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Track Emissions with Net Zero Cloud

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • List the key differentiators of Net Zero Cloud.
  • Outline the various sources of greenhouse gas emissions categorized by scope.
  • List the high-level carbon accounting steps in Net Zero Cloud.
  • Explain how Net Zero Cloud helps track waste-based emissions.
  • Outline how to manage water-use data with Net Zero Cloud.

Meet Net Zero Cloud

Northern Trail Outfitters (NTO) has been using some Salesforce products for its CRM solutions. Sam Rajan evaluates Salesforce’s Net Zero Cloud for NTO’s requirements and discovers that Net Zero Cloud is designed for companies like his. NTO can use Net Zero Cloud to effectively and quickly track, analyze, and report on its environmental footprint with reliable, investor-grade data. This data is essential for third-party audits, financial filings, corporate reputation, and building trust with all stakeholders.

Net Zero Cloud offers the following key differentiators.

  • Breaks down data silos and provides companies with trusted data because the Salesforce platform offers a single source of truth.

  • Enables users to record data from various sources, such as business travel, electricity, third-party freight hauling, and direct fuel use. It then tracks the energy consumption and calculates the emissions for each of these sources using relevant emissions factors.

  • Helps evaluate corporate environmental impact with rich data visualizations and prebuilt CRM Analytics dashboards.

  • Helps companies easily incorporate procurement data for estimating their value chain emissions and converts spending data into emissions estimates.

  • Comes with preloaded reference datasets with emissions factors readily available for use in the application. Examples include datasets from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

  • Enables companies to create climate action commitments and set science-based targets that align with their sustainability commitments.

  • Tracks supplier sustainability commitments and emissions using scorecards to easily identify suppliers that don’t yet have a science-based target.

  • Helps companies forecast emissions by activity type for upcoming periods and allows users to track targets against forecast data.

  • Helps companies incorporate waste management data for estimating emissions from waste generated during operations and from product end-of-life disposal.

  • Enables companies to manage water usage data of their stationary assets and that of their suppliers, to calculate the water footprint.

  • Serves as a one-stop solution for companies to easily manage all their carbon credit information, be it projects or actual credits.

A clear net zero strategy begins with solid and consistent data tracking. This makes it possible to set clear, bold targets, track progress over time, and report on progress. Sam is happy to have found the right tool in Net Zero Cloud to accelerate NTO’s net zero journey. 

An Annual Emissions Inventory record in the Net Zero Cloud app with emissions categorized by scope for the year 2021.

Differentiate Between Scope 1, 2, and 3 Emissions

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol has established an emissions inventory that categorizes greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to outline direct and indirect emissions sources.

How It’s Determined
Sources and Activities
Scope 1
Emissions that result from direct activities of your company, such as fuel combustion from facilities and vehicles that your company owns or controls.
  • Onsite natural gas combustion in owned buildings
  • Other direct fuel usage from generators and heating oil
  • Leakage of refrigerants from owned buildings
  • Corporate private jet travel
  • Fuel usage for corporate shuttles
Scope 2

Emissions that result from the generation of purchased energy consumed by your company, such as purchased electricity, steam, heating, and cooling.

Scope 2 is divided into location-based and market-based categories, which reflect different calculation methodologies.

  • Electricity use in offices and warehouses
  • Natural gas use at leased facilities
  • Generator fuel use at leased facilities
  • Steam use at leased facilities
  • Leaked refrigerants at leased facilities
Scope 3

Emissions from all other indirect sources in your company’s value chain, such as purchased goods and services, distribution and transportation of products, employee commuting, and end use of sold products.

Scope 3 is divided into 15 categories, which reflect different types of value chain activities or processes.

  • Purchased goods and services
  • Capital goods
  • Fuel and energy-related activities
  • Business travel
  • End-of-life treatment of sold products
  • Use of sold products
  • Investments

A graphic showing the various scopes of emissions and the sources that contribute to such emissions.

Calculating its carbon footprint will give NTO valuable information about its sources of emissions and help pinpoint its biggest opportunities for reduction. To do this, NTO must complete a robust carbon footprint analysis, including calculating emissions from its entire value chain. An accurate emissions inventory paves the way for effective climate targets, short-term reduction strategies, and long-term plans for purchase of the right number of carbon credits to reach net zero.

Quantify Emissions with Carbon Accounting

Sam makes a list of the high-level steps that he plans to take in Net Zero Cloud to effectively quantify emissions.

  1. Identify assets and emissions sources, such as buildings, warehouses, company vehicles, private jets, data centers, and scope 3 activities, such as business travel, procurement of supplies, and transportation of retail products.

  2. Record activity and energy consumption data, such as utility bills, fueling receipts, travel records, and data from suppliers. Also, determine, specify, or calculate other critical details, such as location-based and market-based electricity grid mixes, renewable energy allocation percentages, and fugitive refrigerant emissions.

  3. Load or upload datasets from environmental agencies in the US, UK, and other standard environmental bodies to convert energy data into reportable carbon numbers. Several emissions factors in the form of reference datasets from standard government or private sources are preconfigured in Net Zero Cloud. Since this data can be regionally specific, you can also load your own reference data.

  4. Review the calculated GHG emissions, which are broken into appropriate scopes for each asset and emissions source.

  5. Create carbon footprint records for each emissions source type to roll up and aggregate emissions data by asset for a specific year.

  6. Seamlessly audit carbon footprint data to validate and confirm the auto-calculated emissions. Sam plans to give his external auditors access to Net Zero Cloud so that they can perform their assurance work in the same source of truth where all of NTO’s emissions data resides.

  7. Create an annual emissions inventory to sum up emissions from all sources for a year. Net Zero Cloud aggregates emissions across a company’s assets and procurement activities for a year to provide the total annual emissions inventory.

A flowchart showing all stages of the carbon accounting process.

A Little About Tracking Waste

Apart from the energy use and activity data, Sam can also use Net Zero Cloud to account for the waste generated from NTO’s activities. Waste-specific emissions factors are applied to the generated waste values to calculate scope 3 upstream and scope 3 downstream emissions measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO₂e).

Net Zero Cloud helps you keep track of waste generated from operations, as well as waste generated from end-of-life treatment of sold products. The primary data used for waste calculations are waste type, disposal site type, disposed waste quantity, and waste disposal emissions factors.

A Waste Footprint record with multiple associated Waste Footprint Item records and emissions categorized by waste type and disposal type.

Similar to a carbon footprint record, a waste footprint record can be created to aggregate the amount of waste for a specific year or any other reporting period of your choice.

Manage Your Water Use

Sam can use Net Zero Cloud to manage and analyze NTO’s water usage data to gain valuable insights for efficient water management. A water footprint record holds detailed water use information of a particular asset for a specific reporting period, say, for example, the water use information of NTO’s headquarters for the period January 2020 to December 2020. 

A Water Footprint record showing the key fields.

Sam can create a Sustainability Scorecard for suppliers in which they can record their water use data. Thus, Sam can not only manage water use data for NTO’s assets, but also get a comprehensive outlook of the water use across NTO’s value chain. He can calculate water intensity across different assets based on asset attributes such as, employee count and floor area.

Continue to the next unit to find out how Net Zero Cloud helps you forecast carbon emissions, set targets to reduce emissions, and more!


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