's just about putting money in the right place so that more investment is put into renewables. If everyone switched to 100% renewables in the UK tomorrow, our grid emissin factor wouldn't magically jump to 0 (because the companies just wouldn't be able to meet that demand so quickly!). But it sends a strong message to those companies and investors.

  • Your point about EVs is valid. Buying one drives demand and puts money in the right areas. It reduces the company carbon footprint but it's very important that we are aware of production emissions and recycling ability.

    I don't think you can have zero scope 3. See how you feel about that after week 3.

  • Absolutely. In week 5 we'll look at some ways to do that as we track the reductions. Up to you what you say on day 1. Knowing the footprint helps set the priorities for the reduction plan. So i guess you could focus on that.

  • Hi @SallyCole - it's PAS2060 but you don't need it. It's a carbon neutrality certification which I got to be more confident with my approach. Honestly I'd probably spend the money of setting a Science Based Reduction target or on other initiatives.

  • @GabrielMejia I think you would get a lot of value by running through the steps and putting in some fake data. It will give you a good understanding of how things work. And it would be very quick for you as you don't have to dig out all the actual data!

    Alternatively you could focus on week 4 (offsetting, DAC and reduction strategies) and week 6 (pledges,...

  • Thanks @MikeArfsten. Did you change your country of operations to the US? That should switch the currency to USD. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding.

  • If you can get the data then you can certainly pick a much earlier base year if you like. The slight challenge is that grid emission factors and vehicle emissions have improved over the last 10 to 12 years. So, for example, if you use the calculators on this course (or any online tool!) the footprint will actually be a bit lower than your actual base. You...

  • Great - hopefully you'll find you can get a bit further along than you thought without the need for a consultant. They can get you so far but a lot of this is also about embedding processes, reduction strategies and staff schemes. It's hard to just outsource all of that (and much more expensive if you want to do it properly!).

  • That's a tricky one. Perhaps the company (in the short term) could support more permenant carbon capture techniques (we'll discuss them in week 4 but this is different, but more expensive to offsetting). Via services like this:
    https://climate.sourceful.io/

    Perhaps the company doesn't have the appetite to spend the money. But it could generate some very...

  • 100% agree. Part of the drive to Net Zero has to also be to help developing countries leap frog the fossil fuel based economy and provide access to clean, green energy to far more people around the world. It's not "just" about replacing fossil fuel based generation. We have to massively scale up to support others.

  • @SimónJiménez ok, Mexico is now added. You'll need to re-download the latest version of the spreadsheet (easy to copy and paste any data you have already added). The link is in step 2.6.

  • @SimonWillis ok, Columbia is now added. You'll need to re-download the latest version of the spreadsheet (easy to copy and paste any data you have already added). The link is in step 2.6.

  • @MujidahAjibola ok, UAE and Nigeria have now been added. You'll need to re-download the latest version of the spreadsheet (easy to copy and paste any data you have already added). The link is in step 2.6.

  • @FREDRICKOUMA ok, Kenya is now added. You'll need to re-download the latest version of the spre