Ecodesk Frequently Asked Questions

Please look through our FAQs for an answer. If you can’t find what you need please get in touch by emailing us on support@ecodesk.com or call our support line on +44 (0)8455 442072

Adding and Editing Data

How do I know what my customer has requested?

View the required fields of your customers’ requests on the ‘Clients’ page. By default, this is the first page you are taken to when you login. Here you will see all the customers you are connected to on Ecodesk. Select each customer tile to expand their request.

What if I work in a multi-tenancy building?

Your landlord can provide you with an electricity bill for the entire building. Based on the area of office that your company takes up, you are able to calculate a proportion of the electricity usage for which you are responsible.

I am calculating this information for the first time. How do I do this?

If you are calculating sustainability information for the first time and you aren’t sure what to do, don’t worry! We have a number of sections in the FAQ page which can help you along the way.

Ecodesk has a number of dedicated Account Executives who are happy to help you with any questions you may have. Please email support@ecodesk.com for additional help.

You do not have to complete an entire sustainability profile in one go. If you only have access to certain information, you can enter this to begin with and then come back in at a later date to fill in the rest of the information once you obtain it.

I have been requested to complete a survey How do I do this?

If you have been requested by a customer to complete one of their surveys, then this can be found under ‘Survey’ in the top menu bar. If you cannot view the survey, ensure that you are connected to the customer under ‘Clients’. If your customer does not appear here, you can add them by selecting ‘+ Add Client’. You can access the Survey section any time to view and edit your survey response. Once you have completed a survey and saved it, this will automatically link your response to the requesting customer.

Where can I edit my sustainability profile?

You edit your sustainability profile by clicking on ‘Sustainability Profile’ on the top menu bar, and working through each tab in turn.

Do I need to complete all the edit sections?

Some of your customers may have asked you to complete certain fields, which they deem to be mandatory for their reporting. You can view which fields they have requested you to complete by accessing their request under the ‘Clients’ page. You may receive automated emails from your customer detailing your completion status.

What are Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions and how do I calculate them?

Your customer has requested your CO2e Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, as defined in the GHG Protocol.

CO2e stands for Carbon Dioxide Equivalents, and is a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints. CO2e expresses emissions across the six greenhouse gases defined by the Kyoto Protocol; Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2o), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perflourocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6).

Scope 1 emissions are the greenhouse gases produced directly from sources that are owned or controlled by your company – for example, from the combustion of fuel in vehicles, boilers and furnaces.

Scope 2 emissions are the indirect greenhouse gases resulting from the generation of electricity, heating and cooling, and steam off site but purchased by the entity. Most electricity and gas bills include the CO2e emissions but if a figure isn’t included it is easily calculated using the electricity usage and the applicable factor.

For businesses calculating carbon emissions for the first time, there are many online sources to guide you through the process. We recommend you visit the GHG Protocol website, which provides links to external sites for guidance. Please email support@ecodesk.com if you would like further assistance on calculating carbon emissions in response to your customer request.

How do I convert sustainability data?

We use conversion data to change the figures depending on which units you have specified to view the website in. The conversions are listed below:

Energy:

1 GJ = 1000 MJ
1 GJ = 277 kWh
1 MJ = 0.277 kWh

CO2:

1 Metric Tonne CO2e- = 1 Cubic Metre Co2e-

Waste:

1 Metric Tonne = 1000 kg
1 Metric Tonne = 0.98 Imperial Ton
1 Imperial Ton = 1020 kg

Water:

1 m3 = 219 UK Gallons
1 m3 = 264 US Gallons
1 UK Gallon = 1.2 US Gallons

I would like to download my information into a spreadsheet, how do I do this?

You can download your submissions by field type into a spreadsheet by clicking the Export icon at the top right of each data table, and clicking ‘CSV’ to export the information as a CSV file (readable in Excel). This will pull all the information currently shown in the table into a spreadsheet.

What do you mean by intensity?

