Forestry Commission Tracks Carbon Emissions with COA Solutions System

The Forestry Commission, the Government department responsible for the protection and expansion of Britain's forests and woodlands, is measuring its carbon emissions using COA Solutions’ Employee Expense Management (EEM) system. As a Government department, the Forestry Commission is required to measure and then make efforts to reduce its carbon emissions as outlined by the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006. Using emissions data from its EEM system, together with data drawn from its internal credit card reconciliation and fleet management systems, the Forestry Commission can measure each employee’s carbon footprint.

The Forestry Commission implemented COA Solutions’ EEM system over three years ago. However, in April 2007 the system was modified to track carbon emissions, aiding compliance with the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006. Twelve months of emissions data is now available to the Forestry Commission and they are currently in the process of merging this with other travel-related data to identify the total usage so that appropriate measures can be taken to bring about reductions.

Steve Atkins, Head of Finance Systems Development at the Forestry Commission, says, “It made sense to build a carbon measurement tool into our expense management system, because it provides an easy and reliable method of tracking staff transport emissions."

When staff enter their personal car mileage into EEM, there are now fields for number of miles travelled and type of car used. The system captures this information and calculates the carbon output for every car journey. Similarly, carbon emissions generated during taxi, bus, rail and air travel are captured by EEM, allowing the department to track each employee’s emissions on a journey-by-journey basis.

By using the carbon emissions data from the EEM system in combination with data obtained from the department’s fleet management system and credit card reconciliation systems, the Forestry Commission can determine each employee’s carbon footprint.

Atkins says, “The EEM system is key to our ability to comply with climate change legislation. We now have carbon emissions data at our fingertips, which is crucial if we’re to achieve year-on-year greenhouse gas reductions.”

About the Forestry Commission

The Forestry Commission is a Government department with a mission to protect and expand Britain's forests and woodlands and increase their value to society and the environment.
It takes the lead in the development and promotion of sustainable forest management. The Forestry Commission delivers the distinct forestry policies of England, Scotland and Wales.

About Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006
The purpose of the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006 is to enhance the United Kingdom’s contribution to combating climate change. As part of the Act, it is the duty of the Secretary of State in the course of each calendar year to lay before Parliament a report on steps taken by government departments during the previous calendar year to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. This Act is in line with the Government’s commitment to a climate change programme. This programme sets out the Kyoto Protocol target of reducing gas emissions by 12.5 percent by 2012 and the longer term goal of reducing carbon emissions by 60 per cent by 2050.

About COA Solutions

COA Solutions is the UK's leading supplier of integrated business management and information systems to public, private and not-for-profit organisations in the service sector. COA Solutions prides itself on getting close to its customers by understanding their businesses and responding to their business needs.

COA Solutions' award-winning Smart Business Suite combines core financial management, procurement, human resource and payroll systems, integrated with a range of collaborative, document management and business intelligence solutions. These solutions extend the value and effectiveness of the finance, HR and payroll departments across the organisation and enable managers in the business to monitor, analyse and continually improve corporate performance.

COA Solutions has more than 500 experienced and professional staff supporting and servicing over 4,000 clients across the UK service sector including Companies House, Newcastle City Council, WHSmith, Royal Bank of Scotland, Aer Lingus, National Express Group, DFS, RSPB and Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children NHS Trust.

For further information, contact:

Liz Ebbrell, COA Solutions
liz.ebbrell@coasolutions.com
+44 (0)1625 856505 or 07917 634 705
www.coasolutions.com

Ben Carey, COA Solutions
Ben.carey@coasolutions.com
+44 (0)1625 856505
www.coasolutions.com

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