COI launches its first Carbon Calculators

11 April 2023

Carbon On Invoice gets down to business

LThe Carbon On Invoice (or COI) community launched by Reconcilions-nous has one objective : to quickly enable every producer in Europe, whether a merchant or a nonmerchant, to indicate the reliable carbon weight of their offers, and thus help each actor in their decarbonisation choices. How ? Framing current carbon counts in a reliable and simple carbon accounting system.

The COI letter number 1 announced the launch of the initiative, letter number 2 the theoretical validation of this carbon accounting, letter number 3 gave a first example of the clarification it brings and this letter 4 goes into concrete terms with the first pilot carbon calculators for companies being put online on the COI website.


The simplicity of the COI Carbon Calculators

A COI Carbon Calculator can be downloaded (for confidentiality) and gives the company all its carbon figures VERY easily: answering the questions will only take a small company one hour per year. This simplicity means that the Calculator and the assistance of COI volunteers in completing it are free. Since carbons are going to be increasingly expensive, increasingly scarce and increasingly frowned upon by customers, low-carbon is becoming a competitive and reputational issue for a growing number of companies. They will find the measurements they need in the Calculator :

    • The carbon weight of each of their offerings, to improve their carbon competitiveness and communicate this to their customers.
    • Their decarbonation result from one year to the next and share it with employees and shareholders.

The accounting reliability of COI carbon calculators

The Calculator also gives the company its carbon profit and loss and balance sheet accounts, which it recommends be validated by the company’s accountant. The community is building Principles and Good Practices for Carbon Accounting, which are still in draft form and are being continuously improved. They are simple, about ten pages long, because they follow the rules of monetary accounting. But they are sufficient to ensure the reliability of the Calculators. For example, the principle of accounting balance will ensure that the company passes on all the carbon it has used downstream. The principle of accounting prudence gives priority to the best measure, that of the supplier, and then allows the supplier’s and buyer’s accountants to reconcile their invoices “with carbon”. If the supplier does not yet indicate its carbons, the same principle of prudence supports the Calculator on a dated and plotted public ADEME estimate, increasing it if necessary by a prudence coefficient.


The next step : more and more operational and free calculators

The three pilot computers are adapted to three groups of service professions : businesses that charge for a single type of service (e.g. consultations from a medical practice, hours from a consultancy); those that charge for different services that amount to the same service (e.g. the hours to carry out each service); or those that charge for bespoke services (e.g. an accountancy practice). The objective is now to launch a first set of operational Calculators (if possible by the summer). They will be and remain free of charge, as will email and telephone support to help use them. The answers given on a downloaded carbon calculator are known only to the person entering them. COi defends, but does not impose, a collaborative logic : indicating to a client the weight of the offer, alongside the price; and also obtaining from its suppliers the carbon weight of their offer.


Your advice is essential

The ultimate goal is for each stakeholder to find its own COI Carbon Calculator, extending the approach to the financial services of banks and the non-market services of public authorities. To easily associate each product, each service, each project, each investment with its reliable carbon weight and its decarbonation result. If you believe that decarbonisation requires voluntary accountability from all actors, join the COI community, help with your advice, try out the pilot Calculators already online, suggest new ones, or respond to the Principles and Good Practice of Carbon Accounting.


Find letters N° 1, N°2 and N°3