Carbon footprint under the microscope
The Forestry Commission is calculating the carbon footprint of each employee to measure the overall emissions, in order to comply with the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006.
The Act has been enacted for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, alleviation of fuel poverty, promotion of microgeneration and the use of heat produced from renewable sources.
The Act requires the Secretary of State to report to the Parliament every year regarding the steps taken by government departments during the calendar year to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases; and the level of emissions in the UK during the year.
Over the past three years, the Forestry Commission has gathered data about its employees’ carbon footprint with the help of COA Solutions’ Employee Expense Management (EEM) system. The COA system was modified in 2007 in accordance with the Act.
The commission requires its employees to enter their personal car mileage, and fill various data such as the number of miles travelled and the type of the car used, in the EEM. The system captures this information and calculates the carbon output for every car journey. Carbon emissions generated during taxi, bus, rail and air travel are also captured by the EEM.
Steve Atkins, head of finance systems development at the Forestry Commission, said: “It made sense to build a carbon measurement tool into our expense management system, because it provides an easy and reliable method of tracking staff transport emissions.
The EEM system is key to our ability to comply with climate change legislation. We now have carbon emissions data at our fingertips, which is crucial if we’re to achieve year-on-year greenhouse gas reductions.”
Now, the commission has emissions data for 12 months gathered through the EEM, as well as through its internal credit card reconciliation and fleet management systems. The data will be used to assess the overall carbon emissions by the commission.