The tool follows the Greenhouse Gas Protocol global standardized framework to measure greenhouse gas emissions.
More news: Agencies called out for work with fossil fuels clients
The partnership comes as climate regulation looms in the U.S. The Securities and Exchange Commission has been weighing climate disclosure rules for the companies it governs; California just passed a law that would require large companies doing business in the state to disclose their carbon footprint; and new European Union reporting standards mandate companies disclose whether they have climate transition plans.
While nothing is federally mandated for companies in the U.S., agency clients may be affected, and Alison Pepper, executive VP, government relations and sustainability at the 4A’s, encourages agencies to be ready. “It’s clear that lawmakers and regulators see the importance of companies establishing baseline carbon footprints, and then working to reduce those numbers,” Pepper said.
‘It’s a competition against yourself’
There are two ways to measure carbon emissions, according to 51-0 CEO Richard Davis. The first is by looking at how much a company spends on energy; the second is by analyzing how much energy a company consumes. 51-0 measures energy consumption, he said, because it is more accurate and isn’t affected by rising energy costs or inflation.
The tool encourages companies to reevaluate their carbon footprint at least every six months and routinely report their progress. Agencies should be in “competition against themselves” as they strive to reach carbon zero, Davis said.
“It doesn’t really matter where you’re starting from, if your footprint is big or small versus others,” he said. “It’s a competition against yourself. If we think of the Paris agreement and the 1.5 degrees we need to keep our temperature within, everyone has to reduce 90% by 2050, if not earlier.”