Ask our resident genius, Gav, how he fit all the pieces of our carbon puzzle together and he’ll calmly tell you ‘it wasn't as complicated as we first thought’. Taking a leaf out of The Ultimate Chiller's book, this page endeavours to demonstrate the depth and accuracy of our methodology without boring the pants off of you. This is a strictly interested-enough-for-pants zone. Do read on.
Small World’s emissions factors are drawn from one of two core methodologies or a blend of the two. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses, so combining the two into a hybrid approach often gives us the best of both worlds.
The bottom-up model (or process based life cycle analysis/PBLCA) involves building a footprint with building blocks—like constructing a lego house. First, you gather information about every single piece (bricks, tiles, windows, doors, etc.). Then, you calculate the emissions of each of them, before adding it all up for an estimate carbon footprint.
Originally created to estimate the impact of economic activity, the top-down (or environmentally extended input output) model can be understood in the context of financial transactions. It essentially helps us recognise the impact of a pound spent in different industries, for example £1 spent in oil vs insurance.
Over the last decade, Small World’s carbon analysis has spanned everything from supermarkets to clothing brands; construction companies to tech giants; national parks to local governments, and many more.
Small World has refined and tested this model over a decade and used it with a range of clients, from some of the largest US tech giants to local micro businesses.
Of course, only the most credible sources are used.
Taken from academic papers and (less frequently) company reports.
Small World has developed its own tools for combining and enhancing all of the data into a methodologically coherent dataset.