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Tracking Carbon Emissions

Energy Sciences’ Sustainability Plan: Tracking Our Carbon Emissions

June 18, 2024

As we continue our quest for a more sustainable future, the Energy Sciences team continuously engages in discussions surrounding renewable energy sources, innovative technologies, and policy changes, with data playing a critical role, enabling our team to keep up with the ever-changing energy efficiency landscape. Accurate, comprehensive data collection is fundamental to any effective sustainability strategy. One way we utilize data to further our mission as a collective is by using a carbon emission tracking platform, Greenly.

The Greenly software allows us to gather information about our individual and aggregate energy usage and output. As a predominantly remote team, Greenly helps us remain accountable to our sustainability goals and make better-informed decisions that align with our vision and our commitment to the UN-17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Eleanor Sandifer is an Energy Engineer at Energy Sciences and one of the leads of the ES Sustainability Committee. Her passion for both data and sustainability led us to Greenly. Eleanor was excited to share her experience with how data is collected through the platform: “It’s a super-developed platform that assesses all the recent and up-to-date research on calculating carbon emissions to create detailed metrics from little information. It transforms the data into accessible, credible, standardized reporting.”

What We Measure Matters

The initial steps in a sustainability plan begin with clearly understanding what needs to be measured. To create an accurate baseline of energy consumption for ES, we had to expand our understanding of what is associated with carbon emissions to include everything we interact with. Eleanor expanded on this: “Everything has a carbon emission associated with it; it depends on how deep you want to go. For example, as AI, cloud storage, and new software are increasing in prominence, so are their associated carbon emissions. Greenly’s software can help us put emission numbers to these environmental impact areas we did not consider in the company’s footprint.”

With a primarily remote team working largely from software and devices all day, this data provides our team with invaluable insights that allow us to ensure we are remaining firm in our energy efficiency and decarbonization commitments: “Tracking carbon emissions with remote employees can be particularly tricky when trying to do it on your own, which is why Greenly is such a powerful and useful tool for us,” says Eleanor.

Gathering the information from ES teammates was simple, too, with a survey sent out to the entire team that takes less than five minutes but gets down to the smallest details: “It asks our employees specific questions about how their homes are heated, right down to the content of the meals they eat during company time.”

The Impact of Carbon Emissions Data

Three categories are universally used as a baseline to understand the source of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions: Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3.  These categories also help us collect and organize the data we gather from Greenly:

  • Scope 1: Emissions that are direct GHG emissions from sources owned or under your organization’s control. These are the emissions associated with fuel combustion in company assets such as boilers, furnaces, and company vehicles.
  • Scope 2: Indirect GHG emissions from purchased electricity, steam, heat, and cooling in buildings and production processes and assets.
  • Scope 3: All other indirect emissions associated with a company’s upstream and downstream operations. This includes things like employee travel time, purchases for the organization, technology, and software purchases or upgrades, etc.

Much of what we track at ES falls under Scope 3 emissions. Not only are Scope 3 emissions the most complex and broad to track, but due to our primarily remote team, which relies heavily on electronic communication, they are where most of our emissions are generated—making tracking Scope 3 emissions just as valuable as Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Greenly breaks through the elusive nature of Scope 3 emissions and makes understanding them approachable for our team.

Walking the Talk

Once the correct data is collected, it is transformed into actionable insights. This involves analyzing the data to identify patterns, trends, and areas for improvement: “Greenly is truly a catch-all system for the user experience and data collection,” Eleanor says, “Additionally, it operates with an accounting-based approach to track a company’s every movement. It helps us to make informed decisions on which steps to take next as a company. It also shows us avenues to report the information in a way that is easily digestible to entities outside of our organization.”

Transparency is also crucial. By openly sharing data on environmental performance and sharing the accountability that comes with tracking through Greenly, we can ‘walk the talk’ and demonstrate our commitment to sustainability: “The hope is that transparency like this inspires others to take action,” Eleanor shared, “It feels like it creates a ripple effect that amplifies the impact of individual efforts in addition to steps the organization can take as a whole.”

With the foundation provided to us for understanding where and how improvements can be made, Greenly helps our team at ES transform abstract goals into actionable strategies and helps us make the impact of our sustainability efforts clear and relatable: “Even though Energy Sciences is a small company with a small footprint, we still dedicate enormous effort into doing our part to reduce our carbon emissions,” Eleanor reflects, “We think deeply about our moves as a company, and we know that many other organizations do as well. With all the data out there to collect, utilizing an organizational tool like Greenly can help with sustainable decision-making. Ultimately, the power of precise, well-presented data will drive the meaningful changes needed to achieve a sustainable world.”


Starting your sustainability journey can be daunting – but have no fear! Whether it’s data collection, understanding terminology and technology, planning, or even seeking funding, our team is here to help.

Contact us, and let’s take your next steps toward a cleaner tomorrow!

Categories: Industry Insights, Sustainability