Carbon footprint: How much does it cost?

Carbon footprint: How much does it cost?

Are you interested in carbon footprinting, but don't have a clear idea of how much it costs? It's over here!

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For those who are in a hurry, a little summary right here!

  • Reminder: A carbon assessment allows you to know your CO2 emissions according to the three "Scopes".
  • The price varies depending on whether you use a consultancy or SaaS software.
  • The price of a carbon assessment varies according to its accuracy.
  • The price of a carbon assessment varies according to the size of your company.
  • The price of a first assessment is more important in order to elaborate an adequate database, which will be reused for the next assessments.
  • Carrying out your company's carbon footprint can be a competitive advantage by giving your company a positive image.

Carbon footprint: How much does it cost?

How does a carbon footprint work?

A carbon footprint is a diagnostic tool that measures your company's greenhouse gas emissions over a period of one year. It is based on the study of 3 perimeters called "Scope" which will allow you to make a calculation and discover which are the most energy consuming within your company.

The 3 scopes are as follows:

- Scope 1 has the narrowest scope. It includes direct emissions from fuel consumption such as petrol, but also emissions from your buildings, fixed equipment and biomass.

- Scope 2 concerns indirect emissions related to the energy consumption of your production process in the form of heat, cold, steam and electricity.

- Scope 3 focuses on other greenhouse gas emissions that are not part of your product's production process, such as the supply of raw materials, but also the transport of goods downstream or even the use of your product!

A small graph that comes straight from the Agence De l'Environnement et de la Maîtrise de L'Energie (ADEME) to understand all this in detail 👇

Definition of the scopes - Bilan Carbone

Why do a carbon assessment?

As the new generations are more and more concerned about their environment and their consumption, the transparency of your carbon footprint can be a real competitive advantage for your company by reinforcing its image. Achieving your carbon emissions targets with all your employees creates a common goal and strengthens cohesion. It can also allow you to make significant energy savings, particularly in electricity consumption. Finally, to realize the carbon footprint of your company is to make a first step in the fight against global warming of our planet 🤗.

How much does a carbon assessment cost?

The carbon footprint of a company varies according to several factors.

- The provider (SaaS software like Traace or consulting firm)

- Scope: Does the balance sheet cover all 3 scopes or is it partial

- The size of your company (number of employees, turnover)

- Your company's sector(primary, secondary or tertiary)

- The time spent by the service provider

How much does it cost if I go through a consultancy?

The prices charged for obtaining a carbon footprint for your company from a consulting firm are generally as follows:

- 5000 € for the carbon footprint of an SME covering Scopes 1 and 2

- 10,000 for a carbon assessment of an SME covering Scopes 1, 2 and 3

- More than €15,000 if your company is an ETI / Large company. For large international groups such as the CAC40, the price can exceed €100,000.

And with SaaS software?

This will depend on the type of SaaS software used!

There are 2 types of SaaS software on the market: those based on physical data and those based on monetary data.

Software based on monetary data: Between 2000 and 4000€

Software based on monetary data uses data from your bank account or the Fichier des Ecritures Comptables (FEC) to calculate carbon emissions. These software packages are the cheapest on the market, costing between €2000 and €4000 for a Bilan Carbone.

The attractive price nevertheless hides a number of shortcomings:

- Analysis using monetary data, even if it respects the Bilan Carbone methodology, is not recommended by ADEME. Your Bilan Carbone may therefore become invalid when the regulations change.
- The accuracy is very low, with 80% uncertainty. Indeed, with a monetary analysis, a plane ticket from Paris to New York at 1500€ will emit 3 times more CO2 than the same ticket at 500€. Even though it is exactly the same flight and therefore the same emissions!

- Your emissions will increase if prices rise, even if your business remains exactly the same.

- The only way to reduce your emissions with a monetary analysis is to spend less, and therefore buy cheaper. But buying cheaper is often counterproductive because low-cost products are manufactured in high-carbon developing countries.

For all these reasons, this software is mainly used by small and medium-sized businesses that want to make an initial "estimate" of their carbon emissions at low cost.

Software based on physical data: between 5000 and 10000€

Software based on physical data, such as Traace, uses "real" data, such as energy consumption in kWh, kilometres travelled, tonnes of products purchased, etc.

The cost of this software will be slightly higher than monetary solutions, but the measurement will be much more accurate. Lastly, these solutions make it possible to identify real emission reduction levers and therefore to build a real decarbonisation strategy.

Finally, the analysis by physical data is the only one recommended by ADEME and the Bilan Carbone Association.

These tools will cost between €5,000 and €10,000 per depending on the size of the company. For a large group, the deployment of a SaaS solution on an international scale can cost much more.

What subsidies are available?

⚠️ Update 2022 ⚠️: Since January 1, 2022, ADEME has replaced the Bilan Carbone subsidy with the DIAG Décarbon'action.(

This is a programme run jointly with the BPI to enable SMEs and ETIs to carry out an initial Bilan Carbone and identify initial emission reduction paths.

How does it work?

For a price of between €4,000 and €6,000, a consultant selected by the BPI will carry out your company's Bilan Carbone and action plan.
To be eligible, your company must :

- Have less than 500 employees.
- Never have carried out a carbon assessment.

The price varies according to the size of the company:

- 4000€ if your company has less than 250 employees

- 6000 if your company has between 250 and 499 employees.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to write to us! - ->

We hope you enjoyed this article!
Very nice day,

The Traace team

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