Environmental Accounting for Our Business

January 18, 2007

As many of your know I have been working on a project to determine what the environmental impact of our office is. Last week I got our assessment back, complete with the cost to offset our impact – here is a rundown.

First things first, you should know how our impact was measured. There are four main categories for a business like ours (all figures are annual totals):

Electric (our total – 5245.9 KWh): we got this figure from our electric bill.

Natural Gas (our total – 592.97 cubic meters): we got this figure from our gas bill.

Commuting (our total – 19,257 km): to calculate this we took our respective driving distances (using Google Maps), multiplied by two (drive to work, then home from work) and then multiplied by 5 days x 49 weeks (three for holidays) and arrived at 19,257 total kilometres. So you know we had to submit the names of our vehicle models because different models are more or less friendly to the environment.

Air Travel (our total – 14, 594 km): This was the distance I travelled for two trips to California to speak at Office 2.0 and the Web 2.0 Summit.

Paper Usage (our total – 150 lbs): this equates to 15,000 pages of standard 8.5″x11″ printer paper.

So…I passed this info along to the folks at Zerofootprint.net. About one week later they came back to me with this report, which includes a dollar value for the trees that will have to be planted to offset our environmental impact:


I’m off to cut a cheque so we can earn our Zerofootprint badge which acknowledges FreshBooks as a company that has offset their environmental impact. We’ll post it on our website once we’ve got it.

about the author

Co-Founder & CEO, FreshBooks Mike is the co-founder and CEO of FreshBooks, the world’s #1 cloud accounting software for self-employed professionals. Built in 2003 after he accidentally saved over an invoice, Mike spent 3.5 years growing FreshBooks from his parents’ basement. Since then, over 10 million people have used FreshBooks to save time billing, and collect billions of dollars. A lover of the outdoors, Mike has been bitten so many times it’s rumored he’s the first human to have developed immunity to mosquitoes.