Ecoscan is a simplified environmental calculator aiming at giving a  first  estimation of the carbon and ecological footprint of a small organisation. CO2 equivalence Factors used for the calculation are based on the Ademe Bilan Carbone ® methodology (, while global hectares factors and ecological footprint calculation are based on the  Global Footprint Network methodology ( 

Ecomapping was developed by Heinz Werner Engel in 1998. It has been translated in more than 20 languages and used by SMEs worldwide in various sectors.

Ecotips is a multisectoral database of environmental and economic tips for small and medium enterprises. Possible savings are calculated based on primary assumptions described for each sector you can find these assumptions above each drawing . Each tip finds its sources at the end of the  tip page.

  • Answer
  • 1. What is Ecotoolkit?

    Ecoscan is an assessment tool to measure environmental pressure exerted by a business on the environment. This measure is expressed as ecological footprint (global hectares) and/or carbon footprint (tons of carbon equivalent).

    Ecoscan was developed within the European project Ecotips 2.0 (Leonardo da Vinci - life long learning).
    This online tool complements EcoTips and Ecomapping tools, available in the EcotoolKit - a toolbox for environmental management. The Ecotoolkit can be seen as a first step for environmental improcements as the approach is consistent with an environmental management system. By highlighting the significant impact that the company has on the environment, the tool can quickly identify environmental action plan and priority actions to implement.

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  • 2. Who is the Ecotoolkit for?

    Suitable for Very Small Enterprises, the toolkit was designed to assess eight economic sectors.

    Ecotoolkit is designed for anyone wishing to include consideration for the environment in their activities, but especially to:

    - Small and micro enterprises of the following 8 sectors: offices, bars and restaurants, maintenance and repair, construction and renovation of buildings, accommodations, events, retail, hair salons and beauty salons.

    It can be used as a tool to assist businesses by:

    - Training centres and universities
    - Consultants
    - Support structures for entrepreneurship

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  • 3. What is an environmental diagnosis?

    An inventory of the company environmental situation to measure the impacts of company activities on the environment and to identify its organizational problems. The diagnosis then allows understanding the causes of these impacts and issues specific to the company and thus, allows implementing the right solutions.

    This assessment can lead to the creation of a priority action plan to reduce these impacts and eliminate problems.

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  • 4. What is an Ecological footprint?

    The ecological footprint is a measure of the Earth's surface, expressed in hectares required to produce the resources consumed and to absorb CO2. Ecological footprint gives a concrete figure on the responsibility we have on the exhaustion of natural resources

    Biocapacity and ecological debt

    The Biocapacity is the regenerative capacity of the planet. Only part of the earth can create and renew resources and absorb our wastes. This part is said to be biologically productive, the other part, consisting mainly of deserts, glaciers and sea bed has a refresh rate too low.
    It is estimated the Earth's surface with a biologically productive capacity is about 12 billion hectares, out of 51 billion hectares (total area of the Earth).

    To measure the ecological footprint, we use global hectares (gha) as an indicator. Gha is a representative production capacity of one ha of land with world average productivity. To find the area available for each human being, simply divide the biocapacity (gha 12 billion) by the world's population (7 billion). This gives us a score of 1.7 gha per person, representing our sustainable footprint.

    But today the ecological footprint of humanity is 2.7 gha per capita. This is called overshoot, that is to say that we consume more resources than the planet can regenerate and that we produce more waste than it can absorb.

    The day we exceed biocapacity of the Earth is called Overshot Day and was set this year for September 27, 2011. This means that from that day, we live on credit resources of the planet. We basically contract a debt vis-à-vis the Earth.

    Moreover, this consumption is highly unequal and thus the debt is not incurred in the same way everywhere, but everyone suffers the consequences of climate change.
    - A Belgian consumes 5.1 gha / year
    - An American consumes 9.2 gha / year
    - An African uses 1.4 gha / year

    If everyone consumed like a Western citizen, we would need three planets to support our needs!

    The ecological footprint of organizations

    We can calculate the ecological footprint of the world, country, city, person ... and therefore also that of a company!

