Calculator Methodology Details
BEF uses information from published and reviewed resources to formulate calculations in all of the online footprint calculators found on this website. We have chosen not to provide formulas for calculating comprehensive Scope 3 emissions on our online calculators; in many instances the emissions information available can vary widely and/or we choose to take a more customized, case-by-case approach to arrive at accurate calculations. If you would like to request a customized calculation of your business’ Scope 3 emissions or other customized calculations, please complete our consultation request form.
Business Electricity Calculator
BEF uses current statistical data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to help estimate your electricity use based on square footage and building type.
Business Carbon Calculator
FUEL CALCULATION—BEF uses current information from the U.S. Energy Information Administration to help estimate your building’s fuel oil or natural gas use based on square footage and building type. Greenhouse gas (GHG) conversion figures come from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
FLEET AND NON-FLEET VEHICLE CALCULATION—We use the most current information from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy standards as well as the Department of Transportation standards to allow you to calculate your automobile’s annual GHG emissions. If you aren’t choosing your specific vehicle or do not know your vehicle’s fuel economy, we use national averages.
FLIGHT CALCULATION—The BEF air emissions calculation uses your total passenger miles and number of flights to determine an average flight length. From there, we use Defra/DECC’s GHG Conversion Factors for air travel (including conversion factors that account for radiative forcing) to calculate the GHG emissions of your flights.
RADIATIVE FORCING—At high altitudes, the effect of greenhouse gases is considerably different than on the ground level. Aircraft also emit water vapor during flight, which can cause the formation of ice clouds, called contrails. Where contrails persist, cirrus clouds begin to form, which have an additional impact on global warming. Clouds can have a double effect on radiation: they warm the earth by reducing the amount of radiation from the earth that escapes into space but also cool the earth by reflecting the sun's rays back into space. However, contrails lead to a net warming factor, which is estimated to be 2.7 times the normal effect (IPCC, 1999). SOURCE: http://carbonfund.org/individuals
Business Water Calculator
Our business water footprint calculator uses information from the American Water Works Association to estimate your business' annual water use based on building type and square footage.
Our event calculator uses the following resources: the U.S. Energy Information Administration and Environmental Protection Agency to estimate event electricity and energy use; the Department of Energy’s Fuel Economy standards to calculate auto travel emissions; Defra/DECC to calculate the GHG emissions from event-related air travel; and statistics from the American Water Works Association to estimate event water use.