Personal Carbon Budget

Personal Carbon Budget

A Personal Carbon Budget (PCB) has the potential to be an important component of an organisation’s carbon reduction strategy.  Employees receive an individual carbon emissions ‘budget’ applicable to their work, for example for their business travel.

This approach can be integrated into a behavioural change program, raising the visibility of the program amongst employees. Such programs are increasingly seen as a vital part of an organisation’s approach to reducing its carbon footprint.  However, implementation of a PCB system is not easy.  GHG Insight can provide the quantification to make the PCB concept work.

Personal Carbon Budget Implementation

When designing a Personal Carbon Budget system, there are some points to be considered:

  1. Some employees are more likely to incur greenhouse gas emissions than others. For instance, sales people and service engineers will by necessity travel more than office-only staff. So a one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to be appropriate.
  2. How will budgets be determined?
    1. Will there be a benchmark period (e.g. a year)?
    2. What will the criteria be?
    3. What will the boundaries be? What will be included, e.g. business travel? What will be excluded, e.g. commuting?
  1. Will budgets be mandatory or voluntary?
  2. Will there be any unintended consequences?
  3. Some staff may not have a company car or own a car. The determination of these employees’ carbon budgets will need to be considered carefully.

Behavioural change

What will be the impact on individual employees’ motivation? Will they be inspired or disgruntled with perceived inequities?

Getting employees’ buy-in will be crucial. For some pro-environment staff, it’ll be pushing at an open door. For others there may be resistance. Reporting greenhouse gas emissions may not be seen as important or relevant. 

GHG Insight makes Personal Carbon Budgets possible

There are two huge benefits that GHG Insight can bring to a PCB system:

  1. Quantification before implementation – GHG Insight can provide GHG emissions data specific to the individual organisation and its employees, which directly informs the design of the PCB system. This means that the PCB system can be:
    1. Tailored to the organisation
    2. Tested before implementation to identify possible inequities, implications and unintended consequences
  2. Quantification after implementation – GHG Insight can provide:
    1. Objective results for each employee, which could be linked to individual rewards
    2. Management reports to demonstrate reduced GHG emissions, which could provide an innovative topic in an organisation’s sustainability report