The ‘Intensity’ tickbox on each data entry page for carbon, energy, water and waste provides you the option to enter intensity figures. For example, if your annual waste output is 1000 metric tons and you have 100 employees, you may wish to report this as by intensity – i.e. that your waste output is 10 Metric Tons / FTE.

What does a factor field mean under my customer request?

The ‘Factor’ field found in your customer request (on the ‘Clients’ page) is for you to indicate the proportion of your data that relates to your customer. You are asked for this information so that Ecodesk can provide your customer with aggregated values of embedded supply chain impacts – that is, the responsibility that your customer has over the environmental footprint of its suppliers based on its spend on suppliers’ products and services. If indicating a percentage, most companies calculate this based on the customer’s spend as a proportion of the company’s revenue.

Conflict Minerals

I want to add a 2nd Conflict Minerals Form

I want to add a 2nd Conflict Minerals for the same year, the 2nd form will be used for a different client as it only relates to a single product rather than my whole company

Conflict Minerals forms are part of the data associated with a profile. You control access to forms by controlling which clients can access each of your profiles. You will need to setup a 2nd profile and add the new form to this profile. This can be achieved by the following steps below:

    1. Select My Menu -> Company -> Administration from the main menu.

    1. Press the ‘Add Profile’ button and add a 2nd profile, make sure that you give it a name that reflects the new scope i.e. Green Recycle Solar Panel Division

    1. Press ‘Switch Profile’ to select your new profile and add the new form to this profile.

 

  1. The final step is to press ‘Add Customer’ in client management to provide your client access to this profile and form.

Note: Don’t give your client access to your original profile otherwise they will see both conflict minerals forms.

I have been requested to complete a conflict minerals declaration. How do I do this?

I want to add a 2nd Conflict Minerals for the same year, the 2nd form will be used for a different client as it only relates to a single product rather than my whole company.

Conflict Minerals forms are part of the data associated with a profile. You control access to forms by controlling which clients can access each of your profiles. You will need to setup a second profile and add the new form to this profile. This can be achieved by the following steps below:

  1. Click on the ‘Settings’ button on the top menu bar, and select the ‘Profiles’ tab.
  2. Press the ‘Add Profile’ button to add an additional profile. Make sure that you give it a name that reflects the new scope, i.e. Green Recycle Solar Panel Division.
  3. Select the ‘Switch Profile’ icon (second icon on the right of the profile name) to select your new profile and add the new form to this profile.
  4. The final step is to press ‘Add Customer’ in client management to provide your client access to this profile and form.

Note: Don’t give your client access to your original profile otherwise they will see both conflict minerals forms.

My conflict minerals declaration is not loading. What should I do?

If your Conflict Mineral form is not uploading correctly, please check the following:

  1. Your form is the EICC revision 2.02 or above
  2. You have not copied and pasted any text into the spreadsheet, as this will affect the spreadsheet formulas
  3. You have completed all the required field sections (highlighted as yellow boxes)
  4. The data entered is in the correct columns
  5. No extra data has been inputted into any fields containing dropdown sections (such as Metal and Country)

Please note, you can always manually Add a new Conflict Mineral form by clicking the ‘Add New’ button. This will allow you to manually enter any data into our form specifically designed around the EICC template.

If you have uploaded a spreadsheet, to declare whether you are still in the process of obtaining information, or you have completed the form, please click ‘Edit’ and access the Smelter tab. Here you will be able to select either option and save the changes.

Still having issues? Please contact Ecodesk if you are still having difficulties with uploading a Conflict Minerals form. Please email us at support@ecodesk.com or call our office on +44 (0)8455 442072.

General

What is Ecodesk

Ecodesk.com is a live web-based platform which enables organisations of all sizes to search, publish, analyse and communicate sustainability data in one place. By displaying transparent, unambiguous and user-managed information in this way, millions of companies benefit from the development of an effective sustainability strategy.