    When calculating the ecological footprint of a business, the focus is on:

    • The building
    • Energy
    • Mobility
    • Waste
    • Food
    • Etc ...

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  • 5. What is the Carbon footprint?

    The carbon footprint measures the amount of greenhouse gas (GHG) emitted into the atmosphere each year on average, for business or living beings, by the use of fossil fuel (electricity, heating, transport,...). The result is expressed in tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The carbon footprint refers specifically to the impact of our activities on climate change.

    The greenhouse effect

    Climate change is due to the greenhouse effect. And the greenhouse effect is enhanced by the emission of gases into the atmosphere. The greenhouse effect is a phenomenon of natural regulation of the planet. Without it, the average temperature on Earth would be -18 ° C instead of 15 ° C.

    But the accumulation of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (NH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)) in the atmosphere causes the temperature increase on Earth.

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  • 6. What should i expect from this diagnosis?

    • Evaluation of a company’s impact on the natural resources depletion and global warming
    • Identify significant impacts and therefore  priority actions
    • Be aware of the problems faced by the company
    • Have a clear vision of its consumption and therefore better management of them
    • Estimate its dependence on fossil fuels and think about alternatives
    • Compare the changes in its environmental situation through time
    • Compliance with regulations with environmental legislation
    • Tool for decision support and action
    • This is more than rethink its organization to have extra expenses.

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  • 7. When to use this tool?

    According to the Deming cycle, the environmental analysis is the first step of Plan - Do - Check - Act.

    Using Ecotoolkit is primarily to plan (Plan) an environmental action program, which will include setting objectives and targets.

    The Ecoscan diagnostic tool can be used either for a single event (in the case of an event) or for a longer period and therefore ideally once a year at the end of the accounting year.

    Diagram by Karn G. Bulsuk (

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  • 8. What data do I need to use the Ecoscan?

    The Ecoscan is divided into different sections. For each section it is useful to prepare the following documents before using the ecoscan:

    General Information
    - Turnover, number of employees and FTEs:  look for data in your annual report

    Energy and water
    - Area (m²) of the company: find out about it on your lease
    - Electricity and gas consumption (kWh) and water (m³): look at your supplier invoices
    - Power (kW) refrigerator, freezer, airco: invoices for the purchase of the machines (or on the machines)

    Transport and mobility
    - Paper + number of vehicle kilometres per year
    - Number of kilometres travelled, and travel: tickets for business trips or invoices
    - Km travelled and transport for travel: survey mobility among employees and customers (Click here to download survey template).

    Equipment purchases
    - Quantity and Type: invoices (paper, electronic, food, beverages, ...)

    - Tonnes of waste (household, PMC, paper / cardboard, electrical equipment):
    i. Invoice from the Waste Management company
    ii. Estimated weight or volume over time (extrapolated to the year)

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  • 9. How to use the Ecotoolkit?

    Step 1: Register

    On the Home page, click on “Register”

    You have access on the register form that you have to fill in with your organisation data...

    Once registered, you will receive an email of confirmation. Then you can go to log in.

    Step 2: Log in

    Step 3: Choose the tool to use

    Step 4: Integrate the data

    Focus on these particular cases:

    -    In case of an annually monitoring, don’t forget to collect data for an entire year.

    -    Indicators can be different on your invoice (e.g, gas consumption can be referred in m³ or kWh – 1 m³ of gas = 10,4 kWh).

    -    Amount of litres can be found if you know the number of kilometres done in 1 year and the consumption of litres for 100 km of your car.

    -    Be careful when calculating the number of kilometres travelled by employees, some of them are not Full Time Equivalent. The amount of kilometres can be calculated in relation with the number of days really worked.

    -    It is not that easy to monitor the amount of waste thrown. If it’s not on your waste managing company invoice, make a projection based on 1 week or 1 month of waste, by using a scale.
    You can always ask your waste company the average density of one container to evaluate how many kilos of waste per container you generate in a year.

