The Biggest Problem With Carbon Accounting, and How You Can Fix It

Aug 16, 2023 | Blog

The atmosphere, a vulnerable shared resource, has long been subjected to degradation. Carbon emissions disperse globally, making it challenging to pinpoint their exact sources. This lack of precise identification has been the catalyst for environmental legislation and unfortunately, facilitated greenwashing practices. With increasing pressures from consumers, businesses and governments to take part in analysing our carbon data, the need to take your first steps is fast approaching.

 So how do you measure and report successfully, without risking greenwashing accusations and not missing the mark on regulations?

Researchers and companies, like us at Connect Earth, have recognised this pressing issue and dedicated efforts to refine technologies and methodologies for carbon accounting. By enhancing the accuracy of these technologies, we unlock a world of possibilities in the fight against climate change.


The Problem(s) with Carbon Accounting

 The biggest barrier to participating in carbon accounting is access to data. It’s a painstaking task to sift through your company’s operations. If you take into consideration the carbon released in a 24 hour period for your business and your employees, this task becomes realised. 

Expense receipts, employee’s commute, energy used for laptops, heating, lighting in the office – or even more allusive, in a coworking space. All these things result in carbon emissions. And that’s not even addressing your supply chain yet.

This lack of granularity makes it difficult to identify your carbon hotspots and develop targeted mitigation strategies. It is clear that relying on basic, self-reported data has huge potential to be incomplete or inaccurate.

Some of the other limitations of carbon accounting methods include:

  • Geographic limitations: Traditional tracking approaches may struggle to account for emissions that occur beyond national borders or in global supply chains.
  • Data gathering: Carbon tracking methods often involve data collection and reporting processes that take time, leading to delays in obtaining up-to-date and real-time information.
  • Cost and resources: Some accounting approaches can be complex, resource-intensive, and costly to implement.


A Carbon Accounting solution

At Connect Earth we recognise taking part in carbon accounting to be one of, if not the most important step, in combating your organisational or individual impact on climate change. Without understanding your impact on the environment around you, you cannot accurately plan for decarbonisation and set your Net Zero targets – which is something we believe every company, with a headcount of 10 employees, or 10,000 should aim to do. We exist to provide solutions that directly address the difficulties in carbon accounting through education, awareness and technology.

To aid this, we have developed Connect Report, a carbon accounting tool that can streamline your carbon measurement process, giving you an overview of your carbon footprint. The tool combats the limitations of other carbon accounting methods by utilising your transactional data allowing you to gain insight on all three of your scope emissions. Connect Report works across the world, instantaneously – giving you insights on your carbon hotspots and giving you your data in an easily digestible report, complete with charts, graphs and industry benchmarking.

Our solution is tailored to financial institutions and more specifically, their business banking customers. This is due to the fact that at least 50% of the UKs GHG business emissions come directly from SMEs and their supply chains. This puts them in a position to drastically reduce the world’s overall carbon footprint, however, SMEs often lack internal knowledge, capacity and cash flow to back an effective sustainability strategy. Connect Report is a low friction, easy to use and relatively inexpensive tool that can make sustainability reporting for SMEs realistic. 


The future of Carbon Accounting 

As the need for carbon accounting evolves, so does our technology. And more importantly, so does our understanding of the gravitas linked to carbon accounting and sustainability in general. Tools like Connect Report are going to majorly simplify and speed up our tracking and reporting processes. Allowing for less manual error, faster consolidation times and more accurate results. This will provide businesses with more time to focus on the action they need to take – putting in logical, sustainable plans that are informed by impactful data. 

From a place of empowerment, we can open up conversations around our carbon footprints and encourage transparency and disclosure in a sector that is regularly shrouded in confusion and unregulated standards. 

Missions like The Perseus Project, of which we at Connect Earth are a founding partner, are becoming more prevalent. And the access to help for businesses, and individuals, who want to take action against climate change is slowly emerging. We have a long way to go but Connect Earth will continue to develop and supply their customers and partners with the tools they need to accurately monitor and report on their emissions – helping shape the sustainability plans of the future.


How can Connect Earth help you?

 If you are a financial institution trying to give your SME customers insights into their emissions, reduce the risk of your portfolio and elevate your sustainability outlook; we can guide you through the process to make this happen with simple, integrated tools and expertise in carbon data analysis. Get in touch with our team. 

About Connect Earth:

Founded in 2021, Connect Earth is a London-based environmental data company that democratises easy access to sustainability data. With its carbon tracking API technology, Connect Earth is on a mission to empower consumers and SMEs to make sustainable choices and bridge the gap between intent, knowledge and action. Connect Earth supports financial institutions in offering their customers transparent insight into the climate impact of their spending.

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