General Help

If you would like general help with any aspect of your sustainability profile or any features on Ecodesk, please use the following document: General Supplier Help document

How do I register?

To begin entering information on an Ecodesk profile, you first need to register. You can do this by clicking on the ‘Register’ button on the top right of the screen on the Ecodesk homepage, or you can follow this link https://www.ecodesk.com/register

If you are experiencing difficulties registering, please make sure that:

  • You are using a valid email address, which is not already attached to a company on the website
  • Your password is alphanumeric and more than 8 characters long
  • Your company is not already on the system
  • Make sure you have ticked ‘I agree with the Terms & Conditions.’

You should be prompted on screen as to what the error relates to, if not, and you are still struggling to register, then please email Ecodesk at support@ecodesk.com or telephone on +44 (0)8455 442072 and we will be happy to help you.

How do I get started?

Once you have registered, you can now login. If you have forgotten your password, this can be reset by clicking ‘Forgotten Password’ on the login page. When you login for the first time, you will be taken to your ‘Clients’ page where you will see an overview of the customers your profile is currently connected to.

To begin completing your profile, click on ‘Sustainability Profile’ on the top menu bar. In this section you can edit all the areas of your profile. You may find it helpful to read the ‘Getting started’ tab if this is your first time using the platform.

How do I login?

If you are having difficulties logging in, please make sure that:

  • That you do not have ‘Caps Lock’ selected, as the passwords are case sensitive
  • You have registered beforehand on the website

If you have forgotten your password, then you can reset this by accessing the ‘Forgotten Password’ link on our login page.

Is my data secure?

Yes, the information you input into Ecodesk is secure. You can set permission levels for your profile to allow only your customers or suppliers access your data. By making your profile ‘not published’ the information is only available to your customers and suppliers. This is an added level of security which you can control. Ecodesk encourages all users to publish their profile for transparency of information and for sharing best practice.

You also have secure dashboards and sections of your profile which only you can see. These sections are in your dropdown menu in the top right corner, and include Supplier and Customer Management, Edit section and administration.

How will the information I provide be used?

The information that you provide on Ecodesk will be used for your customers and/or suppliers to view your sustainability information. All information uploaded to the website is user managed and is not validated by Ecodesk.

You are also able to select who views your profile by setting certain permissions. We encourage all users of Ecodesk to publish their profile, as the platform is designed for sharing of data and best practice policies.

You can link your profile to your customers by adding them in your ‘Clients’ section. This means they will be able to view your profile and see your information in their supply chain dashboard.

I have a sustainability report online, why do I need to report to Ecodesk?

Reporting to Ecodesk helps your customers see all your information, along with all other suppliers, in one place and on one dashboard. This prevents the information from having to be taken from sustainability reports of many suppliers, and also means that the supplier can share their Ecodesk profile with all their customers who request the information.
You are able to upload a CSR/sustainability report onto your profile as an additional tool to enhance your company’s sustainability targets and goals, meaning that you can use both Ecodesk and your sustainability report to enhance your reputation with customers and other Ecodesk users.

Does your website use Cookies?

Our web site used cookies to store session data that is required for the site to function. The cookie is encrypted and does not contain any user tracking data or any of the secure data that is held on our servers. The cookie has no value or use beyond the current session.

There is concern around cookies as some companies record a lot of data in their cookies, including web sites that have been visited, and use this in their marketing or promotions. We don’t use cookies for this purpose and have no intention of doing so.

Which Internet Browsers do you support?

We currently support:

Internet Explorer 8 and above
Chrome
Firefox
Safari

If you are using Internet Explorer 7 or below, please note the website may not work correctly for you.

What are the different subscription types?

There are a number of different subscriptions to Ecodesk, all of which can be found here, along with the pricing structure and the additional features you get with each subscription.

Do you have any webinars to assist with customer requests?

Yes, we have a programme of free webinars to support suppliers responding to customer requests through Ecodesk. Click here to view the webinar schedule and to sign up to a webinar.

I am a small company; do I even have carbon emissions?

Having an Ecodesk profile will greatly enhance your reputation as customers will place greater added value on greener products and services. Although you may feel you carbon emissions are negligible, to your customer this data is highly important no matter how big or small your company is.

Is the Ecodesk platform available in multiple languages?

No, at present the Ecodesk platform is only available in English.

Does the sustainability profile have a session time-out?

Yes, you will be signed out of your session automatically after 30 minutes of inactivity for your security. Please ensure you save data as soon as you are happy to submit it to avoid losing data.

Can I search by a specific Company, Industry or Country?

Yes, this is free for everyone. Click on ‘Search’ on the top right side of the page to search the platform. Only published profiles will be searchable.

How do I add customers to my customer dashboard?

Click on the Clients tab under Profile and select ‘Add Client’. Search for the company on the system and when selected, they will appear on your Clients page. They will be sent an automated email to tell them that you have added them as a customer.

My Sustainability Profile

Can I add a second sustainability profile?

Yes, you can add multiple sustainability profiles to your organisation’s account. This is so you can maintain separate profiles for different business units, helping you better manage responses to customer requests. You can add additional profiles on the ‘Profiles’ page under ‘Settings’.

How often do I need to update my sustainability profile?

You can update your profile any time you wish. You can edit the profile daily, weekly, or as and when you get updated information. The profile is yours to edit whenever you like, however we do encourage you to keep it up to date. This way your customers can see that you are reporting the most recent sustainability data. How regularly you update your sustainability profile may depend on your customer requests.

Why do you ask for revenue information?

We ask for revenue information as this is how the system helps the customer determine their overall responsibility while doing business with your company. The customer will take their annual spend with your company and divide it by your overall revenue data, providing them a percentage of the Carbon, Energy, Waste and Water they are responsible for by buying your product or services. You are able to make the revenue private by accessing the ‘My Clients’ tab under ‘Sustainability Profile’. You can then set permissions per customer as appropriate by selecting ‘+ Edit’ under Edit Access.

Can I make my sustainability profile available only to my customers?

Yes, there is an option for you to keep your information private from everyone except your customers. You can set permissions for default Ecodesk users and specific customers under the ‘My Clients’ tab in the ‘Sustainability Profile’ section. Select ‘+Edit’ under Edit Access by each user type in turn to set permissions to ‘Private’, ‘View Excluding Financial Data’ or ‘Full’. For example, you can set the default Ecodesk user setting to ‘Private’, and then permit your customers ‘Full’ access to make your profile available only to your customers.

Supply Chain and Onboarding

How do I add suppliers to my supply chain dashboard?

Under the Supplier Engagement tab, go to ‘List Management’ and you will be taken to a table which will initially not be populated. You can manually add suppliers by clicking ‘New Entry’ and searching for the specific company on the system. Once you add a supplier, they will be added to your table. If you then click on the ‘Sustainability Analysis’ tab, they will appear in your supplier data table, along with any profile information they have entered. They will also be sent an automated email to tell them that you have added them as a supplier.

You can also automate the process of adding your suppliers by using our Automated Onboarding section. This allows you to upload many spreadsheets with contact information of your suppliers, and allows you to write the bespoke email which will be sent out to the suppliers. You will also be able to keep track of their responses via the Onboarding Section. The automation is available to Premium Enterprise and Global Enterprise clients only.

Can I view additional supplier information in the Supply Chain dashboard?

You can change the columns viewed in the supply chain dashboard by navigating to your ‘Sustainability Analysis’ tab, followed by ‘supplier Data’. Next, click on the ‘eye’ icon from the panel above the table.

This will open a box showing all the different columns of information you will be able to view on the table. You can save the table in this specific view by clicking the save icon next to the ‘eye’ in the View panel. Next time you come to access the table, it will display the columns you saved previously. You can also set the table back to the default settings by clicking ‘Reset to defaults’ in the ‘eye’ icon.

