Forestry Commission turns to IT for climate solutions

The Government body responsible for the protection of British forests is one of the organisations using high-tech IT tools to help cut its carbon emissions.

The Forestry Commission is using a tool created by IT firm COA Solutions to track the carbon emissions of each and every employee, to allow it to better manage them.

The Employee Expense Management system allows the organisation to keep track of fleet movements and credit card and has been modified to help the commission measure the carbon footprint of its workers.

This helps with compliance with the Climate Change and Sustainable Energy Act 2006 which requires government bodies to measure and monitor their emissions.

Twelve months of emissions data is now available to the Forestry Commission and they are 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


Steve Atkins, head of finance systems development at the Forestry Commission, said: “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.

“The EEM system is key to our ability to comply with climate change legislation,” said Mr Atkins.

“We now have carbon emissions data at our fingertips, which is crucial if we’re to achieve year on-year greenhouse gas reductions.”

Sam Bond

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