Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page you can find all the frequently asked questions about Ecodesk, using our tools, entering data, and completing a survey with Ecodesk.

Horizon platform

If we already use Ecovadis for this evaluation, how can we make the link?

Ecodesk and Ecovadis are separate platforms and data does not flow between them. It is therefore necessary to populate data in each of the platforms independently. However, if you have already entered data in Ecodesk for the same scope, you will be able to copy this data when opening another survey to reduce the work involved in responding to a request

We are already sharing data with our client on another platform, do we have to redo such a survey or only update specific topics or KPIs?

Ecodesk is a stand-alone platform. It is therefore necessary to populate data in each platform independently. However, if you have already entered data in Ecodesk for the same scope, you will be able to copy this data when opening another survey to reduce the work involved in responding to a request.

Is there a charge for using the Horizon platform?

The entire service, including registration, Ecodesk support, submission, and your company scorecard on completion, is free for Responders. This is part of our dedication to transparency across supply chains to limit barriers for suppliers to submit their data.

When I log onto the platform there is a blank page, or it is working slowly.

Ecodesk Horizon is optimized for Google Chrome, where you will have the best user experience. If you have access to this web browser, we suggest completing the survey on Chrome. If you continue to experience the issue, please send a screenshot of what you are seeing to resources@ecodesk.com.

What is Ecodesk Horizon?

Ecodesk Horizon is the next generation of Ecodesk's sustainable survey software, which came online in early 2020.

Is there a way to access the platform and survey in another language?

The Horizon platform can be translated via Google Translate if you open the survey on the Chrome browser

How can I view my previous years responses?

Your completed responses are available from the Data Requests page below your active requests.

Data sharing

How do other users of your service gain access to this information?

Your response is only available to the survey Requester only. We do not share data with any other members, clients, or customers that have not been directly requested between yourself and your customer.

Is this information maintained confidently?

All information provided to Ecodesk is managed confidentially. If you would like we can arrange a Non-Disclosure agreement.

My organisation does not allow the use of 3rd party software and/or cannot agree to the terms and conditions

The Horizon platform is in full compliance with European GDPR standards, and your data is only shared with clients who have requested your data.

For more information about Ecodesk's commitment to privacy, please view our privacy policy.

If desired, we can implement an NDA between your organisation and Ecodesk if this complies with your security practices.

If you are still unable to create a profile on the Horizon platform, please contact resources@ecodesk.com and someone from the team will get in touch with you.

Accounts and teams

I want to work on the request with my colleague

To work on the survey with your colleagues, you can use the Invite User feature. You can do this by going to the Users section on the left-hand menu, and then selecting the + button to add the user. By entering their email address, they will receive an invitation to join your organisation on the platform. Please contact resources@ecodesk.com if they have not received the invitation email.

I've been requested to respond at site level but what site should I respond with?

If your client has specified the site they want you to respond at, you should have received an email detailing the specific sites they are requesting information from. If you haven't received this, please contact resources@ecodesk.com.

My team are already registered on Ecodesk, how do I join my organisation on Horizon?

If your colleagues have already registered your organisation, join them by registering on Ecodesk Horizon or request that a member of your team invite you to join the organisation via the Users section on the left-hand menu and then selecting the + button to add your details. If your email domain is different from that of your colleagues, please contact resources@ecodesk.com and we will get you connected.

I can't see any active requests in my dashboard

If your email address has changed or you were forwarded the request by a colleague, the request may not show on the platform. If this is the case, please contact resources@ecodesk.com with your organisation name and which client you are responding to.

My organisation does not have significant emissions and/or we are not a manufacturer, why do I have to respond?

To better understand the impact of their supply chain, many of our clients request that a range of their supplier categories respond to their survey. Regardless of your company type, it is likely that you have the data available to you via utility bills, purchasing orders, or other forms of records. If not, it is possible that some entries can be calculated based on other entries that you provide, in the example of Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions. If you do not have access to the data, it is advised to enter 'Not Available' If you do not use a resource in your operations, it is advised to enter 'Not Applicable' A reason may still be required to submit the survey - this could be a case of not recording the data, the records are not available for the reporting period, or you do not use the resource. In this case, please enter the reason in the text box available.

I received a request to complete a survey on behalf of my organisation, but I am not the appropriate contact to do so.

If the request is not relevant to you, please forward the invitation email to your colleague or team most suited to dealing with a survey of this nature. If you are forwarding the request, please copy in resources@ecodesk.com. It is also recommended to copy in your Supplier Relationship Manager with the requesting client so that they can track the request.

Surveys and SAQs

Why is my survey awaiting approval, and what does this mean?

