How to measure your footprint

Everything you need to know to measure your carbon footprint

What information will you need?

You'll need a year's worth of data to work out your carbon footprint. So the first thing to do is to decide on a retrospective 12 month period. This can be a calendar year or a financial year – whatever works best for you.  Once you have decided the time period, all you have to do is spend a few hours getting the information together – don’t worry its easier than you think! You already have most of it, or it's just a phone call away. See the table below for more about what information is needed and where to find it.

What do you do with this information?

You'll need to compile all the information in one place. If you have time on your hands or you like working with spreadsheets and data, you could make up your own spreadsheet or system that works for you. Alternatively, there are pre-formatted systems you can use. Ekos has a free spreadsheet which you can download and save - you'll find the link here.  

Note -  the data requirements outlined on this page are based on the requirements of the free Ekos Business Lite calculator. If you plan to use another calculator, check the requirements first.

Below is a list of all the things you'll need to keep a record of for a 12-month period, and where to find the information.


Your electricity use for a year, in kWh. 

Where to find this info: 

You can find this on your electricity bills and add the amounts to get the total for the year. Or call your electricity company and asking them to send you a report.


Fuels (Stationery)

Stationery fuels are non-vehicle fuels your business has used including diesel or petrol (in litres), LPG (kg), natural gas (kWh) and coal (tonnes). You’ll need a year’s worth of records. NOTE this is for fuel based machinery and equipment etc. Fuels for transport is under a separate category.

Where to find this info: 

(ask your supplier to send you a report summary or refer to your invoices)

Diesel/Petrol – You’ll need to keep track of diesel or petrol purchases (either invoices or fuel card) for machinery, generators etc. 

LPG – keep track of the number and size of gas bottles you use.

Natural gas – you can find this on your gas bills. Add the amounts to get the total for the year.  

Coal – if you’re using coal, keep track of how much you purchase, in kg/tonnes.



The amount of waste you send to landfill, in kg or litres.

Where to find this info: 

If you use a commercial waste supplier, they should be able to provide you with this information. Otherwise, by going through your invoices you should be able to estimate the litres of waste you have had picked up each month.  

If your waste is too small for contracted services, make a plan to start weighing the waste you send to landfill. Choose your busiest period to collect data that can then be multiplied over 12 months. Luggage scales can be useful here - you will find these at Officemax (TIA members are entitled to discounts at Officemax).



You’ll need a record of all the flights taken for your business by any members of your team. If you use a travel agent ask them to send you a report, otherwise you will need to take a trip down memory lane and go through your invoices.

At the bare minimum, you’ll need the number and type of flights and the class of flight (Domestic; International shorthaul (Australia, Pacific); International longhaul (Asia, America, Europe, Africa).


Where to find this info: 

If you have a corporate account with Air New Zealand you should be able to get a report of this information. Otherwise, set up a simple way of recording it every time you or your team travel.

If you have already offset your flights – you should include the flights in your business measurement (but you don’t have to offset it again).



For any members of your team that stay in accommodation for business, you’ll need a record of the country where you stayed and the number of nights spent multiplied by the number of rooms.


Where to find this info: 

If you have a corporate account with a travel agent you should be able to get a report of this information. Otherwise, set up a simple way of recording it every time you or your team travel.


Vehicle Travel

You’ll need to record the impact of using company-owned vehicles by providing total amount of fuel purchased or kms travelled.

You’ll need to provide the same information for non-company vehicles (i.e. staff's own vehicles where mileage has been claimed).

You’ll need to provide the expenditure of all taxi/Uber trips for business.  

And a record of the kms travelled by rental car.  


Where to find this info: 

You can do this by either:

Providing the total amount of petrol/diesel purchased (litres),

OR providing the total kms travelled for each company vehicle.



Businesses tell us this is the slightly tricky one but if you know in advance what you need, it will be easier to find and record the information. You will need to consider both inward freight and outward freight.

For both incoming and outgoing freight estimates you will need:

  • Mode of delivery, origin/destination (either international destination, or km distance if within NZ), and total weight received/sent. 


Where to find this info: 

Look at your accounts and analyse what you purchase and who your suppliers are.

You will then be able to figure out the distance materials travelled to get to you.

You will be able to estimate the mode of freight based on how you see items arrive.

And by referring to either the invoices or deferring to an old-fashioned scale, you should be able to estimate the waste.



As you can see, there is a bit of information to keep track of here but now that you know what’s involved, you can set up a system to record it, or use a spreadsheet like the Ekos free business calculator. You may find it easiest to record this info monthly, perhaps when you pay your bills or do other monthly jobs, so it’s easy to calculate at the end of a year.

Once you have all the information, you can input it into a free calculator like the excellent, easy-to-use Ekos Business Lite calculator. Alternatively, check out the Helpful Resources on this page for the details of some companies that can help you calculate your carbon footprint.


Back to Measure your carbon footprint
Back to How to achieve Commitment 11