CCF – Corporate Carbon Footprint calculation

Carbon footprint calculations are very useful for companies to assess their impact on the climate and subsequently understand and improve their environmental performance.

Lay the foundations for a sustainable business strategy

Only when a carbon footprint is calculated first can emission reduction and decarbonization goals be tackled appropriately.

What is a Corporate Carbon Footprint?

A Corporate Carbon Footprint – short CCF – is the sum of all emissions that a company (or selected sites) causes during its operation and all its actions. The name “carbon footprint” can be misleading, as not only carbon emissions are included. In fact, the CCF calculation includes the emissions many other greenhouse gases, which are even more crucial than simple carbon emissions in some cases.

The CCF is the ecological fooprint of a company and consists of scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions
Scope 1, 2, 3 emissions

Why knowing your company’s CO2 footprint pays off

First of all, the result of a CCF calculation is a basis for your business strategies and enables you to reduce your carbon footprint effectively. It is necessary to derive measures for CO2 reduction and hence to set goals like becoming climate neutral. For companies pursuing decarbonization by setting SBTi net zero targets, for example, the CCF is an indispensable tool. Moreover, the results are needed for sustainability reporting and the communication of your environmental performance to stakeholders.

If we look deeper, we can see that the CCF supports you on your road to a sustainable business in many ways:

  • Identification of critical production processes affecting the carbon footprint
  • Reducing impending costs for CO2 due to rising carbon pricing
  • Providing a basis for emission reduction and business strategies
  • Creating a competitive advantage in sectors where customers expect transparency and sustainability information from suppliers
  • Preparation for compliance with future standards
  • Improving a company's sustainability credentials and reputation as a responsible and green business, which attracts investors as well as new employees

How is the Corporate Carbon Footprint calculated?

Depending on the system boundaries that are defined, the CCF calculation can vary in its extent. The calculation takes different scopes – Scope 1, 2, 3 emissions – into account:

Scope 1 emissions

only consider the direct emissions from the organization.

Scope 2 emissions

include indirect emissions from purchased energy like electricity or heat from district heating.

Scope 3 emissions

include all other indirect emissions occurring along the supply chain or in upstream and downstream activities.

After defining the scope, the data collection and procedure consisting of different complex steps can be started.

For questions, reach out to our expert!

Iris Kral

Associate Manager & International Service Lead Sustainability Assessment

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Frequently asked questions on CCF

The Corporate Carbon Footprint is the amount of all emissions that a company is responsible for while operating. Not only is carbon included in the calculations, but other greenhouse gases like methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorocarbons are also considered. The CCF enables you to track your progress in emission reduction within your sustainability goals. Therefore, knowing your company’s footprint is crucial for your efforts towards being a sustainable business and your contribution to environmental protection, by setting science-based targets, for example.

Before starting, the scope of the analysis has to be defined. The scope 1, 2, 3 emissions differentiate to which extent emissions are considered – whether only direct emissions are included or also indirect emissions caused by purchased goods or services along the value chain. The scopes are classified as followed:


  • Scope 1 emissions are the company’s direct emissions only
  • Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions from purchased energy (sources)
  • Scope 3 emissions include all indirect emissions being produced during upstream or downstream activities.

Calculating your CCF is the first step in improving it because it enables you to assess your sustainability performance and identify critical processes within your company’s operations. With the calculated CCF as a basis, measures and roadmaps can be derived. Decarbonization strategies and frameworks like the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) or TCFD help you to set clear and feasible goals and reach them. After reducing your Scope 1, 2, 3 emissions, you can raise the bar higher than just CO2 reduction and aim for being a net zero company by becoming carbon neutral. Have a look at Net Zero strategies or feel free to contact us for further information. We are happy to help with integrating a decarbonization strategy into your existing business strategies!

The result of the calculation – the footprint – is expressed in kilograms or tonnes of CO2e (CO2 equivalents).

The water footprint of a product is the volume of freshwater used to produce a product, measured over the full supply chain, showing water consumption volumes (evaporation or incorporation into the product) by source and polluted volumes by type of pollution.

The main difference to a carbon footprint is that in water footprinting the temporal and especially the spatial perspectives are very important since water is a local resource. Whereas the magnitude of the carbon footprint expresses impact, the water footprint expresses only intensity since the impact can vary a lot depending on the location where it occurs. Learn more about our water-related services.

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