New Guide Illustrates How To Measure Carbon Footprint

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The IFMA Foundation has released Carbon Footprint, a free publication in the Sustainability ‘How-to’ Guide Series. This publication offers facility managers a comprehensive approach to understanding greenhouse gas emission accounting, reporting, and minimization.

Carbon has become the currency of the sustainability movement, impacting energy management, waste handling, air quality, environmental stewardship, and a host of other sustainability issues. In the U.S., about 40% of carbon emissions can be attributed to the construction, operation, and maintenance of buildings—a fact that places much of the responsibility for carbon footprint management on facility professionals.

Because energy usage is usually the largest portion of a building’s operational cost, the drive to make buildings more energy efficient directly aligns with the desire to reduce the carbon footprint. As stewards of the built environment, facility managers are in a strategic position to measure, monitor, and reduce building- and workplace-related carbon emissions.

Carbon Footprint provides facility professionals with the tools they need to understand the carbon footprinting process, analyze their results, and plan for the future of their organizations. The publication is divided into six sections that cover topics including:

  • Defining what is a carbon footprint?;
  • Understanding the role of the facility manager;
  • Calculating greenhouse gas inventory;
  • Analyzing the results;
  • Determining best practices and benchmarking;
  • Setting goals for reduction (climate action planning);
  • Making the business case (cost savings, tangible and intangible benefits); and
  • Exploring case studies.

The guide was written by Sharon Jaye, D.Ed., CAPM, SFP, assistant director of facilities at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. “With changing regulations in the environmental field, carbon footprinting is becoming increasingly more important to organizations and facility management professionals alike,” said Jaye. “My hope is that this guide demystifies the process for facility managers and makes it easier for them to save money for their organizations and reduce the environmental impact of their carbon footprint in the process.”

Carbon Footprint is available free of charge here. It was produced by the IFMA Foundation in partnership with the Atlanta Chapter of IFMA and the IFMA Sustainability Committee.

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