Properly understanding your emissions and environmental impact is a first crucial step to reducing them. An audit is a review process of identifying the environmental impact of your organisational operations. The results will give you a benchmark to not only compare yourself with others but also help you identify those areas of your operations that are most carbon intensive. This information can then be used to draw up a decarbonisation plan. Numerical results of an audit can also be shared with stakeholders, staff or members and you can engage them more easily in the process of planning your next steps. A complete audit should not only include greenhouse gas emissions, but also other environmental impacts like pollution, waste or water.
Specialised consultancies can help you undertake an environmental audit. The process will usually include a thorough review of your operational processes after which you receive a good overview of the carbon emissions and other environmental impacts your organisation creates. The service might also include further support to define goals and a decarbonisation plan, if this is something you agree with the service provider.
The costs of the service will depend not only on the size and complexity of your organisation, but also the scope that you agree. You might want to only look at your ‘in-house’ emissions, i.e. those that are created on your premises or by your operations, or you might also want to review your supply chain. You could also use this opportunity to not only look at carbon emissions but also review other environmental factors, such as waste, water use or social aspects of your operation.
These are a couple of sustainability consultancies and other service providers for environmental audits:
- The Planet Mark offers a wholesome certification and network to help organisations reduce their carbon footprint. Members will be guided through the process and receive ongoing support.
- Avieco is a London based consultancy working with businesses of all sizes on matters of sustainability.
- Carbon Trust operates internationally working with corporations, energy providers and public sector clients to reduce carbon emissions..
- Ricardo consult public sector bodies and corporations on carbon and energy matters.
- Verco is a consultancy offering carbon reduction consulting services to corporate and public sector clients.
- Loreus offers sustainability consulting to small to large businesses.