Getting started guide

This guide provides a high-level overview of how an organization can track their carbon footprint and progress towards their decarbonization goals using EnergyCAP CarbonHub. This guide is intended as a general resource, and suggestions within it should be adjusted to fit your organization’s specific needs. 

GHG and your organization

Ensure that your data collection and reporting configuration in CarbonHub aligns with senior leadership. This alignment is necessary for many reasons. Most importantly you will want to ensure outcomes you are working towards make the impact your organization needs and expects. You will also need to agree on how you share your progress.

CarbonHub's reports and dashboards keep stakeholders and the public up to date. But remember that they may include sensitive organizational information.

To get a comprehensive picture of your organization's carbon footprint, you most likely will require data capture from various departments and divisions in your organization. Support from your senior leaders may help you better collect information.

Choosing an approach

As part of obtaining support, you should begin to decide the boundaries you plan to track within, or rather, which assets you will inventory (gather data on).

The approaches you can choose from are nuanced and wide-ranging. The decisions you make will be influenced by your organization's motivations for tracking emissions, to begin with, as well as the size of your organization. Smaller organizations with lower emissions might be able to follow simpler methods, while larger more complex entities likely will require robust efforts. Your collection of assets, financial situation, and energy consumption setup will also be key.

Simple inventory example

A small bakery will likely have direct emissions to gather related to their gas use and indirect emissions that result from their electricity bills. Emissions generated from bread ingredients, employee commuting, and delivery trucks will fall into scope 3 emissions.

Complex inventory example

For example, in the case of a central utility plant (CUP) generating/converting energy and supplying to buildings in your organization. If the CUP is inside the organization boundary and you want to track GHG at the building level, you may accidentally double-count emissions. This can be mitigated by properly designing your CarbonHub hierarchy.

For a detailed explanation of possible approaches, we recommend reviewing the EPA's guidelines for Organizational Boundaries.

Understand how to calculate your carbon emissions

As you inventory your assets, you probably have a range of different types of data. For some assets, you may have a simple energy bill. For others, you may only know how much money you spent on a service. CarbonHub can help you calculate total CO2 emissions for any of these scenarios. You can start tracking with any data that you have and get more precise over time as your processes become more systematic and accurate.


You may have a fleet of vehicles and only know how much it cost the company to operate last year. With CarbonHub's cost-based emissions factors, those dollar values can be easily translated to carbon emissions. Next year, you might choose to ask your drivers to report their mileage or gasoline use. With this more mature data, you can simply modify the calculation method in CarbonHub and get even more accurate emissions data.

To begin entering data for any of your assets, you need an understanding of both scope categories and emissions factors. We will cover them in general here, but we encourage further research at the links below.

  • Scopes 1 and 2
  • Scope 3
  • Emissions factors

GHG Scopes

GHG Protocol classifies GHG emissions into three scopes (1, 2, and 3). At a macro level, the three scopes represent the following.

Scope 1

Also known as direct GHG emissions, these are a result of the operations of your organization where GHG was released in your organization boundary that you had operational control. Examples include burning natural gas for heating or cooking, refrigerant leaks (fugitive emissions) from refrigerators or air conditioning equipment, etc. For most direct burned fossil fuel or fugitive emissions, if the quantity of fuel burned or refrigeration lost is known, that can be converted to GHG emissions based on internationally accepted conversion factors.

Scope 2

Also know as indirect GHG emissions these are a result of procured energy. If energy (electrification, cooling, heating, etc.) is supplied to you by a grid operator or a district energy supplier, they may be generating emissions within their operational boundary to supply the energy to you. In this case, the energy-generating entity (supplier) is incurring scope 1 GHG emissions to provide energy to your organization in the form of scope 2.

To measure scope 2 emissions, you must first measure the quantity of energy consumed by your organization. Additionally, you must find out the fuel mix consumed by the energy generating entity to produce the quantity of energy. This information can be obtained from the energy provider or through governmental and non-governmental agencies that compile that information for various regions and sub-regions. For the US region, a great example is EPA's eGrid conversion factors that can convert every kWh of electricity into GHG emissions based on a region or state for the purchased electricity.

Scope 3

Also know as Value Chain GHG emissions, these are a result of upstream and downstream activities of a business. Scope 3 is further divided in 15 categories.

Upstream emissions (categories 1-8)

  1. Purchased goods and services
  2. Capital goods
  3. Fuel and energy-related activities (not included in scope 1 or 2)
  4. Upstream transportation and distribution
  5. Waste generated in operations
  6. Business travel
  7. Employee commuting
  8. Upstream leased assets

Downstream emissions (categories 9-15)

  1. Downstream transportation and distribution
  2. Processing of sold products
  3. Use of sold products
  4. End-of-life treatment of sold products
  5. Downstream leased assets
  6. Franchises
  7. Investments

Definition, description, and more details on each scope category are found here.

Emissions factors

An emissions factor is a value that attempts to relate a human activity into the amount of a pollutant that activity released into the atmosphere. When broken down, factors comprise one or more gases (converted to CO2 equivalent) using the global warming potential of each individual gas. It's important to note that the global warming potential of a gas changes over time. CarbonHub maintains the latest global warming potential at a system level. The EPA describes global warming potential in greater detail on its website.

