ESRAG INITIATIVE

Carbon Estimator

ESRAG’s Online Rotary Club Carbon Estimator

WHAT IS IT?

Why use the Club Carbon Estimator?

Climate Change is affecting our world with global temperatures rising 1-1.5oC.  Scientists report that a major cause is man-made greenhouse gas emissions.  Whilst Governments and corporations are initiating action our own Club Meetings, Events and Projects also create emissions and we should also be identifying our impacts and how these could be reduced or offset.

ESRAG’S INITIATIVE

If we all take action we can help reduce Climate Change.

A first step is to estimate the carbon emissions caused by Rotary activities and ESRAG Oceania has developed an on-line club carbon calculator for Meetings, Events and Projects to help you do this.  Suitable for Rotarians in New Zealand, Australia and Europe, this calculator can quickly estimate emissions from your club’s activities.  

ESRAG Oceania has no responsibility for the use of this and other calculators.

The key factors contributing to greenhouse gas emissions in our Rotary activities include Food and Drink; Travel; Electricity, Accommodation and Waste. Over a year Rotary Club activity may cause 5 – 15 (t CO2e) of greenhouse gas emissions.  Whilst ESRAG would like every club to consider setting a zero or low emissions target this is a decision for your club.

INITIATIVES

How to reduce your Club’s carbon emissions

  1. There are carbon reduction strategies that could be followed by Clubs to reduce their footprint.  These include: –
    • Meals can have a significant impact on emissions
    • reduce meat that create high greenhouse gas emission in its production
    • have more fish, chicken or vegetarian meals 
    • alternate chicken and beef meals; or chicken, fish and beef meals at events  
    • Transport:  use lower carbon intensity transport options 

    share rides, use public transport, a bicycle, walk, or hybrid / electric vehicles.

    • Club Meetings:  have fewer face to face meetings, or use hybrid meetings with an option for some to participate on-line (especially for those distant from the club), and allow speakers from other geographic areas to zoom in.
    • Other Meetings:  do committee meetings by zoom to reduce travel 
    • Projects:  for activities distant from your club’s location use zoom or similar on-line meetings to minimise visits, reduce or avoid flights.  Put more reliance on Rotary Clubs in the project area to initiate, oversee and report on your project
    • Power supply – reduce your requirements – just a 1oC change will reduce your heating or cooling bill and reduce emissions.  See if it is possible to increase the proportion of your power supply requirements from renewable sources.

    How to Offset you Club’s carbon emissions

    There are a number of carbon offset strategies that could be followed.  These include supporting renewable energy to reduce hydrocarbon power sources; developing plantations as these capture carbon whilst releasing oxygen; installing more efficient cooking, heating or cooling systems; or purchasing carbon offsets from others.  

    Offsets can be arranged in a number of ways: –

    Payment to a commercial offset plan:

    • Commercial offset plans are available.  In Australia these include Qantas, Greening Australia, Carbon Neutral, Green Fleet.  The money is pooled to fund sequestration projects.  Doner feedback is normally non specific.

    Payment to a fully accredited programs where carbon credits issued:

    • Commercial offset plans accredited for specific purposes (e.g. reafforestation) with market rate cost typically in Australia ranging from AUD30-60 / t CO2e. 
    • There might be offset projects that align with your Rotary Club interests (e.g. withoneseed.org.au in Timor Leste sells credits for work in that country).

    Payment to an accredited ESRAG project:

    • Could include any ESRAG Promoted and Partnered offset program that is accredited (e.g. a Mangrove planting project where carbon sequestration can be identified).
    • An ESRAG offset program where money is collected and used to support a number of projects that have been accredited.  

    Non accredited programs where carbon sequestration is estimated:

    • Rotary Clubs may not be looking for official carbon credits, and may prefer to put their in-kind efforts and funding into supporting projects such as tree planting in rural and bushfire areas, accepting an estimate of carbon sequestration.  
    • ESRAG offset program when money is used for a Rotary Environmental Project. The estimated carbon reduction resulting from the program would be reported.

    Contribution to Rotary International for environmental projects:

    • Rotary connects the world and we all travel a lot, much by air.  You can compensate for the carbon impact of your air travel by making a voluntary donation to the Environment Fund of The Rotary Foundation.  Donations will be directed to Global Grants that support Environmental Global Grants.  An on-line travel calculator with donation button is provided on the ESRAG website (see details below)

The following diagram outlines the steps to using the Estimator. You can read more background information by downloading this document

Fill in the appropriate details of either a single or multiple Club Meeting, Event or Project and submit for the output to be emailed to you.  Greenhouse gas emissions are reported as carbon dioxide equivalent (kg CO2e).  Use the online club carbon estimator as many times as you need to include all type of activities (i.e. Club Meetings, Events or Projects).  A spreadsheet table here could be used to total all of your club’s greenhouse emissions over a period.

A support document with instructions can be downloaded here.

If you need a more detailed calculation of the carbon footprint of your Rotary Clubs meeting, events or projects we have a more detailed Excel based calculator. This can be accessed by contacting one of the team who will provide the documents and guide you on their use.

Email: esragcalculator@gmail.com

Carbon Footprint Overview

Limiting Carbon Emissions in your Rotary Meetings.

Why should we be concerned about our own Carbon Footprint?
Do your Club meetings cause any carbon emissions?
How do you calculate your Club’s carbon emissions?
How do reduce your Club’s carbon emissions?