Awaiting approval means that your response is being reviewed by the survey approval team. You will shortly receive an email letting you know if your survey has been approved (thereby marking it as complete) or rejected (where you are asked for clarification or further information on specific responses).

Can I edit my previous years' data?

As editing previous years' data affects that reporting periods analysis based on aggregated scores, it is not possible to change your entries on a previously submitted survey. However, you will have the opportunity to note any variation on last year's entries in the text boxes provided in this years' active survey.

We are supplying our client from different sites. Do we have to answer the questionnaire site by site?

If your client prefers Company scope responses, it is acceptable to respond at site scope.

If you choose to respond at site scope, please ensure to respond for all sites that supply the client you are responding to.

If your client prefers for you to respond at Site scope, they will specify which sites they would like you to provide data for.

Please notify resources@ecodesk.com if there is a site that supplies your client which you think you should also provide data for.

What scope should I respond with?

You will have the option to respond at Company scope or Site scope, with your Client specifying the scope they would prefer you to respond at.

If your client has reached out via email with a specific request that you respond to for specific site/s, then please select Site scope.

If your client has not specified a specific site they wish to respond, you should aim to respond at your client's preferred scope (Site or Company) if possible.

If you respond at Site scope, you will need to submit a response for each site that supplies your client (you will be able to copy responses across to reduce the reporting burden).

If you have any issues or questions regarding reporting at the scope requested by your client, please contact resources@ecodesk.com.

I do not have access to the data that is requested

Most of the questions asked on Horizon can be answered using data provided in your company policies, utility bills, purchasing orders, or other forms of records.

If not, it is possible that some entries estimated from other entries you provide, in the example of Scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions which can be calculated from fuel consumption and utilities records respectively.

If you do not have access to the data, it's advised to enter 'Not Available' If you do not use a resource in your operations, it's advised to enter 'Not Applicable'.

A reason may still be required to submit the survey - this could be a case of not recording the data, the records are not available for the reporting period, or you do not use the resource. In this case, please enter the reason in the text box available.

Can I have an offline copy of the survey?

On completing your response on Horizon, you will have the option to download your completed survey.

Is it possible to share data from one completed survey to another?

If you have existing data on the Horizon platform from responding this year or a previous year which shares questions with a survey you are starting, you can copy your survey responses from one survey to another.

When you start a new survey for the same scope of response (site or company), a pop-up window will ask if you would like to copy an existing survey, you will then only be required to complete any additional member-specific questions.

What if I can't submit the survey within the deadline?

If you are unable to complete the survey within the deadline, please contact resources@ecodesk.com.

What is the survey about?

Ecodesk collaborates with a number of clients to develop surveys designed to request environmental, social, and governance (ESG) data from their supply chain. As a supplier to one of Ecodesk's clients, you will receive a set of ESG questions via the platform. Most of these surveys consist of quantitative and qualitative questions with the aim of helping your client understand the environmental maturity and impact of their upstream and downstream partners. If you would like to understand more about the survey you have been requested to respond to, please contact resources@ecodesk.com.

Entering data

What is water input vs water output?

Water input and output values should be available from your records. When water is purchased from a water supplier, a quarterly or annual record should be provided which states the total water purchased in cubic metres (m3).

Water input: All the water drawn into the boundaries of the reporting organization (company or site) from all sources.

Water output:The amount of water discharged from the organisation to subsurface waters and sewers, through a defined discharge point, over land, or wastewater removed from the organisation (company or site) via truck.

We have one (or more) office(s) in a multi-tenancy building. What do I do?

Please determine your electricity consumption as part of the overall electricity consumption of the building.

Your landlord should be able to provide this data. Based on the area of office space that your company occupies, you can calculate a proportion of the electricity usage for which you are responsible.

I am unable to obtain an annual electricity bill but have several monthly bills. How do I proceed?

Take the average consumption of the bills in your possession and multiply this average by 12.

For example, you have 3 monthly bills with respectively 3,000 kWh, 5,000 kWh and 10,000 kWh electricity usage. Your average electricity consumption for 3 months will be 6,000 kWh. The estimate of your annual electricity consumption is therefore (6,000 kWh * 12 months) = 72,000 kWh.

Where can I find my electricity data?

Annual electricity consumption figures can be found on your electricity bill. Please contact your utility provider if you do not have a statement with your annual electricity usage figure.

What fuel data should I include?

When collecting fuel data please ensure you are including all types of fuel your company uses, including:

Fuels used for vehicles owned by the company and miles/kilometres driven for the company,

Fuel combusted to heat your buildings,

Additional fuels used in your production processes, such as burning oil or coal.

