What is Carbon Accounting?


Carbon accounting entails quantifying the amount of greenhouse gases (GHGs) that an organisation or business produces. Also known as greenhouse gas accounting, carbon accounting is mandatory for large enterprises, publicly traded companies, and LLPs in the UK.

Why Carbon Accounting Matters

Carbon accounting enables organisations to quantify the amount of greenhouse gases they are producing so that they can better understand the impact they are having on the environment and establish goals for reducing that impact.

Why Reducing CO2 Emissions is Important

Human activity results in the release of various greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But the amount of carbon dioxide or CO2 we release dwarfs all other greenhouse gases in total volume, and is largely responsible for the climate crisis we find ourselves facing.

For the purposes of carbon accounting all other gases, such as methane, are assigned a carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) which is determined by multiplying the amount of a given greenhouse gas by what scientists call its global warming potential or GWP.

The global warming potential of a gas is a measure of how much energy a tonne of emissions of the gas absorbs over a period of time as compared to emissions of a tonne of CO2. The higher the GWP number, the more a particular gas contributes to global warming.

Carbon Accounting: Why Now?

The world is careening toward an environmental catastrophe whose foothill effects are already being felt in every part of the world. In response to this, the UK government has instituted a policy known as Net Zero 2050 which aims to reduce carbon emissions nationwide by 68% by 2030 (relative to 1990 levels) and ultimately to make the UK a carbon neutral country by 2050.

If those ambitious goals are to be achieved, it is imperative that we understand how the problem manifests in order to formulate ways to deal with it. And carbon accounting is one of the most effective ways to do so.


If organisations are to bring their GHG emissions under control, the first step must be quantifying the problem and carbon accounting is how they do that.

To find out more, get in touch with Qflow by using the contact form on this website.

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