Last week at the State of Open Con 2024, I announced on behalf of Scott Logic a proposed standard for assessing and managing technology-related carbon emissions. The proposed standard sets out an approach to classifying an organisation’s technology footprint in a way that enables consistent analysis and benchmarking of the carbon impact.

Similar to how the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol has defined emissions scopes, this Technology Carbon Standard (TCS) aims to provide a standardised framework for carving up enterprise technology estates. It aligns with the concepts of Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

The TCS is part of Scott Logic’s ongoing research into technology sustainability. It moves beyond just carbon and cost considerations to provide a holistic view of potential impacts. While still in draft form pending community feedback, it represents our first contribution to help drive clarity and consistency in how the industry measures and mitigates technology’s footprint.

Why a New Standard?

The goal of this Technology Carbon Standard is to provide a standardised method for organisations to map, measure, and mitigate the environmental impacts of their technology. This fills a gap between high-level consultancy guidance and specific projects tackling individual areas like cloud computing. Consistent standards facilitate productive conversations between sustainability stakeholders, technology leadership and practitioners.

By delineating an organisation’s technology estate into categories analogous to GHG Protocol scopes, technology practitioners can more easily identify the most carbon-intensive areas to prioritise for impact reduction. This is not intended to reinvent existing efforts in sustainability measurement and reporting. Where relevant, the methodology references and integrates with established open-source initiatives for calculating technology emissions.

The TCS allows technology leaders and practitioners to quickly identify areas for attention based on their organisation’s unique footprint. It serves as a starting point to then leverage existing open-source initiatives like those from Green Software Foundation and Green Web Foundation among other aligned projects.

Breaking down the categories

The TCS splits technology carbon emissions into three core categories:


Hardware manufacturing/component extraction and software development – so, this includes the embodied carbon from creating technology capabilities.


Direct emissions from owned IT infrastructure and indirect emissions from managed/cloud services.


Usage/end-of-life related emissions, also third-party, end-user emissions (users using your public-facing website or web applications, for example) – something that is significant for B2C organisations.

Within each area, clear subcategories provide granularity into specific sources based on the enterprise technology stack.

Invitation for Community Collaboration

The TCS is published under a Creative Commons (CC BY-SA-NC) licence allowing non-commercial free use and modification by the community. We welcome all feedback, suggestions, and collaborations on expanding the TCS via the Github project.

Standardising carbon accounting for technology is imperative as we collectively strive for more sustainable digital transformation. We’re excited to work with the community to evolve this proposed standard into an industry-wide asset.

You can find the Tech Carbon Standard at: and the GitHub repo at:

Massive thanks to the team

Finally, a huge thank you to the team inside and outside of Scott Logic (including our clients) who have helped to pull this together. Special mention to David Rees and David Hope who have owned the framework and this standard.

More to come – watch this space

This is currently very much cost- and carbon-focused. We are keen to move to other impact areas and that is on our backlog. Again, if you want to collaborate on this please do get in touch. Email