Our carbon footprint

Glacier am Gletscher1
Camille reynaud portrait

Camille Reynaud

Climate Intelligence Expert

Climate protection in companies begins with the calculation of the CO₂ footprint. But where to start and which data are actually necessary? We'll show you how we at Glacier proceeded and give you useful tips that will get you started right away.

Why is it important to calculate a company's CO₂ footprint?

A company's CO₂ footprint makes visible its impact on climate change. The CO₂ balance shows the consumption of energy, products and services in connection with the company's activities.

Large public interest companies with more than 500 employees have been required to calculate and report on their environmental impacts since 2014, and in Austria since 2017. The CO₂ footprint is part of this reporting. From 2023, the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will extend the reporting obligation to certain companies with more than 250 employees*. For SMEs, meanwhile, the CO₂ balance sheet remains voluntary. However, it will become mandatory under the new regulations in 2026. Companies that already address their emissions are therefore better equipped for the future.

And there are further advantages: Anyone who calculates their company's CO₂ footprint gets an overview of those areas with the greatest reduction potential. Companies that take steps to reduce their emissions demonstrate their commitment to climate protection. This also helps them attract new talent. Finally, 8 out of 10 Millenials consider the social and environmental commitment of companies when deciding on an employer.

Companies that calculate their own CO2₂ footprint and identify the main sources of their emissions are taking the first step toward climate protection. We hope that this article will help you understand the process involved and get started directly with your company's CO₂ balance.

What do companies need to consider when calculating their carbon footprint?

You now know why you should definitely start calculating your emissions. Now we'd like to give you a summary of the steps we took to calculate Glacier's CO₂ footprint. We'll also give you tips on how to save time in each of these steps!

If you've acquired a taste for the subject and would like to delve deeper, you can find more information and details about the calculation method on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol website.

Let's start calculating your CO₂ balance!

1. The scope of the calculation

If you want to calculate your company's CO₂ footprint, you should first define the scope of the calculation - that is, determine what should be included in the CO₂ footprint. There are three areas to consider:

  • The time frame: This refers to the year that will be used to calculate the CO₂ footprint.
  • The organizational scope: Depending on the size of the company, you should define which subsidiaries and legal structures are included in the calculation.
  • The technical scope: You've probably heard of the three scopes used to describe a company's activities - these are known as Scope 1, 2 and 3. We've summarized for you what they mean in concrete terms:
  • Scope 1: This scope covers the company's direct emissions, i.e. those that are directly related to the company's activities. These include, for example, emissions from production processes or from company-owned vehicles.
  • Scope 2: This includes indirect emissions resulting from the purchase of electricity and energy.
  • Scope 3: This scope is the most complicated to estimate. It includes all emissions that occur in the company's value chain and affect upstream and downstream activities. These include, for example, waste generation, employee commuting, or purchased goods and services.
GHG scopes


Glacier's carbon footprint

Home office and scope-3-emissions

At Glacier, we decided to consider all three scopes when calculating our carbon footprint in 2021. Last year, many employees worked from home due to the pandemic. Therefore, we also included the electricity and energy consumption that occurs in the home office in our calculation. In our case, the calculation of Scope 3 emissions includes emissions related to food consumption, employee commuting, office equipment and waste generation.

2. The data collection

Once the scope of the calculation has been defined, the necessary data must be collected. This step is also known as the "carbon footprint inventory". It involves determining all the data required for calculating the carbon footprint. For example, to calculate Scope 2 emissions, one must know the company's electricity and energy consumption.

Glacier's carbon footprint

Use a tool for the calculation

For us, this part was particularly time-consuming. Since our office is located in a co-working space, the required data is known to different people. We had to involve several departments and suppliers for the data collection.

Our tip: To determine our carbon footprint, we used our proprietary carbon manager, CARMA. CARMA provides support with guiding questions and tips for data collection to calculate the carbon footprint in the following categories: Electricity, Buildings, Mobility, Food, Office and IT, Waste, and Materials and Processes.

3. The calculation of the carbon footprint

All collected activities and data are then converted into greenhouse gas emissions using emission factors. This conversion is done automatically in CARMA and is based on the methodology of the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Glacier's carbon footprint

Our biggest sector: Energy.

The largest contributor to Glacier's carbon footprint is the energy we use to heat our workplaces. The second major factor is office and IT. This includes all electronic equipment and the online servers that host our website.

Our tip: CARMA is a powerful tool that allows you to quickly estimate your company's carbon footprint and take immediate action to reduce it. However, if you want to take into account the specifics of your company and extend the Scope 3 emissions calculation, a specific analysis of your company will increase the accuracy of the calculation. We offer individual consultations for this purpose. Feel free to contact us if you are interested!

How do you start calculating your company's CO₂ footprint?

You now have an idea of the steps involved in calculating your company's CO₂ footprint. To help you get started right away, we've put together a list of actions you can take today - regardless of your role or position in the company!

  • Identify a person or team responsible for calculating the CO₂ footprint: depending on the company, this could be the Sustainability Department or the Green Team - or maybe it's you? Remember, every job needs to be a climate job! Learn more about how to build a Green Team in our Advanced Academy.
  • Gather the necessary data: Collecting data can be tedious, especially because it usually has to be gathered from different places first. Data collection requires discussions with other departments and possibly with your stakeholders, should you also consider Scope 3 emissions. Our web application CARMA, the so-called Carbon Manager, helps you with guiding questions and tips to gather the necessary data.
  • Learn the theory behind calculating the CO₂ footprint: In this article, we gave you an initial overview of CO₂ accounting. However, there is (much) more to know. If you want to understand the different areas and the definition of CO₂ factors in more detail, join our Advanced Academy, which starts at the end of May!
  • Set goals for reducing your emissions: Of course, it's important to know where your emissions are coming from. But you can only have a real impact on climate change if you also set targets for reducing your emissions and take appropriate action. As a first step, take a look at the Science Based Target website, for example. It helps companies set emissions reduction targets that are in line with the Paris Agreement to keep the global temperature increase below 1.5°C.

Want to calculate your CO₂ footprint but don't know where to start? At Glacier, we're here to help. Just get in touch with us here or contact us at

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