It all starts with measuring your carbon footprint

Measuring your business’s carbon footprint is the first essential step in being able to manage and reduce the climate impact your organisation is having. As our global economy transitions to a low carbon future it is important to empower yourself with the knowledge that allows you to future-proof and build resilience in your supply chain.

The benefits include:

  • Demonstrate sustainability and responsibility
  • Understand risk
  • Improve efficiency
  • Reduce costs
  • Show leadership

Where to start

The good news is that measuring your business’s carbon footprint can be EASY & AFFORDABLE. 

When approaching carbon footprint measurement  there are two different pathways you can take. An online measurement (light footprint) or a  full footprint that is guided by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol and measured to the official standard (ISO14064-1).

Online measurement

Online measuring tools
and calculators

These calculators provide a basic estimate of your carbon footprint (without a carbon analyst overseeing the process it is unlikely you will have all the information you need to get a complete and accurate result). The  calculators rely on certain assumptions that are built into their algorithms and for this reason, only suit businesses that are NOT complex in their setup or operations (typically those with fewer than three employees).

It is a great way to get started before committing to a ‘full’ footprint measurement .


Full footprint

ISO standard carbon footprint measurement

This calculator is a comprehensive measurement that includes the support of a carbon analyst and is consistent with the official standard (ISO 14064-1, 2018)

We recommend you measure to the ISO standard if you want:

Measurement Providers:

Our carbon footprint measurement guidelines

The Businesses for Climate Action group defines a carbon footprint measurement of a business as a fair and credible analysis of that business’s climate impact. Therefore a business must make every effort to measure each of its various categories of emissions, including those from sources it does not own or control, which are included as set out in Ministry for the Environment guidelines. (See ‘FAQ: Do we need to include emissions that we don’t directly control?’)


For a business in Te Tauihu to understand its footprint, it needs to measure the following:

Frequently asked questions

As the NZ economy moves towards ‘net zero emissions’ and people become more aware of climate issues, understanding your carbon footprint will be essential. Your customers and suppliers could require this, and your employees and future generations will expect and appreciate it. And the sooner you start, the earlier you could benefit: for example, by cutting waste and fuel costs, by making better long-term decisions, and demonstrating leadership. Climate change is not just an environmental issue, it’s now a vital business issue, presenting opportunities as well as risks.

Many businesses, regionally and nationally, are seeing benefits from measurement and carbon neutrality. These include SMEs through to major main-stream businesses such as The Warehouse, NZ’s largest retailer.

This depends on the size, complexity, and availability of data for your business. It also depends on the level of accuracy desired. For a very small, simple business it can be completed online in an hour or two. It will take longer for a larger business to collect all of its data, but a carbon analyst will help you understand the information you need to collect and how to go about it. Either way, if you are using an online calculator – it should be a task that can fit inside a staff member’s existing role.

You’ll need a full year of invoices for all costs that cause emissions – items such as fuel, electricity, waste, freight, vehicle use and travel. The good news is that you already have most of the information you need sitting in your accounts system. Missing pieces of information can be collected by a simple phone call or email to your supplier. There’s a useful summary of records needed for Ekos’s free online calculator at:

There are three main groups of emissions. The first group is ‘Direct emissions’ from sources you own or control, such as fuel for your vehicle fleet, or being used on-site for heat. Second, there are emissions linked to the use of electricity, heat or steam which are produced elsewhere. Finally there are emissions related to the organisation’s activities but arising from sources it does not own or control, such as purchased goods and services, freight, waste and business travel. To see the whole picture, all of these sources should be considered. See the discussion of ‘Scopes’ in our ‘Definitions’ page.

This will vary depending on the complexity and the level of accuracy needed. If you are looking at a very small business you can estimate your business emissions at no cost, using an online tool. Examples are Ekos or Catalyst – If you are looking for ISO standard measurement the cost will vary depending on the provider – we recommend you reach out to them directly to discuss.

We will provide useful, up-to-date information on our website, in social media and blogs, in media articles, and in workshops and events. Other organisations, such as the Sustainable Business Network, Climate Leaders Coalition, Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce, Nelson Tasman Climate Forum, and the Te Tauihu Intergenerational Strategy, will also be useful. Climate issues are vital to us all, and we’re acting on these and moving in similar directions. We all have a lot to learn, and we don’t have time to do it alone. Collaboration is a key to finding the best solutions.
Technical support and funding may be available from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) or other government bodies. But important sources will also include your supply chains and other businesses in your sector and in this region – even your competitors. We all have an interest in a safe future and a vibrant economy. He waka eke noa!

We've even measured this website's carbon footprint

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