Watershed Carbon Impact

A red bar chart on black, illustrating three increasing bars as a snapshot Watershed's carbon impact

Measuring Watershed's workplace emissions

For the past year, we’ve been building off our initial work with Earthly and Julie's Bicycle to develop a bespoke carbon accounting methodology, emissions boundary and efficient processes for carbon accounting with the help of consultant CLD Carbon.

One of the most crucial takeaways was understanding what emissions we are not measuring or capturing.

Carbon footprint

Results by emissions area

In FY 2022/23, emissions calculated for Watershed operations from the agreed emissions boundary are estimated to be just under 470 tCO2e. This is equivalent to about 260 return flights from London to New York or about 4.3 tCO2e per full time employee equivalent.

  • Almost 49% of emissions come from purchased goods and services (including food and drink) procured
  • Around 38% of emissions analysed during this study are from utilities to run Watershed’s space (electricity (including from servers), gas and water)
  • Emissions from waste and travel are negligible – which is a huge reduction for us, as our workplace travel emissions were 22% of our total footprint in 18/19

Results: Top ten carbon emitters 2022 - 2023

These top 10 sources make up 69% of emissions.

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Our Emissions Boundary


Learnings

  • As our data collection gets more efficient and accurate, as well as recovering from the pandemic’s impact on our business, our emissions are likely to go up in the next year. In combination with our decarbonisation action, we hope this will only be marginal.
  • However, since 2018 - 2019 we have seen a decrease of our carbon footprint by 3tCO2e. This is marginal yet represents the balance between in our significant decrease in air travel but our more accurate emissions calculations, and larger emissions boundary of Scope 3. In 18/19 we were unable to calculate food and drink, which now makes up the singular largest share of our emissions.  
  • Our building use makes up 48% of our emissions, and procurement another 43%. We are reorientating to have our focus on these two areas for targeted carbon reduction activities. You can read more about how we plan to tackle these here.

Limitations to the analysis

  • There are uncertainties around emissions from electricity and gas due to data collection issues however there is still fairly high confidence the analysis here is sound.
  • Procurement emissions from services (legal, building services, security etc.) are potentially overestimated due to the spend based approach used here.
  • Food and drink analysis has not been able to account for all purchases nor does it account for the distribution of these purchases to Watershed’s kitchen.
     

Feedback

We welcome your feedback, ideas and challenges.

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