AGAMA Office Carbon Footprint 2014

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 6 years (2014 as below and 20132012, 2011, 2010, 2009) and are continuing for 2015.  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 six 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 2014 was about 34 tonnes or a 78% reduction.

Figure 1: Trend of Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions (2009-2014)

 CFFigure1

 A contributing factor for the reduction in our total carbon footprint in 2014 is a slight reduction in staff numbers. Our complement of full time equivalent (FTE) staff has dropped by just over half a 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 2.5 tCO2e/person/year, down from 3.5 tCO2e/person/year in 2013 as shown in Figure 2. This is due to the following factors:

  • A change in one of the staff members, with the new staff member having a considerably shorter commute to the office and a more fuel efficient vehicle.
  • An existing staff member acquiring an electric bicycle during the second half of the year, which was used for commuting to and from the office when appropriate.

Figure 2: Trend of Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions per Fulltime Staff (2009-2014)

CFFigure2 

2014 Carbon Footprint

 The total carbon footprint for the AGAMA office in 2014 was 9.8 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The key contributing factors are:

  • Staff commuting (travelling to and from work) represents the largest segment of the footprint at 43%. This is mostly by private vehicle as safe reliable public transport is limited to and from our offices.
  • Next in line is office electricity use which makes up 38% of the carbon footprint.  
  • Business travel i.e. flights and ground travel contributed 15% and 3% 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 (62% to commuting, business travel, paper use and waste) with Scope 2 (electricity purchased) at 38%.

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

    CFFigure3a             CFFigure3b

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

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, 20122013 and 2014.