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Carbon tracking – A win-win with little effort

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Over the years we have witnessed changes to attitudes towards the environmental impact of business.

More organisations are becoming proactive in their corporate social responsibility, enacting policies and procedures to ensure that they coexist with their environment rather than become the cause of problems.

Currently, the most widely discussed environmental issue is the effect of greenhouse gas emissions on the global climate. Economic, government and social pressures are forcing businesses to reduce their emissions.

Reducing emissions means increasing efficiency, usually resulting in reducing costs. Even when government or trading partners are not mandating change there is a definite profit benefit for a business to control emissions.

You can’t control what you can’t measure. To achieve any reduction you first have to track emissions. So, how can you do this?

For the majority of businesses this means tacking consumption, not emission.

Most greenhouse gas emissions are the result of the consumption of energy. It isn’t necessary to directly monitor carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous dioxide or any of the other greenhouse gasses. If you monitor consumption you can calculate emissions.

Businesses will find that this consumption information is available to them right now. They simply need to look at the same invoices and processes that record their costs in order to record their consumption.

Here are some examples:

  • Consumption of automotive diesel - via invoices or fuel card details.
  • Where a business runs multiple facilities they will receive electricity accounts that specify the kilowatt hours. In many cases invoices will also display the carbon emission.
  • At the same time as entering in a supplier invoice and recording the expense, a business could also record what they consumed. All it requires is a change in procedure to enter the extra information so it can be used in carbon emission calculations.

If you find the idea of carbon tracking daunting simply step back and look at your current business practices. You will probably find that you are either recording the data right now, or can record it with minimal change.

Steven Hafey

Steven Hafey

Steven Hafey is a Technical Business Analyst for ERP vendor Pronto Software.

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