We calculate our carbon emissions on a quarterly basis.  We use the Green Accountancy carbon calculator based on our CASE system.

The areas that we record data for and translate into carbon dioxide equivalent kg emissions are:

  1. Electricity
  2. Heating (non-electric)
  3. Business travel by public transport
  4. Business travel by cars and vans
  5. Commuting
  6. Water
  7. Paper use

Our carbon emissions for each of the above items are calculated and a total gross carbon emissions per calendar quarter is recorded.

A net carbon figure is also recorded, which is the gross total less carbon reduction due related to renewable source electricity generated from our solar pv panels.

Our turnover for the quarter is calculated.  This is then used to calculated the carbon emissions per £1,000 turnover.

Our figures are currently consistent at:

Gross carbon emissions  = 16kg CO2E per £1,000 turnover

Net carbon emissions  after solar pv = 10kg CO2E per £1,000 turnover

These figures include all commuting to and from our office.

Carbon offsetting
Whilst minimising carbon emissions, we cannot prevent them entirely whilst remaining in business.

Trees absorb about 2.5kg of carbon dioxide per year until the tree is five years old.  This rises to 14kg of carbon dioxide per year when the tree is 20 years old.  The average rate over the first twenty years is about 10kg of carbon dioxide per year.

We purchase and plant one tree for every 10kg of carbon dioxide per year that our business currently generates.    We record the total calculated carbon dioxide absorbed by our trees and monitor this against total business emissions.  More trees will be planted each year to replace any losses and allow for growth in our business.

We recognise the temporary nature of carbon absorption by trees.  Burning fossil fuels increases the amount of carbon in the biosphere.  Planting trees makes the carbon solid instead of gaseous and for only as long as those trees exist.  We therefore have plans and calculations to leave a legacy to ensure such tree planting can continue.