AGAMA Energy Office Carbon Footprint: 2011

We at AGAMA Energy are committed to ‘walking the talk’ and hence have calculated our carbon footprint (using guidance from GHG Protocol and ISO 14064) for the last 3 years (2011 as below and 2010 & 2009 on separate pages) and are continuing for 2012.  Although the footprint is relatively small, we are 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 of employees.  

Have you calculated you carbon footprint?

AGAMA Energy uses GHG Protocol and ISO 14064 to calculate businesses and event carbon footprints and offers strategies to reduce and mitigate these footprints.  Further information can be found in our Clean Energy Consulting profile.  For a discussion and a quote please contact us on 021 701 3364 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

AGAMA Carbon Trend

Now that we have three years of data we can begin tracking the trend.  From the chart below it can be seen that the reduction from 2009 to 2010 was 12 tonnes or a 27% reduction (mainly due to the drop in business travel – about 9 tonnes less for flights). There was a slight increase from 2010 to 2011 by 1 tonne (mainly due to increased business flights – an increase of 4t).  Overall there was still a drop from the 2009 flight dominant footprint. It’s worth noting that both commuting and ground travel have steadily reduced (as well as air travel between 2009 and 2011) since we started measuring our footprint.

2011 Carbon Footprint

The total carbon footprint for the AGAMA office in 2011 was 33 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.  The contributing factors are:

  • Just over half of that was due to business travel (flights were 44% and ground travel was 12% of the overall footprint, totalling 56%).  The high share of flights is due to our operations across southern Africa and the occasional long haul international flight.  
  • Next in line is commuting to and from work at 21% 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 22% of the footprint 
  • Office waste produced and paper used make up the remaining 1%. 

In the language of the GHG Protocol AGAMA Energy has no Scope 1 emissions (fuel purchased).  The majority of the footprint is under Scope 3 (78% to business travel, commuting, paper and waste) with Scope 2 (electricity purchased) at 22%.

 

The contribution per employee is illustrated below.  The average footprint per employee is 4.8 CO2e/person/year and as a portion of office space it is 0.32 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 Energy to date.

Reduction Strategy 

AGAMA Energy is committed to becoming more carbon responsible by reducing as much as possible and seeking ways to match the CO2 emitted due to our operations with appropriate acceptable sustainablealternatives.  Some of these interventions include:

  • A few years back, AGAMA Energy 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, one employee cycles about 40% of the time and another drives a diesel 1.9L light vehicle with a low combined consumption of 5.4L/100km.  
  • 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

Since 2009 renewable energy certificates (RECs) have been purchased matching the electricity consumed.  This in affect ‘zeros’ the electricity footprint implies that AGAMA Energy has responded to 24% of its remaining carbon footprint after reduction. 

In 2011 AGAMA Energy donated and installed an AGAMA BiogasPro Smart Top digester (http://www.biogaspro.com/home.html) to Bonne Esperance Refugee Project, A Catholic Welfare & Development initiative (http://www.cwd.org.za/refugee.asp). While the facility benefits from the gas for cooking, recycled water for irrigation and improved sanitation and waste management, AGAMA will claim the carbon benefit for 2012 onwards. An independently verified calculation estimates that about 129 tonnes of CO2 will be mitigated over its 20-year life. This implies that AGAMA Energy’s carbon footprint would be matched from 2012 for about 4 years.