AGAMA Office Carbon Footprint
We at AGAMA are committed to 'walking the talk' and hence have calculated our carbon footprint (using guidance from GHG Protocol and ISO 14064) for the last 4 years (2012 as below and 2011, 2010, 2009) and are continuing for 2013.
Although the footprint is relatively small, AGAMA is still committed to reducing our footprint and thus positioning ourselves as a leading example in the field while at the same time providing sustainability education for employees.
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AGAMA Carbon Trend
Now that we have four years of data we can begin tracking the trend. From the chart below it can be seen that the reduction from 2009 to 2012 was about 20 tonnes or a 40% reduction. This is mainly due to the drop in business travel – about 12t less for flights.
2012 Carbon Footprint
The total carbon footprint for the AGAMA office in 2012 was 24.7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The contributing factors are:
• Nearly half (42%) of that was due to business travel (flights were 64% of business related travel). The high share of flights is due to our operations across southern Africa.
• Next in line is commuting to and from work at 28% of the footprint. This is mostly by private vehicle as safe reliable public transport is limited to or from our offices (and in fact in South Africa generally).
• Electricity use makes up another 29% of the footprint
• Office waste produced and paper used make up the remaining 1%.
In the language of the GHG Protocol, AGAMA has no Scope 1 emissions (fuel purchased). The majority of the footprint is under Scope 3 (71% to business travel, commuting, paper and waste) with Scope 2 (electricity purchased) at 29%.The contribution per employee is illustrated below. The average footprint per employee is 3.5 CO2e/person/year and as a portion of office space it is 0.25 tCO2e/m2/year. This compares favourably, and is in fact lower, than the average footprint per person or area of other offices assessed by AGAMA to date.
AGAMA is committed to becoming more carbon responsible by reducing as much as possible and seeking ways to match the CO2 that is required for our operations with appropriate acceptable sustainable alternatives. Some of these interventions include:
• A few years back, AGAMA moved into a 'green building' which has a low Scope 2 footprint due to maximising natural light, use of low energy lamps, passive cooling (no air conditioning) and some on-site renewable energy generation (a solar water heater and photovoltaic panels).
• In some projects the need for flights or ground travel was reduced by opting for teleconferencing and electronic reporting.
• To reduce the commuting footprint, employees occasionally cycle.
• Employees manually switch off office lighting when the natural light is sufficient (most days) and turn off bathroom lights when unoccupied as well as office equipment when not in use.
In 2011/2012 AGAMA donated and installed a BiogasPro digester (http://www.biogaspro.com/) at Bonne Esperance in Philippi (a home for refugees - http://www.cwd.org.za/refugee.asp) where the organic waste and sewage is fed to the unit and then produces biogas used for cooking in the kitchen. A verified calculation of the CO2 mitigated by burning the methane (instead of the organic waste and sewage sludge going to landfill) was estimated to be 6 tonnes per year for 20 years. Thus AGAMA has responded to its full carbon footprint for years 2011, 2012 and beyond.