PPAI Magazine May 2024

Responsibility | Voices Cracking The CO2e Code Now, let’s talk about CO2e, the universal currency of carbon emissions. CO2e stands for carbon dioxide equivalent, a metric used to compare the emissions of different greenhouse gases based on their global warming potential. CO2e gives you a single number to express the climate impact of the various greenhouse gases generated through your Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions in terms of how much carbon dioxide would create the same amount of warming. Essentially, it’s like converting all your exes into one standardized unit – because, let’s face it, trying to compare them otherwise would be a nightmare. Integrating Carbon Accounting Into Your Business So, how can businesses embrace carbon accounting without feeling overwhelmed? Start small. Begin by identifying your Scope 1 emissions, as these are the most straightforward to measure and control. It’s like cleaning out your closet – you tackle the obvious clutter first. In order to identify your Scope 2 and Scope 3 emissions, you’ll need to get everybody, from employees to suppliers, on board. If your stakeholders are engaged, it’ll be much easier to establish clear targets and timelines to reduce emissions. Of course, collaboration is key to addressing Scope 3 emissions effectively. You can even make it a competition – who can cut down emissions the fastest? Acknowledge your company’s progress, recognizing and rewarding achievements along the way. You should also use tools and software for accurate data collection and analysis. It’s like upgrading from a flip phone to a smartphone (yes, I’m aware that I’m dating myself here, all in the name of member value). Just ask my colleague CW Karstens – digital transformation is key. Your Assignment By breaking down carbon accounting into digestible pieces, with the help of a bit of humor, we can all play our part in building a greener, more sustainable future. Ready to get started? Try Aclymate, one of a growing number of business service members focused on sustainability in our Solutions Center. Meanwhile, the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, the leading standard used in carbon accounting, has some free tools on its website, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency provides a quick calculator tool as well. Wimbush is PPAI’s director of sustainability and responsibility. PPAI • MAY 2024 • 29