According to the EPA, factors are written as weight of pollutant divided by a unit weight, volume, distance, or duration of the activity emitting the pollutant (for example, kilograms of particulate emitted per megagram of coal burned). A raw unit of energy used/consumed multiplied by a corresponding factor value results in total carbon emissions for a given activity. When tracking emissions in CarbonHub, you will have access to a plethora of industry-vetted and highly regarded factor libraries, as well as the ability to create and manage your own custom factors.

Track emissions in CarbonHub

Scope 1 tracking in CarbonHub

CarbonHub offers and manages a robust list of factors from many agencies. You also have the option to create custom factors for items and scenarios when you need something from outside a standard agency, or when you would like to utilize a specific factor provided directly from your fuel supplier.

Scope 2 tracking in CarbonHub

A diverse range of scope 2 tracking needs are easily accommodated in CarbonHub. Some general guidelines for common use cases are detailed below.


Apply system-managed electric factors from EPA's eGrid. (These can be configured automatically by the address of the electric meter.) For deregulated markets or when you have a different supplier of energy, or you want to use more localized energy sources.

You may also need to consider location-based vs. market-based reporting. Location-based methods mean calculating the emissions from electricity use based on the average emissions intensity of your power grid (by address). A market-based method means calculating emissions from the electricity you purchase in order to support the use and reporting of green energy tariffs and Renewable Energy Credits (RECS).

Solar/wind behind meter

Ensure that the production of the solar panels is captured in EnergyCAP UtilityManagement. Leave the emissions source unconfigured or configure with a carbon neutral (Zero GHG) factor. Behind the meter, solar in effect is reducing or eliminating the GHG emissions from purchased electricity.

Solar/wind purchased

Add a negative GHG factor as a custom factor. This factor should be equal in magnitude to the factor assigned to the grid provided electricity. The idea is that without this agreement, you would have to account for the GHG from the Grid operator.

CHP/Cogen produced electricity

If the supplier is external, they should provide the GHG factor. In absence of that, you can use industry averages in the form of a custom factor. If CHP/Cogen is internal to the operation of your organization, you can follow the guidance from GHG Protocol to calculate the GHG emissions per unit of electricity produced. This can be uploaded to CarbonHub as a custom factor and applied to meters downstream of this distribution system.

District energy system/hot water

If you are relying on a boiler, the external supplier should provide the GHG factor. In absence of that, you can use industry averages. If the steam provided is part of CHP/Cogen, the external supplier should provide the GHG factor. In absence of that, you can use the industry averages. If CHP/Cogen is internal to the operation of the organization, you can follow the guidance from GHG Protocol to calculate the GHG emissions per unit of steam produced. This can be uploaded to CarbonHub as a custom factor.

Direct energy chilled/condensed water

  • Purchased CHW: The supplier (if external) should provide the GHG factor. In absence of that, you can use industry averages.
  • Electric chillers: Use the factor for electricity that is serving the CUP, calculate/estimate the KW/Ton efficiency of the operation. Calculate the new custom factor.
  • Steam driven chillers: Use the upstream steam factor along with the chiller efficiency (lbs of steam/ton) to calculate the custom factor.

Scope 3 tracking in CarbonHub

Because scope 3 emissions are anything not encompassed by scope 1 or 2, (or anything not controlled directly by the organization) for most groups, this is the most complex scope to track and report for. It also might comprise the bulk of your organization's emissions, which also means there might be a high potential for emissions reduction in scope 3.

To begin tracking, determine which of the 15 categories apply to your organization. You may base your decisions on maturity in data availability. Remember, you can start with less accurate data and improve your accuracy over time. To help you manage the complexities of scope 3 data tracking and reporting, CarbonHub lets you separate your data into all 15 scope categories. It also manages detailed libraries of scope 3 related factors from:


Emissions factors in CarbonHub

CarbonHub provides system-maintained factors by effective date. Factor accuracy changes over time and as the individual organizations update their factor data, CarbonHub stays in sync without losing historical data. Through our factor versioning you can see how the factors have changed over time.

You can leverage CarbonHub's custom factor features to support supplier-provided factors, or specific factors you would like to make yourself. Custom factors can also be versioned for historical reporting purposes. 

Caution - effective data when calculating emissions for a site or organization must be backwards. For example, if you are calculating a steam factor for your internal operation quarterly, for calendar year Q1, you will probably calculate your emissions based on operational data in April for Jan-March. Make sure you mark the effective date of your custom calculation as January 1.

Reaching your emissions goals

To make progress on greenhouse gas reduction, most organizations agree that setting specific and measurable targets is key. Read the EPA's guidelines on Target Setting for a reliable overview of how to get started setting your own targets.

Sharing your progress is often a critical aspect of gaining the buy-in needed to reach your emissions reduction goals. CarbonHub offers quick and customizable reports to share updates with internal team members, as well as vibrant dashboards that can be shared with external stakeholders or posted publicly.


CarbonHub was designed based on industry expertise as defined by international agencies like GHG Protocol. is a great resource that you can rely on to find additional guidance to accomplish your goals. Carbon accounting is still an evolving area of environmental science. Guidelines and recommendations on definitions, methodology, and processes are continuing to evolve as scientists around the world continue to learn more.

Reporting Corporate Risks & Opportunities 
Supply Chain Guidance 
GHG Emissions Factors Hub