AGAMA Office Carbon Footprint 2013

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 5 years (2013 as below and 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009) and are continuing for 2014.  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. 

AGAMA Carbon Trend

With five years of data we are able to start tracking the trend in carbon emissions.  From the Figure 1 below it can be seen that the reduction from 2009 to 2013 was about 28 tonnes or a 65% reduction. 

Figure 1: Trend of Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2009-2013)

carbon 2013 fig1

A key reason for a reduction in our total carbon footprint in 2013 is a reduction in staff numbers. Our complement of full time equivalent (FTE) staff has dropped by just over one person. This results in less commuting, paper use, and business travel across the company. However, if we normalise our emissions per full-time staff we can see that the average footprint per employee is 3.5 tCO2e/person/year, down from 4 tCO2e/person/year in 2012 as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Trend of Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Fulltime Staff (2009-2013)

carbon 2013 fig2 

2013 Carbon Footprint

The total carbon footprint for the AGAMA office in 2013 was 15.7 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.  The key contributing factors are:

  • Staff commuting (travelling to and from work) represents the largest segment of the footprint at 38%. This is mostly by private vehicle as safe reliable public transport is limited to or from our offices.
  • Next in line is office electricity use which makes up 33% of the carbon footprint.  
  • Business travel i.e. flights and ground travel contributed 19% and 9% to the footprint respectively
  • Office waste and paper use make up the remaining 1%. 

In the language of the GHG Protocol, AGAMA has no Scope 1 emissions (i.e. fuel purchased to generate energy on site).  The majority of the footprint is under Scope 3 (67% to commuting, business travel, paper use and waste) with Scope 2 (electricity purchased) at 33%.

The contribution of all activities that impact the carbon footprint is shown in Figure 3 below, along with the associated breakdown of Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions.

Figure 3: Contribution of Office Activities to AGAMA Carbon Footprint

    carbon 2013 fig31rev1             carbon 2013 fig32rev1

Figure 4 illustrates the contribution per employee to the total carbon footprint is illustrated below. 

Figure 4: Contribution to Carbon Footprint per employee

carbon 2013 fig4

*Electricity usage per person relates to the length of time each person has been employed at AGAMA during 2013, hence the variation between employees shown in the chart above for emissions associated with Electricity

Reduction Strategy

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). 
  • Teleconferencing and electronic reporting are encouraged over flights or ground travel.
  • 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.

Response Strategy

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. An independent third party verification 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 2013.