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Carbon emission calculations
New training initiatives will help businesses calculate their carbon footprint

Press Release - 09 March 2009

Minister backs training for businesses to calculate their carbon footprint

The Minister for Sustainable Development & Energy Innovation, Lord Hunt, has backed a new training initiative by the University of Bath to help educate businesses how to calculate and reduce their carbon footprint.

The University has launched an online course and conference that will bridge business knowledge gaps in the fast-developing area of carbon footprinting and carbon labelling.

The training is designed to help a broad range of businesses, from very small to large, achieve the financial and environmental benefits of good management of carbon in the supply chain that have already been achieved by leading organisations.

Director of Studies for environmental management courses, Dr David Hicks, explained: "Many businesses will need new skills to compete in low-carbon economies, and to meet ambitious targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent over the coming decades.

“Knowing how to reduce both the energy content and costs of products and services will be essential.

"A widespread understanding of carbon accounting for products and services is one of those essential skills that we will need tens of thousands of people to have in the UK and millions worldwide. Our new courses are a step in that direction."

The online course, designed in bite-sized modules for busy professionals, will show how to calculate the carbon footprint of products and services using the recently launched PAS 2050 guidelines on assessing carbon emissions.

The one-day conference in April will bring together top industry experts in carbon footprinting and labelling to discuss best practice from the UK and abroad. To reduce its own carbon footprint associated with delegates’ travel, the conference will also be accessible online.

The University has already received a very positive response to its new outreach initiative.

Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, Minister for Sustainable Development & Energy Innovation and Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, commented: "As the Minister responsible for sustainable consumption and production, I am very pleased that University initiatives are focusing on the value of PAS 2050 in assessing the carbon footprint of products.

"I think this is a really valuable tool for businesses to understand the impact of their product across their whole supply chain, to identify hotspots as well as the overall picture, and to see what changes can be made to reduce that footprint."

Dr Thom Bunting, Integrated Environmental Management Teaching Fellow and project leader of the Carbon Footprinting Skills Initiative, said: "Industry and public services are facing a new era of carbon management in which the carbon content of their products and services will become an important buying factor.

"Now it is becoming essential for a broader range of businesses to manage costs and to meet customer expectations as they start measuring and managing carbon reductions in products and services.

"By using life-cycle approaches to identify carbon and cost 'hotspots' in products and services, businesses can learn how to focus their attention and resources where it really matters."

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities, with an international reputation for quality research and teaching. View a full list of the University's press releases: