The Forestry Commission, the Government department responsible for the protection and expansion of Britain's forests and woodlands, is measuring its carbon emissions using COA Solutions’ Employee Expense Management (EEM) system. As a Government department, the Forestry Commission is required to measure and then make efforts to reduce its carbon emissions as outlined by the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006. Using emissions data from its EEM system, together with data drawn from its internal credit card reconciliation and fleet management systems, the Forestry Commission can measure each employee’s carbon footprint.
The Forestry Commission implemented COA Solutions’ EEM system over three years ago. However, in April 2007 the system was modified to track carbon emissions, aiding compliance with the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006. Twelve months of emissions data is now available to the Forestry Commission and they are currently in the process of merging this with other travel-related data to identify the total usage so that appropriate measures can be taken to bring about reductions.
Steve Atkins, Head of Finance Systems Development at the Forestry Commission, says, “It made sense to build a carbon measurement tool into our expense management system, because it provides an easy and reliable method of tracking staff transport emissions."
When staff enter their personal car mileage into EEM, there are now fields for number of miles travelled and type of car used. The system captures this information and calculates the carbon output for every car journey. Similarly, carbon emissions generated during taxi, bus, rail and air travel are captured by EEM, allowing the department to track each employee’s emissions on a journey-by-journey basis.
By using the carbon emissions data from the EEM system in combination with data obtained from the department’s fleet management system and credit card reconciliation systems, the Forestry Commission can determine each employee’s carbon footprint.
Atkins says, “The EEM system is key to our ability to comply with climate change legislation. We now have carbon emissions data at our fingertips, which is crucial if we’re to achieve year-on-year greenhouse gas reductions.”