On Green Day and with the G8 leaders this week due to set the target of achieving a 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, we break out our carbon calculator and try to reveal some of the startling statistics and provide some perspective on how much carbon we need to save.

At present there are 662 billion tonnes of carbon in the atmosphere with over-industrious humans adding a further 6.4 billion tonnes to this figure every year. If the G8 leaders’ are to meet their targets and achieve a 50% reduction in emissions then globally we need to pump 3.2 billion tonnes less carbon into the atmosphere each year.
What if we were to take all this carbon and put it to an alternative use? 3.2 billion Tonnes of carbon is enough to produce a 262 Carat diamond for every person in the UK each year – which might make a nice bonus scheme!
In man speak, this is equivalent to the weight of 2.5 million Tesla Roadsters (fortuitously an electric sports car composed largely of carbon fibre). With our new electric cars we could then further reduce our carbon emissions by not driving to client sites in our gas guzzling chelsea tractors.
However, none of this really tells us how we can reduce our carbon emissions in the first place – we want to know what we need to do to save the planet.
How do we make this saving in terms of Capgemini UK’s environmental goals?
Capgemini UK has targeted reduction of CO2 emissions from travel and improved energy savings, so we look at what needs to be achieved to make the reduction in carbon emissions in Capgemini UK sustainability terms.
Saving 3.2 billion Tonnes of carbon is equivalent to any one of the following:

  • 195 million less Eurostar journeys from St. Pancra’s to Gare du Nord and back again – each return trip pumps 16kg of carbon into our atmosphere; we do make a lot of trips to Paris for training but maybe not that many.
  • 84 million less car trips from London to Manchester – shared amongst Capgemini UK’s employees this would work out as 9300 less round trips each a year.
  • All 90,000 Capgemini global employees switch off our laptops and work with pen and paper for 800 years every year; maybe not!

So Capgemini UK can’t save the world on our own, but can we do our bit and meet our own sustainability targets?
Capgemini UK aim to make a 30% reduction in travel related CO2 emissions by 2014; at present we produce 4000 tonnes of carbon each year.
Assuming two thirds of Capgemini UK employees are regularly moving up and down the country then the target can be achieved if we individually reduce the number of journeys made to client sites by train or car.

  • We each make 12 fewer return trips from London to Paris; or
  • We each make 5 fewer return car journeys from London to Manchester

Reduce our overall carbon footprint by 20% by 2014 (35% by 2020). After allowing for reduction in travel and data centre energy savings a further 400 tonnes of carbon must be saved by using less energy in our offices.

  • If we all keep our laptops switched off 24hrs a day we achieve the energy saving required – ok, so maybe this isn’t the answer and we should start by turning a few lights off, turning down the power on the air con and turning off our laptops for a couple of hours a day!