Green Business Awards 2008: Best Micro-organisation - Winner dcarbon8

Growing consensus on the need for large carbon reductions across the economy is fostering a business-focused branch of carbon consulting and dcarbon8 is a small but innovative player in this sector.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

The 10-strong company is a specialist in measuring organisational carbon footprints. It has also developed a supply chain network, members of which share knowledge and pledge to measure and reduce emissions and to offset 110% of the remainder so as to become 'planet positive'. The judges felt dcarbon8's focus on embodied carbon in the built environment deserved particular credit.

Best Micro-Organisation (up to 10 employees), specialist consultancy dcarbon8 helps corporations to understand and reduce their carbon emissions. The London-based company was founded in 2006 and is part of a wave of new business development in the field of carbon consulting (see chart).

According to dcarbon8, carbon 'has become the basic unit of environmental performance'.

The company believes it is at the forefront of analysing embodied and operational carbon in buildings, business operations, products and services.

Dcarbon8 has special expertise in measuring embodied carbon in the built environment. It points out that buildings are responsible for some 40% of global emissions. As operational carbon emissions are reduced, so embodied carbon locked up in structures is becoming increasingly prominent.

The biggest vote of confidence in dcarbon8's abilities came recently when it won a commission to carry out carbon management and measurement for the Masdar City development in Abu Dhabi - the world's first zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city, due to open in 2009. The project includes measuring the operational carbon of the Masdar organisation and all the relevant carbon emitted by third-party consultants and contractors.

Dcarbon8 will create a bespoke embodied carbon database of all the materials used to construct Masdar City. This includes evaluating the robustness of data sources and defining the operational data required from all material suppliers at the tender stage.

It is also creating a real-time carbon dashboard for the project, to aid the design team in selecting low-carbon materials. Once construction is under way, the dashboard will allow suppliers and contractors to monitor their emissions and make intelligent reduction plans.

Dcarbon8 encourages customers for its carbon-footprinting service to join the dcarbon8 supply chain network of what it calls 'planet positive' businesses. These have committed to measure and reduce their emissions and to offset 110% of their emissions on an ongoing basis.

The network encourages strategic carbon-footprint reduction and management through sharing of best practice. Dcarbon8 has developed its own 'planet positive protocol', setting standards for carbon measurement and offsetting. The protocol was audited by KPMG.

Dcarbon8 acknowledges that there is controversy surrounding carbon offsetting but robustly defends the practice. It sources and supplies carbon credits itself and offers members of its network access to an online carbon-accounting system that allows them to invest in verified carbon-reduction projects and generate reports for their communications.

Though it employs just 10 staff, dcarbon8 looks set to grow rapidly. It already has contracts in Singapore, Abu Dhabi and the US, as well as the UK. Next year, it plans to open offices in the US and Abu Dhabi.

Shortlisted - Stone Circle Livery p27

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