News

How Digital Agency Torchbox is Measuring its Scope 3 Emissions 

9th October 2023

It’s no secret that the digital world has a considerable environmental footprint, rivalling that of the aviation industry. Local digital agency Torchbox has embarked on a journey to quantify its Scope 3 emissions, in particular in relation to the carbon footprint of the websites they build and manage. 

 

Drawing insights from projects like Thoughtworks’ Cloud Carbon Footprint and the Green Software Foundation’s Software Carbon Intensity specification, Torchbox has crafted a bespoke approach to address this complex issue.

Their Hosting Infrastructure Methodology provides detailed insights into emissions from website hosting and the Sustainable Web Design Methodology casts a wider net, estimating emissions linked to overall website use.

Exploring digital emissions while deepdiving into Scope 3 led to some interesting debate about what should be included within Scope 3 when it comes to the hosting of clients’ websites with hosting partners. 

Informed by the GHG guidance Torchbox decided to include these emissions using the Hosting Infrastructure methodology as part of their Scope 3, even though the clients are the primary owners. The GHG Protocol encourages this double counting so that more parties are focused on driving reductions.

Measurement models will evolve and new standards will emerge but, for now, this approach provides Torchbox with what it needs to start a reduction programme. And, they can report an accurate picture of hosting emissions for their clients’ carbon footprints

You can download Torchbox’s Digital Emissions Methodologies. Feedback is not just welcomed; it’s encouraged as they are keen to engage in ongoing dialogue, to continue to refine and enhance their approach.

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About Torchbox

Torchbox is an employee-owned digital agency working with nonprofits and public sector organisations in the UK and internationally.

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