Basis of reporting for carbon emissions

Introduction

This document explains the calculations and logic used when completing carbon reporting, the most recent being the The Panoply Group 2019/20 carbon report

We will deepen and broaden our reporting as often as data and technology allow. We will increase the frequency of reporting to ensure issues are identified and addressed as early as possible. 

Since we started carbon reporting in the 2018/2019 financial year we have reported on all scope one and two emissions and have gradually increased our scope three reporting. It now includes business travel (flights and cars) and emissions caused by our own websites. 

In the financial year 20/21 we will continue to improve data gathering processes, implement more reduction initiatives and measure the rest of our scope three emissions; supply chain, employee commuting, waste disposal, investments and historical emissions. 

 

Energy use calculations

Across the 10 organisations that make up the carbon footprint of The Panoply Group in 2019/20. They are:

  • Bene Agere – Norway
  • Deeson – UK 
  • Disruption – UK
  • FutureGov – UK
  • GreenShoot Labs – UK
  • Human+ – UK
  • Manifesto – UK
  • NotBinary – UK
  • The Panoply – UK
  • Questers – Bulgaria

There are a number of different office space arrangements across the companies. This means differences in the data available on which to base the calculations. The below summarises the logic used per organisation:

  • Bene Agere – Rent from a landlord who has provided figures for the rental of their portion of the overall office. 
  • Deeson – Rent from a landlord who is only able to provide energy usage figures for the entire building. They occupy around 30% of the office space. Therefore, we used 30% of the overall figures to calculate Deeson’s usage. 
  • Disruption – Rent from a landlord who has not been able to provide any energy figures. Therefore, we have used the Manifesto kWh per employee ratio to calculate the energy usage of Disruption’s average 2019/20 headcount of four employees. 
  • FutureGov – Rent from a landlord who has not been able to provide any energy figures. Therefore, we have used the Manifesto kWh per employee ratio to calculate the energy usage of Disruption’s average 2019/20 headcount of 70 employees. The landlord of the building FutureGov partly occupy is Great Portland Estates who state on their website that “100% of the landlord energy sourced and purchased by us at our properties is from renewable, zero carbon tariffs.” 
  • GreenShoot Labs – Employees either work remotely or from the Manifesto office that does not use gas heating. Therefore, we have used the Manifesto kWh per employee ratio to calculate the energy usage of GreenShoot Labs’ average 2019/20 headcount of six employees. 
  • Human+ – Employees either work remotely or from other Panoply Group offices. Therefore, we have used the Manifesto kWh per employee ratio to calculate the energy usage of Human+’s average 2019/20 headcount of nine employees. 
  • Manifesto – Rent two office spaces; one for the entire financial year which uses only electricity and one for part of the financial year which uses gas and electricity. Both office spaces have bills that relate to only the space that Manifesto occupy, therefore the billing is accurate and not subject to further occupation based calculations. For this reason, the Manifesto kWh per employee figure has been used for companies where data is not available. The two Manifesto office spaces include an event space, two kitchens, four meeting rooms and multiple communal spaces so frequently house more people than the average 2019/20 headcount of 62 employees. Manifesto moved energy supplier to Ecotricity part way through the financial year and therefore a proportion of the energy used came from renewable sources. 
  • NotBinary – Rent from a landlord who has not been able to provide any energy figures. Therefore, we have used the Manifesto kWh per employee ratio to calculate the energy usage of NotBinary’s average 2019/20 headcount of 13 employees. 
  • The Panoply – Employees either work remotely or from other The Panoply Group offices. Therefore, we have used the Manifesto kWh per employee ratio to calculate the energy usage of The Panoply’s average 2019/20 headcount of seven employees. 
  • Questers – Rent office space that has bills related to only the space that Questers occupy, therefore the billing is accurate and not subject to further occupation based calculations. 

 

Employee numbers

We track average headcount over the course of a financial year for each company. For the purposes of this report we include full time and part time employees as well as contractors. The contractors we employ across our companies are usually extensions of our PAYE team who come in to work on specific projects for a number of months. From this definition our total headcount for the 19/20 financial year was 381.

 

Business travel

The carbon emissions from all flights are calculated as economy class, either short haul or long haul flights. This is based on a flight tracker each company uses to record flights their employees have taken. 

In terms of business travel by car, this data is obtained from expenses paid to employees who have used their own cars to travel to client offices. The mileage has then been multiplied by a factor of 0.27584 (carbon intensity of fuel in an average car) to give an estimate of the emissions caused by those miles driven. 

 

Carbon intensity calculations

For the UK based companies CO2e is calculated using the 2019 carbon intensity figures published by the UK Government; 0. 2556 kg/CO2e for electricity 18385 kg/CO2e for gas. The UK Government releases these figures without charge every year, therefore we will update it every year. 

Unfortunately, other countries (including Norway and Bulgaria) do not release up to date figures for free, instead they come at a substantial cost. Therefore, we will use the latest freely available figures for electricity carbon intensity. 

For Bulgaria this is 0.4700 kg/CO2e and for Norway it is 0.0110 kg/CO2e. Bene Agere also uses district heating which has a carbon intensity of 0.20431 kg/CO2e. We will update this on an annual basis if freely available figures are available. 

 

Currency conversion

The currency conversions for the cost of energy for Bene Agere (Norway based) and Questers (Bulgaria based) used the financial year 2019/20 averages published by the UK Government. NOK at 0.0881 and LEV at 0.4457. 

 

Intensity ratio

As a collection of small to medium sized service companies who are comparatively young in our industry, we don’t have the baggage of many larger companies and therefore our carbon emissions are (whilst still needing to be reduced) low. Therefore, we have divided our tCO2e by the number of full-time equivalent employees to give us a means of comparison against other companies both inside and outside of our industry.

We are tracking this ratio for each of the companies in our group. We will understand the reasons for the differences between companies and are working towards reducing it for all. We analyse the turnover/tCO2e ratio in the same way. 

 

Offsetting 

Whilst one of the aims of carbon reporting is to identify and address areas where emissions are unnecessarily high, and therefore reduce your carbon footprint, this may mean that less money is invested in offsetting, just at a time when offsetting projects are becoming more transparent and impactful. 

Therefore, when calculating the tonnes of CO2e we need to offset we add a further 5% to cover any emissions we have missed in the calculations. We anticipate offsetting an increasing amount as we continue to acquire companies and also broaden and deepen our emissions reporting processes. 

We have partnered with Rewilding Britain to offset our emissions. We believe it is crucial for offsetting not to be seen as a cheap way to expunge the impact organisations have on the planet. As a UK headquartered company it is crucial to drive change within the UK and help the nation achieve it’s Paris agreement obligations. 

 

Company acquisition

The Panoply Group’s strategy is based around impactful companies joining the group, therefore acquisitions could take place at any point during the financial year. When this happens we will use whatever data is available to account for, and offset, the emissions of that company for the entire financial year, not from the day they join. Emissions are a debt to the planet that we want to help future Panoply Group companies to pay back.