As an environmentally responsible company, SPIE performed carbon accounting internally to evaluate the carbon dependency of its activities, identify the main sources of greenhouse gases, and undertake efforts to reduce these harmful emissions.
Measuring greenhouse gas emissions
Carbon accounting aims to measure greenhouse gas emissions. The process involves quantifying a company’s fossil fuel use, since these agents emit the gases that play a fundamental role in climate change. It evaluates direct emissions, produced by employee travel and facilities, as well as indirect consumption such as the energy needed to manufacture or ship products purchased by SPIE.
A three-step method
Carbon accounting is performed in three steps.
- An inventory is made of all physical sources of emissions, such as employee travel and energy consumption at facilities
- These sources are quantified in kWh of electricity, litres of petrol or any other measure
- These measures are converted into carbon emissions using emissions factors established by environmental organisations
SPIE and its carbon accounting
To limit environmental impact, SPIE performed the carbon accounting of its subsidiaries in 2008 and the combined carbon accounting of the entire Group in 2010. In 2014, the company generated 1,014,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions of CO2, representing 194 grams of CO2 per euro of revenue. This figure is down compared with 2011 when the carbon emissions represented 210 grams of CO2 per euro of revenue.
Putting the results to work
Having performed its carbon accounting, SPIE uses the results to develop and deploy a series of efforts aiming to reduce its carbon footprint. On the individual level, SPIE has set up systems so its employees can recycle wastes, save energy and optimise travel. At its subsidiaries, the company has instituted rideshare programmes and reduced energy consumption at facilities. Finally, on the Group level, it is increasing the percentage of electric vehicles in its fleet and implementing more green IT solutions. Not only does this policy have a positive effect on the environment, but it also helps generate savings and improve the company’s image in the eyes of its customers.