Establish your baseline

The first step to understand where to focus your efforts on your journey to net zero journey is to establish your baseline carbon footprint.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol sets the standard to measure and manage emissions globally and businesses aiming for net zero should attempt to cover all three scopes.

You’ll also need to set a baseline year from which to measure improvements and begin to collect data on identified emission sources.

There are online calculators and platforms that can help you get started. NABERS for office tenancies is a great tool to understand your scope 1 and 2 emissions.

Ultimately, a carbon accountant or consultant is your best port of call to help establish an accurate understanding of your businesses baseline emissions.

For most businesses, setting a baseline and net zero target, is a voluntary action. Certification and third-party verification is recommended if you are going public with your commitment.


CitySwitch Minimum Requirements

The CitySwitch net zero pathway includes actions businesses can take across all scope of emissions. As a minimum you will be understanding and taking action to reduce your scope 1 and 2 footprint. We acknowledge there can be a lack of awareness of scope 3, which happen upstream and downstream of your business. As a CitySwitch signatory there is an expectation you will seek to understand the most significant elements of your value chain and your associated scope 3 emissions.

CitySwitch provides guides and peer support to help you understand and calculate your business’s baseline emissions. We don’t provide a comprehensive carbon account. We recommend you use an accredited carbon accountant to adhere to the Greenhouse Gas Protocols.


CitySwitch resources are coming soon. Check back in a couple of months and in the meantime explore the resources below.

Key resources

Third party certification tools for net zero

About the Greenhouse Gas Protocols

Under the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s scoped approach, businesses aiming for net zero should attempt to cover all three scopes.

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CitySwitch Signatory of the Year and New Signatory Awards - category judging criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 28 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 10 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 10 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points).
Note, new Signatories submitting for New Signatory of the Year Award need only complete an indicative rating – all other submissions must be accredited.

CitySwitch Partnership of the Year Award - category judging criteria

Eligibility Criteria

Submitted projects should:

  • Involve more than one registered company 
  • Demonstrate that they are  innovative and over and above “business as usual”
  • Demonstrate that they catalyse “market transformation” and or “address a market barrier”
  • Deliver a reduction in energy consumption and carbon emissions within the built environment 

Judging Criteria

  • Delivering outcomes as demonstrated by an improved or maintained current NABERS Energy rating and achieved energy savings* (up to 14 points)
  • Implementing one or more energy saving initiatives (up to 10 points)
  • Demonstrating leadership by undertaking innovative, creative or progressive office energy efficiency activities (up to 17 points)
  • Engagement of staff/ customers/suppliers and/or stakeholders to educate and create market transformation (up to 17 points)
  • Participation in CitySwitch local program activities (up to 10 points)
  • The submitting entity MUST be a CitySwitch Signatory
Note, Signatories submitting for the Partnership of the Year Award may submit an accredited NABERS tenancy, whole building or base building rating.

It’s easy and free to join the program. Your good-will commitment to the program is an acknowledgement of the business sector’s role in
contributing to environmental sustainability and your intention to reduce your own energy consumption and associated carbon emissions.

As part of this, Signatories to the program commit to achieve an accredited NABERS Energy tenancy rating (between 4 and 6 stars) and
work with CitySwitch to improve their tenancy’s environmental performance.

Find out more about how obtaining a NABERS Energy rating ensures you can benchmark your performance, better manage your progress
over time and promote your star rating achievement.