    Step 5: Calculate your footprint

    Once all data integrated in the calculator, calculate the footprint of your organisation, given as ecological footprint or carbon footprint. The ecoscan will automatically generate a report.

    Step 6: Report on your carbon footprint (TeqCO2)....

    The table : useful to get the accurate amount of CO2 emission by field.
    The graph : useful to have a complete vision of the company environmental situation

    ... or of your ecological footprint (gha)

    Go to and see...

    The Table in GHA
    The Graph in GHA

    Step 7: Download the PDF version

    To conserve your report and monitor again your results in the future.

    Step 8: Visualize your footprint

    And see... a visual representation of your carbon footprint equivalent

    And a visual representation of your ecological foorprint

    Step 9: Compare your results

    You can compare your reports from year to year. You can see the results and trying to understand the increase or decrease of the figures related to a year or another. Note that you may compare only two reports at a time.

    Compare two CO2 footprint reports

    Compare two Ecological footprint reports

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  • 10. What is Ecoscan Lite?

    Ecoscan lite

    We made it possible for you to calculate an even more simplified footprint. When clicking on ecoscan lite, you can generate a lighter version of your footprint by looking only at the major sources of emissions. Please note that for a more complete view of your environmental footprint, we recommend you to spend more time filling up the full version of the ecoscan.

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  • 11. How to use Ecotips?

    The advices of Ecotips are grouped according to the activities of your business.

    For example:

    In your office, you use lots of paper. How can you be more sustainable in the use of paper? You will find all of the above activities via the ' office management '.

    Do you want, as retailer, to reduce energy consumption of your cooling devices? You will find advices in the Cooling activity'!

    One aspect remains important: profitability. What will this tip bring me financially? For each tip (when applicable) you will find the cost associated  to the implementation.

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  • 12. How to navigate through EcoTips?

    There are two ways to access the information:

    • If your company belongs to one of the following 8 sectors: Bars, Snack, and Restaurants; offices; retail stores; beauty and hair salon; vehicle maintenance and repair; building renovation and renovation; hotel or events, you will find related tips by clicking on the desired sector.

    • If your company is not in one of the 8 sectors or if you are looking for advice on a specific activity, you can access the related tips by clicking on "activities" and then click on the chosen activity

    Via the sector

    On the EcoTips home page you can choose your business sector by clicking on the desired area.
    You will then access a graphic synthesizing the various activities with their actions having related feasible environmental impact.

    Arrows corresponding to each activity will appear when maneuvering the mouse pointer over the drawing.

    By clicking on an arrow, you get tips related to the chosen activity.

    Then using the menu on the left of the screen you can then choose the specific tips.

    Via a specific activity

    At the top right there is a drop-down list in which the different activities are displayed. To select, press the 'ok' button and available tips for the chosen activity will appear.

    Using the left menu, you can then choose the tips.

    Even while consulting an activity’s heading, you can always access any other tips by clicking on the desire activity in the upper green band.

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  • 13. What do the symbols mean?

    In the horizontal blue band under the green band on the left side, you will find symbols. What is their significance?

    The "Euro" icon €

    If you click on the € symbol: tips requiring only a small (less than 50 euros) investment will appear;
    If you click on the €€ symbol: tips requiring a moderate (up to 200 euros) investment will appear;
    If you click on the €€€ symbol: tips requiring a large (more than 200 euros) investment will appear.

    The "tip” icon 

    Situated next to each tip title (but also located on the menu to the left): by clicking on this symbol, the tip is selected. This means that at the end of your visit on the EcoTips site, a complete list of selected tips is available by clicking on the same symbol located on the left in the blue band.

    This list can either be sent by email (by clicking on @) or can be printed (by clicking on the printer symbol).

    Language icons

    By clicking on the respective languages icons you can swithc between Bulgarian, French, English, Slovenian and Estonian.

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  • 14. What does it cost to use the Ecotoolkit?

    The use of some of the elements of Ecotoolkit is free.

    Ecoscan and Ecomapping are accessible to everyone, upon registration.

    However, to have access to the ecotips section, a company must obtain a password from its coach/consultant, based on previous agreement.

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