Measuring Commuting Emissions, Why buy GHGi Commuting?
If you are going to get real benefit from measuring your Commuting and Homeworking emissions, you need comprehensive and accurate information. Only this allows you see where your efforts at emissions reduction are best directed. GHGi Commuting gives you what you need.
Multiple Travel Types
GHGi Commuting provides an extensive list of travel types.
- Car, here the employee can select from a wide range of different fuel types.
- Light Rail and tram
- London Underground
- Car-sharing, where a group of people alternate driving through the week
- Lift in (i.e., where the employee is not the driver).
The range of travel options allow an accurate picture to be established. This can be used to inform employees of the impact of the different travel choices. A benefit that shows the impact of different vehicle fuel types on the resulting emissions. This is particularly relevant for Hybrid and Battery Electric cars, where the benefit can be seen and acted upon.
Multiple stage journeys
It is not unusual for a commute to work to use more than one travel type. Up to three travel types can be selected, providing truly accurate figure for the emissions resulting from a commute.
For example, if an employee makes a 5-mile drive to the station, takes a train to a nearby town, 30 miles away, and then a bus journey of 2 miles to the workplace; the emissions are:
|In a car like a VW golf or a Ford Focus, for a 5-mile journey, the emissions would be:
|For a national rail journey of 30 miles, the emissions would be:
|For the final bus journey of 2 miles, the emissions would be:
If only the longest section of the journey was recorded, the train journey, the emissions for the commute would be under 50% of the total emissions for the journey.
Providing the option to record multi-stage journeys ensures accurate reporting. The benefits of this includes greater credibility for the organisation, reputational benefits and a better understanding of the task before it. It allows employees to see the actual emissions of their commute and perhaps review their options. GHGi Commuting allows up to three different stages. This flexibility makes measuring your employees’ commuting emissions simpler and more accurate.
The system allows for data to be collected on a quarterly or six-monthly basis. Agencies supplying temporary staff may wish to collect data more frequently. In particular, at different times of the year staff may use modes of travel. Quarterly or six-monthly collection allows for this type of variations. An employee may use a bicycle in summer, then use a car in winter. Alternatively, the organisation may employ seasonal staff. If not accounted for, both of these situations could skew the organisations overall emissions.
The benefit of understanding the modes of transport used, the distances covered, and any seasonal variation would allow the organisation to provide incentives to adopt “greener” modes of transport. Workplace showers to encourage more employees to cycle to work at warmer times of year are on option. Charging points for battery electric vehicles at the workplace could be installed, perhaps at a discounted rate, to encourage the take up of electric vehicles, is another.
Accuracy of calculations
As demonstrated above, accuracy in the collection of data is inherent in GHGi Commuting. The accuracy of the calculations is just as important. For public transport we user the UK Government’s GHG conversion factors. However, where possible we use the emissions factors for individual vehicles, which provide more accurate results.
For cars we use the VRN (Vehicle Registration Number), allowing us to use the emissions figure held on the DVLA Web site. To this we apply the appropriate factors relating to the fuel type and the “Real-world” emission for the vehicle involved. For Plug-in Hybrid and Battery Electric vehicles we include all the emissions relating to the electricity used.
This level of accuracy allows the organisation to be confident that it will be making informed decisions.
Homeworking within GHGi Commuting
GHGi Commuting also includes the ability to estimate emissions from homeworking. Although homeworking removes the commuting element, there are still emissions from the use of electricity and heating in the home. The reduction in emissions will depends on the types of transport used on the commute. The benefit of this is that it allows the organisation to determine just how beneficial homeworking is and if there are ways to make it more so. Information on homeworking will give an insight into three things:
- First, when and where home working would be beneficial.
- Secondly, how much office space and what type is really needed, after taking regular homeworking into account.
- Thirdly, it can inform the location of any planned office move.