Our quick guide to calculating carbon
It was challenging to calculate our iBec carbon footprint, but it was also so empowering to see these numbers with our big picture mission in mind.
If you’re a little intimidated to take this intensive documentation on, we hope sharing our process will put your mind at ease.
First, you’re going to need to gather up all your raw data. This includes your electricity bills, heating bills, receipts from company vehicles, and any other sources of carbon that are produced by your business.
The next step is to fire up a spreadsheet and quantify. Comb through the sources of carbon and record the numbers. Electricity will be in the form of kilowatt hours (kwh) per month, and company vehicle usage will be logged by gas mileage and miles driven. All numbers should be added to a spreadsheet. For us, we have three tabs: Commute, Natural Gas, and Electricity.
Once you have your raw numbers organized, it’s time to do some math, and the organized spreadsheet will make this much easier. You’ll then sum up each source of carbon (i.e. total kwh used in 1 year, total therms used in 1 year, etc.).
If you’ve already started reading the B Corp assessment, you may have noticed that many of the energy/carbon-related answers need to be given in Gigajoules. While this might seem intimidating, it’s much simpler than it sounds. A Gigajoule is a unit of measurement for energy (1 Gigajoule = 1000000000 Joules).
Here are some equations you can use to convert your carbon sources into gigajoules:
- 1 kwh = 0.0036 Gigajoules
- 1 therm = 0.1055 Gigajoules
- 1 gallon of gasoline = 0.1200 Gigajoules
- 1 gallon of residual fuel oil = 0.15804 Gigajoules
In determining your total energy used for the year, you will multiply the total for each carbon source by its equivalent in Gigajoules, and then add them all together. For example, if your total kwh for the year was 20,556, your calculation for that source would be: 20,556 kwh * 0.0036 = 74.0016 GJ.
Once all the hard work is done, not only do you have your answers for the B Corp assessment, but you’ll also have a great baseline to work from as you continue to tackle your carbon footprint goals. We’ll share more on our numbers soon!
A win for Maine B Corps
In last month’s blog update, we told you about the Maine B Corp group we’re volunteering with to support the cause, donate our services, and help spread the word about what Maine B Corps are doing in a more public way.
We had a really cool opportunity to work toward this group mission a few weeks ago when we were asked to submit a testimonial to the Maine Committee on Taxation, in support of LD 846 - An Act To Promote Benefit Corporations.
In our letter, on behalf of iBec Creative, we expressed our strong support for the Resolve to Promote Benefit Corporations (L.D. 846), expanding on the Benefit Corporation legislation that became effective in September 2019 here in the State of Maine. While this initial bill created an effective statutory framework for corporations to elect to become a benefit corporation, it was only the first step in creating meaningful change here in Maine.
We explained that only a limited number of local organizations have taken this step to become a B Corp alongside us, because very few companies know the “why” or the “how” to become a benefit corporation, and there’s a lack of resources for our Maine organizations. Simply, it’s a missed opportunity for our business community, our state, and our people.
Alongside others that submitted testimonials, we saw the Resolve to Promote Benefit Corporations as the best way to magnify the tremendous work that is being done by benefit corporations to positively impact Maine’s people, communities, and our environment.
We asked for the creation of a Benefit Corporation webpage on the Secretary of State’s Office website that would include a comprehensive and clear resource to provide guidance to companies looking for benefit corporation information. We believe this should include clear articulation of what it means to be a benefit corporation, a step-by-step guide on becoming one, as well as a registered list of existing benefit corporations here in Maine. We also expressed our hope that this Resolve would encourage the Department of Economic and Community Development to promote awareness of benefit corporations.
We also wrote about what it means to be a Mainer. We all know our state is about hard work, real grit, and big hearts. We’re a good crew of humans that will always care more about creating a positive impact over profit, and we need to show exactly how to do it.
We asked that the Resolve to Promote Benefit Corporations further solidify our Maine mission to be the way life should be, and it looks like Maine is keeping that promise. We just got news that it passed!
We’re so thrilled at what this means for Maine and for all of us, and we can’t wait to see this chapter unfold!
Keep following our B Corp journey!
We’re so enthusiastic to take on this huge project, and we’d love to have you alongside us! We’re going to post monthly blogs on this adventure – so follow us on Instagram and sign up for our newsletter. We can’t wait to share this journey with all of you!