Carbon offset solution reduces customers’ carbon footprint
With carbon taxes and mandatory greenhouse gas reporting looming on the horizon, Itec in partnership with impactChoice has already offset thousands of tons of Office Automation related carbon emissions for their customers and reduced the challenge of reporting these through their carbon offsetting print solution. A mandatory GHG (greenhouse gas) reporting system is expected to be implemented in 2014, with carbon taxes set to come into effect on 1 January 2015. The current proposed figure on the table is that of R120 per ton of carbon dioxide.
“A company’s direct and relevant indirect emissions are reported in three categories or scopes and the total of these scopes makes up the company’s total greenhouse gas inventory,” says Ryan Miles, executive director of Itec Shared Services. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions as a result of using company owned assets such as delivery vehicles, scope 2 are indirect emissions through the use of electricity and scope 3 emissions occur from sources owned or controlled by other entities in the value chain, including business travel on airlines, product distribution and paper consumption. “Itec, in partnership with impactChoice, have been running a carbon offsetting printing solution for the past three years to assist our customers in driving down the impact of their printing, allowing them to reduce their carbon footprint relating to printing, while providing them with the necessary tools to report on their impact in this regard,” he says.
The partnership, which started in mid-2010 already has over 800 Itec customers electing to offset their monthly Office Automation carbon emissions. “To date a total of 4,449 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents have been offset through this initiative,” says Miles. “This is equivalent to mitigating the carbon footprint associated with producing 671 000 reams of paper or 335.5 million pages.” According to the EPA Equivalencies Calculator http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html this is comparable to neutralising the carbon emissions produced through burning 17.3 railcars worth of coal.
Carbon offsets are credits for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and can only be achieved by supporting internationally accredited projects registered across the globe. The proceeds from the sale of the carbon offsets are used to fund the projects that effectively reduce carbon emissions.
“Through this programme we are not only able to track Itec customers’ office automation related carbon footprints in terms of paper and electricity consumed in the process of printing, but each month participating Itec customers receive a verifiable impactChoice carbon offset certificate based on the carbon emissions associated with their actual printing volumes for the previous month,” says Miles. “This allows them to effectively bring down their overall carbon footprint inventory.”
The certificates are linked by a traceable serial number to a macro carbon offset certificate from a recognised and verifiable carbon project, such as the Sofala Community Carbon Project in Mozambique with both environmental and social co-benefits.
“There are a number of benefits to the customers who have already enrolled in this programme,” says Miles. “Not only are they decreasing their overall carbon footprint, but they now also have a simple, cost-effective method of reporting and putting environmental sustainability initiatives on their company agenda.” The offer also includes a free listing on the impactChoice business directory as part of a network of environmentally conscious companies. “This is something that is becoming increasingly important as more organisations implement green procurement policies,” he concludes.