AGAMA Office Carbon Footprint 2015

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 7 years (2015 as below and 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009), and are continuing for 2016. 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.

We have changed our carbon footprint strategy going forward. From the 2016 year we will be reporting on our actual waste. Recycling, wet and general waste will be measured monthly and appropriately disposed of. Recycling is sorted at source and will be collected by a recycling facility when required. Wet waste is collected in an organic composter with the compost and compost tea being used for our office plants.

AGAMA Carbon Trend

With seven 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 2015 was about 36 tonnes or a 83% reduction.

  2016CFFigure1

A contributing factor for the increase in our total carbon footprint in 2015 is a change in staff and business flight numbers. Our complement of full time equivalent (FTE) staff has decreased by just under half a person. This results in less commuting, paper use, and business travel across the company. If we normalise our emissions per full-time staff we can see that the average footprint per employee is 2.1 tCO2e/person/year, down from 2.5 tCO2e/person/year in 2014 as shown in Figure 2. This is due to the following factors:

• A change in staff members.
• Fewer business flights required.

2016CFFigure2
 

2015 Carbon Footprint

The total carbon footprint for the AGAMA office in 2015 was 7.2 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. The key contributing factors are:

  • Office electricity represents the largest segment of the footprint at 42%.
  • Next in line is staff commuting (travelling to and from work) which makes up 39%. This is mostly by private vehicle as safe reliable public transport is limited to and from our offices.
  • Business travel i.e. flights and ground travel contributed 15% and 1% to the footprint respectively
  • Office waste and paper use make up the remaining 3%. 

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 (38% to commuting, business travel, paper use and waste) with Scope 2 (electricity purchased) at 62%.

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

2016CFFigure3

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

 

2016CFFigure4

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, 20122013,2014 and 2015.