Comparing the Carbon Impact of Different Engagement Methods

Business challenge

Northern Powergrid wanted a calculation matrix that would help them identify the carbon/environmental impacts of different stakeholder engagement delivery methods when conducted virtually and physically. Their initial focus was on in-year and business plan engagement.

What we did

We used a two-phased approach:

Literature reviewAfter an initial brainstorm of all potential elements involved in staging a virtual/online engagement, we carried out an in-depth review of available materials. This involve exploring and assessing papers, online calculators, blogs, and energy and government websites, the components they measure, and the methodology underpinning these tools.

This desk research identified the elements associated with virtual versus physical engagements and their associated environmental carbon impact.

Developing calculation matrix templatesBuilding on learnings from the desk research, we designed an Excel calculation matrix tool that can be quickly and easily adapted by the user to each engagement of interest (for example, bilateral meetings, focus groups or workshops).

Key fields such as number of participants and length of engagement can be modified and incorporated with travel information and IT usage, amongst other things, to reflect the engagement under consideration and the associated impact it may have if conducted virtually or in person.


Northern Powergrid has a user-friendly tool which demonstrates the carbon/environmental impact for a range of engagement types when conducted virtually or in person.

calculation matrix