Calculating

your carbon footprint

To maximize the effectiveness of efforts to reduce your carbon footprint, you need an item-by-item estimate of the quantity of greenhouse gases that your authority emits every year.

In france, for exemple, the CSR decree (Corporate Social Responsibility), is mandatory for authorities with more than 50,000 people in their territory (French regions, departments, inter-municipal authorities, urban authorities, municipalities or communities of municipalities).

If your authority is not subject to this regulatory framework, you are free to choose which emission calculation methodology to use.

G6HGProtocolThe Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol, developed by World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD), sets the global standard for how to measure, manage, and report greenhouse gas emissions.

Hundreds of companies and organizations around the world are using GHG Protocol standards and tools to manage their emissions and become more efficient, resilient, and prosperous organizations.

Don’t hesitate to seek professional advice on the accounting process as it requires knowledge and experience.

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Reducing

your carbon footprint

Now that you know the quantity and origin of the greenhouse gases emitted by your business or organization, the time has come to set up a plan of action to reduce those emissions.

Territorial Climate-Energy Plans

A Territorial Climate-Energy Plan (PCET) is a local sustainable development project particularly focused on combating climate change.

Agenda 21

Arising from the Earth Summit in Rio in 1992, Agenda 21 is a plan of action based on the principles of sustainable development, including the fight against climate change.

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Offsetting

what cannot be avoided

Despite these efforts, there will still be some carbon emissions. They are irreducible and can therefore be offset.

Carbon offsetting consists of purchasing carbon credits to fund an eco-project involving activities that help to spare greenhouse gas emissions. Each tonne of CO2 avoided on that eco-project corresponds to one carbon credit.

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Offsetting is a solution of last resort and must not be seen as a substitute for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at source.

To offset your emissions properly, you must understand what carbon offsetting is and get to know the different types of projects you can support.

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Understanding carbon offsetting

Offsetting

here or elsewhere

Does your authority carry out decentralized co-operation projects in a developing country? There is no clear link between offsetting and these projects. If you want to claim offsetting of your emissions through your decentralized co-operation project, the latter must go through all the stages of validation of a carbon project.

You want to offset your CO2 emissions on your home territory? As with projects carried out in a developing country, the rules are very strict and the eligibility criteria must be met: additionality, measurability, verifiability and permanence. If they are not, use of the term carbon offsetting may be challenged.

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Publicizing

your carbon offsetting

The added value of carbon offsetting lies partly in the message associated with that approach. Your dedicated communications will above all highlight your efforts to reduce your authority’s impact on the climate at source. That’s vital.

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Depending on the type of project supported, your message will be geared towards supporting an international solidarity project or a project helping to combat climate change in your home area.

Finally, carbon offsetting provides an opportunity to involve your constituency in an original approach to the challenge of climate change through information and awareness-raising workshops.