Why do I see some supplier information in italics?

In your supply chain table, you may see some supplier information in italics. This shows their information estimated for that year.

For example, Company A may have entered data for the year 2011, but you are viewing your supply chain table for the year 2012. The table will pull Company A’s information forward into 2012, even though they have only entered 2011 data. This is designed to show you their estimated information for 2012, based on what they entered for 2011.

Where can I see how the on-boarding is progressing?

Navigate to ‘Supplier Engagement’ → ‘Dashboard’ for a graphical overview of your onboarding progress. In addition, by selecting the ‘Sustainability Analysis’ tab and clicking on ‘Supplier Data’, you can view a table of the sustainability figures of your suppliers. Under ‘Dashboard’, you can view charts summarising your supplier data and under the ‘Survey Responses’ tab, you can see supplier completion statuses for any surveys you have requested, as well as view and download surveys per supplier.

You can also press the ‘history’ button against any company in a list to see a log of activity against a particular company.

Finally, for access to bespoke reports, please contact Ecodesk.

 

Is there a quick way to ask many suppliers to complete a profile

Yes, we have implemented a workflow system that will email each of your suppliers and request that they complete a profile. Your suppliers can respond to the email and the system will track their progress, sending follow-up reminders at regular intervals.

Follow these steps to start the process

  1. Go to ‘Supply Chain’ → ‘Supplier Engagement’ → ‘Email Templates’ and click ‘New Entry’. Here you can add your template name and message, as well and select the language. You can create multiple messages for different supplier groups, as well as different templates for introduction, reminder and thank you messages
  2. Once you are happy with your messaging, go to the ‘Email Schedules’ tab and select ‘New Entry’. Select the email templates you would like to use in your messaging flow and the frequency of emails to be sent
  3. Next, go to ‘List Management’. Select ‘Upload’ and download our sample spreadsheet. Add your supplier details to this spreadsheet keeping to the present format, i.e., don’t change the order of the columns. When the file is uploaded, add it to your messaging schedule and select your messaging start and end date. When you are ready, set your list as ‘Active’
  4. Your email will now be sent to each company and they will be chased by email until they have completed your request or declined to do so

I can’t find a company in the search to add them as my supplier?

This is most likely caused by your supplier’s profile being set as private. Ask them to make their profile public so you can see it, alternatively ask them to add your company as a customer.

If their profile is not on Ecodesk ask them to register so you can link to them.

What is factor and how do I add a supplier’s factor to the supply chain?

The factor tells the system the percentage of your emissions that relate to the goods or services that you purchase. The simplest way to calculate factor is to work out the percentage you spend with the supplier as a percentage of their total revenue.

For example: Bath Estates has a total sales revenue quoted in their accounts of $500,000, if you purchase goods from Bath Estates with a total value of $50,000 the factor is 10% (50,000/500,000).

Your supplier should enter a factor into their profile as part of your sustainability data request, however if this section has not been completed, an estimate can be entered into your supply chain in order to gain a fuller understanding on the proportion of their impacts that relate to you. Navigate to your Supply Chain tab where you will see your list of suppliers. Next, click on the Action button against the supplier, and select Factor, where you will be able to enter your percentage.

How can I add my suppliers onto Ecodesk?

There are 2 ways to achieve this, the first is best for adding a small number of suppliers.

  • Contact your suppliers by email or telephone and ask them to complete an Ecodesk profile
  • When they have done this go to supplier management and press ‘Add Supplier’
  • The supplier will now appear on your supply chain list. Press the detail button against the supplier and complete the factor tab, ask your supplier to complete it. The factor specifies the amount of your supplier’s emissions that relate to the goods or services that they supplied to you.

If you have a large number of suppliers then you can use our on-boarding solution which reads a spreadsheet and automates the process described above. See the FAQ on on-boarding for more details.