Just Good Business : Calculating carbon

The current tools available to local organisations wanting to calculate carbon emissions are “disappointing” in that none provide any guidance for users to understand and act on the calculated results. That’s according to Waikato Management School masters student Pauline de Haes who recently tested four widely available low-cost carbon calculators designed specifically for New Zealand small businesses. She looked at key issues facing typical small business (energy use, transport, waste disposal) and scored each of the four calculators on its accuracy, comprehensiveness, ease of use and how well it provided feedback and guidance.
Those she tested included Catalyst R&D ACE calculator (from www.sustainable.org.nz) the NZ Business Council for Sustainable Development Emissions Calculator (www.nzbcsd.org.nz), the Trees of Canterbury Business Calculator (www.treesforcanterbury.org.nz) and the Em-Calc emissions Calculator (www.cware.co.nz).
Not all were accurate and none provided any guidance for users to understand and act on the results of the calculations. That, says Haes, is disappointing given this information is critical in effectively trying to improve businesses’ sustainable practices.

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