The impact of carbon emissions on the environment is a hot topic today. Here at Aughton Automation, we are committed to reducing our carbon emissions. Over the last ten years we have been effective in reducing our carbon footprint. As a result of our hard work we have gained the recognition of a CEMARS (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme) Gold certificate.
What is CEMARS?
The CEMARS is one of the world’s most rigorous carbon reduction programmes. The scheme encourages large organisations or large emitting industries to:
• measure their greenhouse gas emissions
• put in place plans to reduce their emissions
• have both of these steps independently certified.
The result of this is to create more organised carbon footprints. These organised carbon footprints also mean that companies align with:
• the international Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) for corporate accounting and reporting
• ISO 14064-1 international standard which provides guidance at an organisational level for the measuring and reporting of GHG emissions and removals.
Furthermore, Achilles, who run the scheme here in the UK, report that companies who participate in the programme can expect to reduce their absolute carbon emissions by just over 30%.
How we reduced our carbon footprint
Ten years ago, the company made the decision to reduce our company carbon footprints. But before starting, we needed to understand our carbon footprint and how we could have a positive impact. To understand how we could reduce our carbon emissions, CEMARS recommended we follow their 5 Step approach written by their partner Enviro-Mark Solutions.
The Five Step Approach
There are 5 key steps, which helped us take step closer to reducing our carbon footprint. At each step we had access to software, tools and templates that helped us identify:
• what data we needed to gather
• calculate our emissions inventory
• and prepare reports for verification and public disclosure.
Step 1 – Measure
Under the ISO 14064 standard organisations must measure all products and services with lifecycle emissions such as vehicles, business travel, fuel and electricity, paper, and waste. Measuring our greenhouse gas emissions, or carbon footprint helped understand where our biggest contributors were and how we could make improvements.
Step 2 – Commit
We then made our commitment to reduce our carbon footprint. First of all we put in place a recommended carbon management plan which tailored to our needs. The plan focused on what we could achieve to lower our carbon emissions. Our plan required us to reduce the carbon footprint of:
1. company vehicles, business travel and fuel
2. the use of electricity
3. the volume of paper used
4. and the amount of general waste.
To help us monitor the company’s carbon footprint we used CEMAR’s recommended tools.
Step 3 – Verify
To ensure on-going accuracy and effectiveness of our carbon management plan, the CEMARS scheme undertake annual audits. This is to ensure that our carbon reduction plan is in line:
1. with CEMARS requirements
2. with the international standard ISO 14064
3. to ensure that we continue to reduce our carbon footprint.
Theses audits take place on site so that the auditor can check our facilities, activities and other processes as well as the recorded data. We also submit relevant documentation and materials annually to Enviro-Mark Solutions for each certification review.
Step 4 – Our Carbon Footprint
Whenever possible we look to offset unavoidable Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions through the CEMARS/ CarboZero programmes. We avoid GHG emissions through the use of more environmentally friendly alternatives or renewable energy generation.
• We encourage our staff to Reduce, Reuse, Repurpose, Refuse and Recycle (and buy recycled)
• Drive less – we encourage route planning in advance to avoid high traffic areas where they could be stationary or to turn off idle vehicle engines
• Newer vehicles – replacing older models with newer more environmentally friendly models
• Reduce electricity consumption – we have introduced a policy of turning off computers, lights and wall sockets when not in use
• Read, reviewed and improved our company’s environmental policy.
Step 5 – Promoting Carbon Footprint awareness
Reducing our carbon footprint is a long term commitment and is something that we are keen to promote to our customers. Above all we want our customers to see that the we care about our environment and we are committed to protecting our environment.
Achieving CEMARS gold
Achieving Gold certificate doesn’t mean our work in done, as Keith Corcoran, our Technical Director explains:
“Decreasing carbon emissions is currently a world-wide focal point with more and more businesses seeing the importance of their role in how this will be achieved. Aughton Automation is delighted to have played our part in reducing both our organisations’ and in turn our customers’ carbon emissions. It’s an issue that won’t go away and as a team we are constantly looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint. To have achieved the CEMARS “Gold Certificate” is something that we’re immensely proud of and we will continue to be advocates for moving this agenda forward”.
If you would like to more information about any of our services or products, then please do not hesitate to get in touch.