How we measure our carbon footprint

Ambius engaged the services of dcarbon8 to measure Ambius's carbon footprint in our UK, North America and Pacific region businesses in 2009.  Using a methodology based on internationally-agreed protocols (World Business Council for Sustainable Development - WBCSD and the World Resources Institute Greenhouse Gas Protocol - WRIGHG), we measured all of our scope 1 (direct, e.g. vehicle fuel and natural gas) and scope 2 (indirect, e.g. grid electricity) greenhouse gas emissions, together with greenhouse gas emissions associated with our waste disposal, paper consumption and airline travel.  This is an annual measurement and 2010 emissions audit will begin in June.

During 2010, we will also measure the carbon footprint of our businesses in continental Europe and South Africa.

Carbon footprint methodology

Companies report GHG emissions from sources they own or control as:

Scope 1

These direct Greenhouse gas emissions are principally the result of the following types of activities undertaken by the company.

  • Generation of electricity, heat, or steam. These emissions result from combustion of fuels in stationary sources, e.g., boilers, furnaces, turbines.
  • Transportation of employees and waste. These emissions result from the combustion of fuels in company owned/controlled mobile combustion sources (e.g., trucks, trains, ships, aircraft, buses and cars)

Scope 2

Indirect emissions generated as a direct consequence of business activities.

  • Emissions from the generation of purchased electricity that is consumed in its owned or controlled equipment or operations.
  • Transport-related activities:
    - Employee business travel in non-company owned vehicles.
    - Employees commuting to and from work (optional).
    - Transportation of waste in non-company owned vehicles.
  • Extraction, production, and transportation of fuels consumed in the generation of electricity for office activities.

Scope 3

The other indirect emissions that are "a consequence of the activities of the institution, but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the institution". This is optional, as our Scope 3 emissions would be scope 1 or 2 emissions for the generators of the emissions. However, Ambius elected to include the following in its carbon footprint analysis:

  • Greenhouse gas emissions associated with the disposal of waste generated in operations.
  • Procurement of paper for internal and external use.
  • Corporate airline travel.

Calculation of emissions

The footprint measurement must cover the six gases identified in the Kyoto protocol: CO2, SF6, CH4, N2O, HFCs and PFCs) and emissions should be calculated for a one-year period (period to be clearly stated). The greenhouse gas effect of each gas will be converted to CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents).

By measuring the energy that your business consumes Planet Positive can compute your company's carbon footprint. Use their on-line form here.

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