It can be tough to wrap your head around “a tonne of CO2”. We don’t often think about gases having mass or weight. So what does a tonne of CO2 look like, anyway? When we talk about how many tonnes of CO2 (actually CO2e in this case) with our clients, we know that huge number doesn’t mean much out of context. That’s why we break it down and make it as visual as possible – take a look here.
The root cause of climate change is the release of man-made greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which trap heat. The most important are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). Due to the varying ability of greenhouse gases to trap heat in the atmosphere, some are more harmful to the climate than others. Each greenhouse gas has a “global warming potential” (GWP), which refers to its heat trapping potential relative to that of CO2. Therefore, to provide a comparable final figure, emissions are often reported as a relative figure to CO2, i.e. as CO2e (equivalent) values.
This depends on your business, industry and how it operates. Sources of greenhouse gases emissions include activities such as energy use by your offices and processes, company vehicle fleet, business travel, employee commuting and paper consumption.