Carbon Accounting

We’re developing a standardised carbon accounting framework suitable for all UK manufacturers, working with four other Catapults.

Enabling and accelerating the transition to net zero manufacturing is essential if UK manufacturing is to remain competitive in the global markets.

Manufacturing and construction are responsible for 12% of the UK’s territorial emissions but this figure increases to 43% if consumption emissions are included. Consumption emissions include all emissions associated with the products and services consumed within a country, regardless of where those products were manufactured.

The reduction of emissions associated with the supply chain (known as upstream Scope 3 emissions) is a significant challenge for UK industry.


Funded and supported by

What is carbon accounting?

Carbon accounting is a means of quantifying the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that are produced as a result of a business’ activities or processes, or by the manufacture of products. By quantifying these emissions, manufacturing businesses are better able to make informed decisions on their strategy to decarbonise their operations, processes and supply chains.

Creating a common carbon accounting framework

There is currently no standardised approach for carbon accounting of Scopes 1, 2 and upstream Scope 3. Instead, there is a conflicting range of standards, protocols and requirements for businesses to navigate, leading to inconsistent carbon reporting techniques and outputs.

As a result, manufacturers at all stages of the supply chain face a huge administrative burden in terms of time and cost required to account for their Scope 1, 2 and upstream Scope 3 emissions, and comparison between businesses and products is impossible for the consumer.

The Carbon Accounting Programme is building on the strengths of the best standards and techniques, working alongside industry and policymakers, to create a unified framework that is suitable for all UK manufacturers.

How we’re tackling carbon accounting

We are leading a cross-Catapult programme to establish a standardised framework for carbon accounting for UK manufacturing; for Scope 1, 2 and upstream Scope 3 emission for manufacturers of all sectors, sizes and products​.



Our focus

Taking a holistic and rounded approach to the problem, we are investigating:

  • The ‘user journey’ through any carbon accounting framework
  • The ideal steps that businesses should take to account for their carbon
  • The digital tools – existing or otherwise – that enable easier access with the process steps
  • Data management needs for carbon accounting across supply chains
  • Verification of data, including novel means of doing so such as using satellite data
  • How best to ensure appropriate and effective regulatory oversight of carbon accounting.



Potential results

Effective carbon accounting within all sectors of the manufacturing industry will:

  • Reduce the current levels of administrative burden on companies to quantify and report their emissions
  • Provide consumers with more transparent information and a means of comparison
  • Drive and accelerate more targeted and effective action to reduce emissions.

Potential impact

In the longer-term, this will:


Reports and insights

Automated manufacturing equipment


Embodied Emissions and Net Zero: A review of standards and recommendations

HVM Catapult identifies gaps in current accounting standards for greenhouse gas emissions in this report, recommending a common framework.

6 October 2022


Embodied Emissions and Net Zero: A review of tools and databases

HVM Catapult identifies gaps in current accounting methods for greenhouse gas emissions in this report, recommending a common framework.

6 October 2022

Who we are

The Carbon Accounting Programme is funded and supported by Innovate UK. We are delivering the programme with partners across the Catapult Network:

Want to learn more?

To find out more about the Carbon Accounting Programme, get in touch today.
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