The Sustainability Institute in conjunction with Nedbank publishes a free guide on carbon footprinting

Submitted by: Nadia Shah, Monday, March 17, 2014

<p>A screenshot of the Nedbank Carbon Footprinting Guide (Image source: Nedbank)</p>

A screenshot of the Nedbank Carbon Footprinting Guide (Image source: Nedbank)

The Sustainability Institute (University of Stellenbosch), in collaboration with Nedbank, have recently published a Carbon Footprinting Guide that is aimed at helping companies and individuals to reduce their carbon emissions.  As the first financial services organisation in Africa to achieve carbon neutrality, Nedbank has learnt a number of lessons along the way and the Carbon Footprinting Guide provides a means to share their experiences, says Dr Marco Lotz, co-author of the Guide and Nedbank’s sustainability carbon specialist.

What is the purpose of the guide?

The aim of the Guide is to provide a user friendly manual on carbon footprinting by exposing readers to the main concepts and offering practical guidance on the relevant calculations required. “It takes the reader by the hand and explains in a step by step manner the nuances of carbon calculations by using day to day examples like the use of electricity. It also incorporates and explores the nuances that are faced in the South African GHG reporting context in a conversational style,” says Lotz.

In addition, the guide provides insight into the application of theory through the use of real life case studies that place carbon footprinting in the South African context. Internationally there are a number of agreements focused on decreasing GHG emissions. This Guide links these agreements to the local context, as Lotz states, “This Guide gives the reader the necessary background to follow the basics of the international negotiations and how it relates to us as South Africans and South African companies.” In light of the carbon tax proposed by the South African National Treasury for 2016, Lotz adds, “This book explores how South African companies could do their tax compliance by calculating their own carbon footprint.”

What can readers expect?

Readers can expect comprehensive coverage of carbon footprinting and management spanning approximately 100 pages, from a background on climate change, to an explanation of technical terms and the tiers of carbon projects. The guide also provides a detailed description of the different categories of GHG emissions and a step by step approach to carbon footprint calculations. The case studies are predominantly of South African companies and are discussed in the context of 13 topics, each topic concludes with a self-assessment to encourage further thought.

How can businesses benefit from carbon footprinting?

Lotz states that by conducting carbon footprinting exercises businesses can reduce their operational energy costs, make informed decisions, and encourage innovation in developing products and services within environmental limitations. By completing a carbon footprint businesses will also be better equipped to face imminent domestic and international financial penalties related to GHG emissions.

Nedbank’s Carbon Footprinting Guide can be accessed via the Nedbank Website.



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