When we conducted our first carbon footprint analysis in FY07, we began our process to define, measure, and manage our carbon footprint by applying the WRI/WBCSD GHG Protocol. During this process we identified 18 different activities that are material to our carbon footprint:
In FY11 we reviewed the first four years of results and concluded that 13 of the items had a cumulative impact of approximately 10% of our footprint. We also realized that these items are of two different kinds: those that trend with our air travel and those that trend with our headcount. We therefore decided not to calculate an actual footprint for these items every year, but rather estimate them based on past actual measurements. Instead, every four years, we will recalculate a footprint for the 13 items, at which point we will determine whether there has been a change in their relative impacts and is therefore a need to refocus. This approach allows us to direct our efforts to the "big four" drivers of our footprint (air travel, energy use, employee commuting, and use of personal cars for business reasons).
Metric tons of CO2e
Note: We used the World Resources Institute/World Business Council on Sustainable Development GHG protocol to develop our footprint estimate.
Metric tons of CO2e
|Scope type||Metric tons of CO2e|
|Scope 1 – Diesel||61|
|Scope 2 – Electricity||52,854|
|Scope 3 – Air, commute, reimbursed miles, other||190,401|
Note: We have very limited direct (Scope 1) emissions, which are related to the use of diesel fuel for backup generators.
In FY12 we will also conduct a materiality assessment of the environmental footprint of our electronics use (computers, monitors, printers, and cell phones) to determine whether the manufacturing, transportation, and use of these items constitutes a material impact that we should monitor on an ongoing basis. (To learn about our programs in the area of electronics return and recycling, see Materials and waste).
As a firm that provides audit and assurance services, we recognize the pivotal role that auditing can play in not only ensuring the reliability and credibility of data, but also in the learning and continual improvement that is the result of audit processes. For both of these reasons, we partner with our US and Canadian Sustainable Business Solutions practices to audit our carbon footprinting methodology and results. This process provides us with a crucial "third party" assessment of our methodology and performance and also allows us a great opportunity to share leading practices and refine our strategy.