Bilan carbone: carbon footprint

DateSeptember 14, 2021

What is the “Bilan Carbone”? How often should it be carried out, and what does it entail? Deepki’s Blog gives you the details…

What is the Bilan Carbone?

Developed in 2011 by the French Environment and Energy Management Agency (ADEME), the Bilan Carbone is a tool for measuring direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, serving companies as part of their CSR approach.

The Bilan Carbone involves 6 steps…

  • Developing climate change awareness
  • Defining the study’s scope
  • Collecting data
  • Analyzing results
  • Defining an action plan for reduced emissions
  • Implementing this plan

…and looks at the following GHGs:

  • CO2
  • Nitrous oxide
  • Hydrofluorocarbon
  • Perfluorocarbon
  • Methane
  • Sulfur hexafluoride

A required audit aimed at helping companies set up a solid energy efficiency strategy, this assessment gives them a better understanding of their energy consumption and how to improve performance.

Bilan Carbone requirements in France

Since the Grenelle II law of July 10, 2010, a greenhouse gas emissions assessment is required every 4 years for:

  • companies with 500+ employees in France and 250+ in the DOM (overseas departments)
  • communities of more than 50,000 individuals
  • public establishments and state agencies with over 250 employees

The Bilan Carbone must be followed according to ADEME rules, i.e., published on a dedicated platform managed by the organization. Failure to comply can result in a fine of up to €1,500.

For entities not subject to the regulation, voluntary participation is nonetheless highly valued by stakeholders like customers and investors, boosting companies’ appeal and creating new business opportunities.

Where do things stand? France vs Europe and beyond

Key figures in Europe

French companies have gotten out in front, beginning the first GHG assessments in the 2000s and aligning themselves increasingly ever since. In 2018, France was in 9th place for best environmental performance – thanks to increased use of decarbonized resources like renewable and nuclear energies.

This is pretty strong standing globally, and for good reason; this regulation has a huge impact on the brand image of companies, who are taking on the challenge of GHG reduction. Portugal tops the list for best environmental performance in the EU, with a 9% reduction in GHG emissions. Bulgaria and Ireland also did well in 2018, with CO2 emissions dropping by 8.1% and 6.8% respectively.

Overall, the European Union reduced its CO2 emissions by 2.5%, by limiting the use of polluting fossil fuels.

Key international figures

Unfortunately, results are not as good on a global level. In the World Energy Review published on May 28, 2019, the research firm Enerdata reported that polluting emissions increased by 1.7% between 2017 and 2018. Why? Because our economic system uses too much energy and is dominated by polluting fossil fuels.

Bottom line: across companies worldwide, the carbon footprint is on everyone’s lips. It’s high time to embrace it with open arms, optimizing your energy consumption and the extra-financial performance of your assets.