Managing Carbon Emissions

Managing Carbon Emissions

My colleague Ashank and I were listening to a presentation by Anmol, a shiny young man whose firm had been engaged by Mastek, my company, to check our carbon footprint. We wished to understand how much injury we had been causing to the atmosphere, and how we may reduce that damage. The discussions have been very revealing.

We anticipated we'd have a low carbon footprint - given the character of our IT industry. We have been wrong. We were truly causing virtually 17,000 tons of CO2 to be spewed into the surroundings yearly!

More than 60% of our emissions had been attributable to electrical energy consumption - air-conditioning, lighting, and computers. Thirty percent were on account of air travel - especially worldwide travel. Anmol mentioned this was pretty much in line with different software companies companies.

We checked out what we may do to reduce our emissions. Since our new buildings had been already equipped with state-of-the-artwork energy efficient tools, we could at sustainability finest save around 10% by changing desktops, lighting fixtures, and other such mechanisms.

We might trim another 10 percent by reducing air travel and persuading our folks to change off electrical home equipment when not wanted and share sources by utilizing our space efficiently.

The opposite different was to invest in renewable energy - wind or photo voltaic energy. It was disappointing to be taught that solar panels on our rooftops would hardly generate 10% of our energy requirements.

We might put money into windmills run by energy firms in faraway areas, but even with government incentives this might require an funding of over Rs. 60 crores to fulfill our electrical energy necessities - a substantial sum.

E F Schumacher, the author of "Small is Stunning," was once requested for political advice. "Plant more timber', he suggested. I requested the consultants about that, and so they got here back with some intriguing findings. They said planting three million timber would deal with our complete carbon footprint.

Moreover, as these trees grow, their capacity to absorb CO2 emissions multiplies four times over 20 years. This is able to mean that planting these bushes at present would possibly guarantee Mastek's carbon neutrality for generations.

The principle cost of planting and maintaining these timber is labor costs. Current prices are around Rs. one hundred per tree but with scale, this value may be substantially lower. In addition, if we use 'Shramdhaan' - volunteer efforts from Mastekeers, their friends and families, as well as others, we might even be able to bring the cost below Rs. 50 per tree.

This would carry the entire investment to a far more affordable at Rs. 15 crores. As time moves on, the timber will pay for themselves in energy savings. This train made me realize that now we have a crying want for innovation - in renewable energy in addition to reducing energy consumption in our appliances.

Additional, whereas air journey has twice the energy consumption per passenger mile compared to a train, these emissions occur at 30,000 feet. That leads to a reflectivity factor of instances normal calculations. Hence, air journey is sort of four instances ecologically damaging as train travel.

In India, we may have to noticeably take a look at introducing high-pace trains across peak corridors so as to reduce the need for air travel. Now we have the design talent in our IIT's and engineering faculties to make this happen. This can be a call to all proficient designers to surrender your soft non-design jobs and get cracking.

Do share your individual information and insights on how we could be accountable firms by neutralizing our carbon footprints.