We appreciate that there are much simpler calculators around but this calculator were developed for the business owner that is serious and needs to keep track of his footprint for sound business reasons.
The calculator is excel based and has been designed to assist the person completing it through pop-ups as you go along. Just click on the red block for information. There is also a definitions page that you can refer to.
It is important to note that one’s first calculation will probably (by virtue of the fact that it is a new exercise) not be accurate. In the second or third year however – once the habit of keeping track of the important figures is ingrained – it will become more sensible.
The calculation itself is done on the mother program at our offices. You provide the data and we will then produce a legible report with recommendations of how you can add value to your bottom line.
To start begin as follows:
1: Open the program
2: Click “enable macro’s”
3: Go to intro and fill in questions 1 to 15. For questions 16 to 21 please call us on any of the numbers provided. We will be able to give you guidance and also allocate a project number.
Your responsible official (or you) must then complete the form and save it with a new name by clicking the X on the right hand top of the form.
4: From there on it’s a matter of hitting the “tab” key and entering the figures applicable to you. (If an invalid number is entered the program will inform you)
Because carbon dioxide is the most abundant of these gasses, all the others are measured according to their potency in relation to CO² - hence the term CO²e (equivalent)
Principles of measuring your footprint
Most websites would like to make out that this is a simple process (which is probably better than doing nothing) but the problem with that is that it seldom goes to heart of the problem and has no real long term impact and benefit for the environment.
Doing a proper carbon footprint is not a once-off exercise to sooth your conscience – it is a longer term process spanning years and requires dedication and an understanding of the methodologies and the thinking behind each measurement and action.
But the above does not necessarily means that it is an additional expense and drain on your time – on the contrary – it serves a similar function to one of your biggest expenses (energy) than does an accounting program for your business planning and profitability.
The direct benefits of footprinting are as follows:
It creates massive savings: As a rule of thumb energy (i.e. petrol, diesel and electricity) is the second biggest expense in any enterprise or organisation. Save on this by some very basic precautions and implementing effective controls.
It is preparation for a new economy: The world today is dependent on exports and imports. It is also very fickle and has standards in place to control quality. Certification standards such as EuroG.A.P. and GlobalG.A.P. abound and (save maybe for the rest of Africa) export is very much reliant on compliance to these standards – not to mention the premium one can get for certified products.
One must understand that economy relies on everybody going green because without exports our balance of payments will very soon turn into a nightmare and we will become totally uncompetitive and just another 3rd world country.
It is preparation for new legislation: In 2001 at the Polokwane conference the President announced the Government’s intention to implement drastic waste reduction measures including confinement of our emissions. South Africa is however in a very precarious situation due to our dependence on coal and gas from coal (Sasol). We are lying 14th in the queue of highest emitters and 8th when measured per capita!
There are a large number of National environmental management (NEM): specific environmental management Acts to which we must all adhere and regulations and bylaws are being passed as we go along. It has also been announced by the Minister of Finance that carbon emissions will be taxed from 2014 onwards – the white paper is currently on the table for comments.
Just as the New Credit Act caught many businesses unawares and was the reason for the demise of many companies, so will this new legislation also do. 84 of the top 100 listed South African companies are already measuring.
It is a marketing tool: The call to “go green” has a definite appeal to the market. An organic food sells at a premium and has a certain marketing
“edge” to it. The wording on advertising and marketing material not only gives the product an advantage, it also carries the subliminal message that “we care for the environment and we plan to be here for a long time”.
It furthermore has an impact up and downstream on product providers and consumers, all of it which will culminate into a better future for everybody.
It benefits the environment: This is the more emotive part of the direct benefits. It’s about caring for the Earth of whom we expect to treat our children, and their well one day. It’s only logical that this relationship should be reciprocal.
Carbon footprinting is not about competing with business rivals but rather like golfing where one competes against oneself. No two companies are the same or use the same resources. Companies and institutions cannot compete with each other. The only possible measurement in this regard is whether the individuals working for them are fully aware of their responsibilities and prepared to shoulder the challenge.