Tharstern and CarbonQuota launch instant carbon footprint calculator
“Carbon accounting is becoming as mainstream as cost accounting, and we are now entering an era where it is as normal to wonder about the environmental footprint of goods or services as the price,” says Dominic Harris, co- founder of CarbonQuota. “With many global organizations committing to being Net Zero, the need for scientific measurement and detailed reporting on packaging and printing is often a prerequisite for doing business with these organizations.
“So print service providers who want to be included in these supply chains will need to be able to provide details of their own carbon footprint.” Harris goes on to add, “Historically, printing companies often only looked at the carbon footprint of the paper that
accounted for about half of the total carbon footprint of work, so we determined that our calculations not only measured paper, but also included production, consumables, transportation, postage, home work, performance and end of life, as this truly reflects
the total environmental impact of a work’s life cycle.”
The very first user of this new integration is Gecko, a direct marketing agency based in Leeds, UK. The company has always been forward-thinking when it comes to implementing environmental systems and standards, and has already achieved
ISO accreditation ISO14001, ISO9001 and ISO27001, as well as FSC certification. But Gecko wanted to go further.
“We are hearing more and more about the importance of reducing our carbon impact, and at Gecko we wanted to do the right thing and be part of the solution,” said Chris Bottomley, Managing Director of Gecko. “So we decided to offer our customers the possibility not only to calculate the carbon footprint of their work, but also to offset it.”
The partnership began in 2021, when Bottomley was talking with another business owner about his next call with CarbonQuota. “I decided to join the call and listen to what it was all about and was intrigued by what they were saying,” Bottomley recalled. “So I asked CarbonQuota to calculate the footprint of two jobs we had just produced for a key client in the insurance industry. The results were a real eye-opener and led to the idea of adding carbon footprint calculation to our quote letters, along with optional costs to offset it. »
After talking to CarbonQuota and Tharstern about his idea, the two companies bought into Bottomley’s vision and began working on the integration.
The first step in the project was for CarbonQuota to complete a carbon footprint assessment of Gecko’s operations, which took a few weeks. The data from this study was fed into CarbonQuota’s database and algorithms so that they could calculate the carbon footprint of each process within Gecko’s operation, which in turn was loaded into the instance of Tharstern Gecko. This allows CarbonQuota to calculate and apply unique “Carbon Emission Factors” to each substrate, consumable, production process and distribution stage, as well as an end-of-life carbon impact assessment of each job.
Gecko can now use its GIS to show clients the carbon footprint of each job, offer low-carbon alternatives, and give them the option to offset the carbon impact of that job. In fact, compensation can be done according to the PAS2060 Carbon Neutral standard, which is governed according to the latest Net Zero protocols.
“The Gecko project shows that carbon footprinting for the packaging and printing industry can be automated and science-based,” says Lee Ward, CRO at Tharstern. “Once the assessment has been completed by CarbonQuota and Tharstern’s carbon tool is set up, our users simply continue to use Tharstern in the same way – nothing changes other than the new addition to each quote and the ability to report on the company’s carbon footprint. footprint as a whole. This saves considerable time and opens up higher levels of carbon measurement for our customers. Ward pointed out that: “The carbon impact of the manufacturing sector is under intense scrutiny at the moment and the printing industry has a rare opportunity to show sustainability leadership and show to wider sectors how it should be done – this solution ticks all the boxes for even the most demanding customers.”