Carbon Footprint Calculations for a Software Company – Adapting GHG Protocol Scopes 1, 2 and 3 to the Software Industry

No Thumbnail Available
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Conference article in proceedings
Degree programme
Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing ; Volume 500 LNBIP
Through non-financial reporting, such as CSRD, carbon footprint calculations are becoming mandatory in the software industry. The golden standard for reporting CO2 emissions is based on the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and its scopes 1, 2, and 3. However, as a producer of purely digital products, the software industry differs from traditional industries in its carbon footprint. The software industry value chain relies heavily on an infrastructure that can contribute most of its emissions. It has been recognized that there is a need for an industry-customized carbon emissions model that considers the software industry's peculiarities. The primary goal of this study is to define the main sources of climate impacts in the software industry and propose a model of the GHG Protocol adaptation to software companies. This research has been done in our Green ICT project and is based on interviews done in that project. The data for this research was collected from five software companies with different demographics and business models. The interviews, with a total amount of 14, were conducted between November 2022 and March 2023 during a service design process of an automated tool that facilitates green transition in software companies. The analysis of the interviews was supplemented with the results from four multi-stakeholder workshops conducted during the service design process, as well as with the analysis of a series of webinars around the topic. As a result of the study, the Software Company Scopes model for the primary sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the software company and its value chain was created, and the GHG Protocol was tailored to the needs of the software industry. Thus, considering its industry-specific peculiarities, we may conclude that the GHG Protocol can be applied to the software industry.
Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2024.
Greenhouse Gas, Reporting, Software Company
Other note
Sipilä, A, Partanen, L & Porras, J 2024, Carbon Footprint Calculations for a Software Company – Adapting GHG Protocol Scopes 1, 2 and 3 to the Software Industry . in S Hyrynsalmi, J Münch, K Smolander & J Melegati (eds), Software Business - 14th International Conference, ICSOB 2023, Proceedings . Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol. 500 LNBIP, Springer, pp. 442-455, International Conference on Software Business, Lahti, Finland, 27/11/2023 .