We do not calculate our Scope 1 or Scope 2 GHG emissions

It is possible to calculate your emissions by your energy data gathered during the reporting period. This can be found from your utility bills. We have developed a GHG Calculator tool to support your calculation. Download the tool here.

Calculating Scope 1 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Your Scope 1 GHG emissions are calculated from your fuel usage data, using carbon conversion factors to convert your fuel usage (kWh or equivalent) to kg CO2-e (kilograms of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent). You can find key conversion factors from DEFRA here.

Multiply the total consumption in kWh of each fuel with the conversion factor. e.g., 22,200 kWh for diesel x 0.24592 kg CO2-e = 5,459.42 kg CO2-e.

Repeat for each fuel used.

Divide the kgCO2-e by 1000 to get emissions total in MtCO2-e (metric tons)

Sum together to get your total Scope 1 emissions.

Calculating Scope 2 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Your Scope 2 GHG emissions are calculated from your electricity, heat, steam, and cooling usage data, using carbon conversion factors of your country of operation to convert your usage (kWh or equivalent) to kg CO2-e (kilograms of Carbon Dioxide Equivalent).

Multiply your consumption of electricity, heat, steam, and cooling in kWh with a conversion factor applicable to your country, e.g.,11,000 kWh of electricity annually x 0.41205 kg CO2-e = 4,532.55 kg CO2-e

Divide by 1,000 to get your Scope 2 GHG emissions in MtC02-e (metric tons)

Sum together to get your total Scope 2 emissions.

How do I apportion my emissions?

Apportioning emissions helps your client understand how your company's work affects them.

To calculate this value, the two easiest options are to calculate the apportionment by either using financial metrics (client spend over gross revenue) or output (proportion of production purchased by client).

For example, if 24% of your production during the reporting year was for the requesting client, then it can be estimated that 24% of your GHG emissions/waste output/water output can be attributed to your client's impact. In this instance, enter 24 as each of the output resources response option and select product output as the metric method.

Does the system take into consideration if a supplier is increasing their output for the client?

If your output increases and your overall GHG emissions increase as a result, this can be stated in the reason if you receive any data flags for the increase in GHG emissions.

You can also make allowance for an increase in overall output by decreasing the percentage apportioned to your client on the final tab of the survey.

Please include any notes regarding increases in output in the notes section at the end of the survey.

What does reporting period or reporting year refer to?

The requested reporting year is the period that the client would like information about.

The requested reporting year being requested is generally the most recent 12-month period for which a full year's data can be reported.

This could be your organization’s fiscal year or calendar year for example.

Data flags

What does it mean if my data is mismatched?

If you have received a data flag suggesting that there is a mismatch between your Scope 1 GHG emissions and Total Fuel, this indicates that your entered value is not within the estimated range for the other. Scope 1 GHG emissions are calculated by the emissions from your fuel use and their respective carbon conversion factors.

Please provide information on how these values were calculated or provide a reason. For example, do you have additional emissions from waste incineration? If you have received a data flag suggesting that there is a mismatch between your Scope 2 GHG emissions and Purchased Electricity - Non-renewable, this indicates that your entered value is not within the estimated range for the other. Scope 2 GHG emissions are calculated by emissions from non-renewable purchased electricity and the energy mix of the country of operations. Please provide information on how these values were calculated or provide a reason. For example, do you have additional emissions from waste incineration?

For help calculating, please use our GHG emissions calculator or contact resources@ecodesk.com.

Why am I being asked to provide a reason for a blank or flagged response?

To help your client better understand your responses, it can be helpful to provide a little more background.

If your data has been flagged for being higher than expected based on last year's input, an example reason for this may be increased production or the opening of a new site during the reporting year.

Similarly, if your data has been flagged for being lower than expected based on last year’s input, an example reason for this may be decreased production, the closure of a site, or increased energy efficiency.

Why have I recieved a data flag for one of my responses?

Some of our surveys have data validation applied which will check some of the quantitative data fields against several thresholds:

Figures that appear excessively large or small will be flagged;

Figures are compared with the previous year's submission;

Increases or decreases greater than 10% for a given metric are flagged;

Related fields within the survey response (for example GHG Scope 1 and total fuel figure) are compared based on expected conversion factors;

If the two datapoints do not follow the expected relationship, the data is flagged.

If your response triggers a data flag based on one or more of these thresholds you will get a line of red text explaining this below the field, you can select show more detail to look at the flag in more detail. When data is flagged you will have the option to change the value or provide a reason for the flag if the data is correct, for example a change of your organisational/reporting boundary. Once you have entered a reason for each flag or updated with a figure that no longer triggers the data flag, you will be able to submit your response.