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Why should we be concerned about our own Carbon Footprint?

Global warming and Climate Change has been identified as having a significant impact on our planet, the world we and all living things live in.

Since early in the 20th century, most notably since 1970, there is a well- documented global surface temperature rise of 1 – 1.5°C. This does not sound much but it is having significant climate change impacts to our planet including: rising sea levels; shrinking mountain glaciers; accelerating ice melt in Greenland,
Antarctica and the Arctic; and shifts in flower/plant blooming times. In Australia and New Zealand the hotter climate is causing droughts, floods, bushfires and impacting our animals, birds and fish etc. Sea level rise will have affect coastal regions on our seaboard and across the Pacific Islands. These consequences of fuels that emit heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

At the UN COP26 event at Glasgow last year there was universal agreement on the need to reduce emissions and 2030 carbon reduction targets were strengthened. Governments and corporations are taking action and we can help.

The first step is to understand your own and your Club’s carbon footprint and then to identify how this could be reduced. There are also projects that we could support to sequester carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

If we all take action we can reduce Climate Change.
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Do your Club meetings cause any carbon emissions?

Most of us going about our daily lives cause greenhouse gas emissions. You may even have seen carbon emission values on your power bill or on your airline ticket. Our Rotary meetings also create emissions.

Carbon dioxide emissions do occur when we all meet at our Rotary Club. These result from the way we travel to the meeting; the type of electricity used for lighting, presentations, and heat control; even the food we eat and how it is cooked. Also, our projects may involve significant travel. Whilst we don’t want to stop any of these activities, we should recognise it is occurring and consider changes that will reduce our footprint.

The results of our recently developed ESRAG carbon calculator show a typical Rotary Club meetings over the year result in the emission of 3, 5 or even 10 tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions (CO2-e*) mainly as the result of travel, food and energy. Our projects also result in carbon emissions.

CO2-e: A carbon footprint is usually reported on the basis of greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to what it would be if it was a carbon dioxide emission.
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How do you calculate your Club’s carbon emissions?

On this website we have an “Input Form” and instructions where you will be able to collect all the required data to input into the club calculator.

Once completed the input form is to be sent in for assistance, checking and calculation of the annual carbon footprint for your Club. This will be provided as summary sheet indicating activities with high emission levels.

Whilst we would like every club to consider setting a zero or low emissions target this is a decision for your club.
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How do reduce you Club’s carbon emissions?

There are a number of carbon reduction strategies that could be followed by Clubs to reduce their footprint. These include: –

  • Meals – reduce meats that create higher carbon levels in their production -perhaps have more fish, chicken or vegetarian meals. So, for example instead of having all steak meals, have alternating chicken and beef; or better still alternate chicken, fish and beef. Vegetarian meals have very low emission levels. Perhaps have fewer bar-b-ques because they are usually high in meat content.
  • Transport – use lower carbon intensity transport options – share rides, public transport, bicycle, walking. Hybrid and electric vehicles
  • Meetings – have fewer face to face meetings, or use hybrid meetings with an option for some to participate on-line (especially for those distant from the club), and allow speakers from other geographic areas to zoom in.
  • Meetings – do committee meetings by zoom to reduce travel requirements
  • Projects – for those distant from your club’s geographic area consider how to lessen the carbon footprint impact. Where possible reduce or avoid flights. Put more reliance on Rotary Clubs in the project area to lesson your need to travel.
  • Power supply – the first step is to reduce your requirements, change the temperature settings for your air conditioners – just a 1oC change will reduce your heating or cooling bill and reduce carbon emissions. As well as reducing your power use you can see if it is possible to increase the proportion of power supplies from renewable sources.

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How to Offset you Club’s carbon emissions?

There are a number of carbon offset strategies that could be followed by Clubs to offset their footprint. These include supporting renewable energy to reduce hydrocarbon power sources; supporting plantations as these use the sun’s energy to capture carbon whilst releasing oxygen; installing more efficient cooking, heatin.

Offsets can be arranged in a number of ways: –

Payment to a commercial offset plan:

  • Commercial offset plans include Qantas, Greening Australia, Carbon Neutral, Green Fleet and no doubt others to be researched. The money goes into a pool for that organisation to put money into their sequestration projects. Unsure if any doner feedback is provided. Payment to a fully accredited programs where carbon credits issued:
  • Commercial offset plans for specific purposes (e.g. reafforestation in South West Australia) with credits provided at $31.50/t(CO2-e)
  • Overseas carbon credits that may align with a Rotary Clubs interests (e.g. withoneseed.org.au in Timor Leste sells credits for work in that country).

Payment to an accredited ESRAG organised project:

  • Include any ESRAG Promoted and Partnered offset program –– a project for Rotary Clubs to support (e.g. a Mangrove planting project with a commercial partner where carbon sequestration can be identified).
  • An ESRAG offset program where money is collected and used to support a number of projects that have been accredited.

Non-accredited programs where carbon sequestration is estimated:

  • Rotary Clubs may not be looking for official carbon credits, and may wish to put their efforts, in-kind and funding, into supporting projects such as tree planting in rural and bushfire areas and accepting an estimate of carbon sequestration. Clubs may prefer this over paying $31.50/t(CO2-e).
  • ESRAG offset program when money is used for a Rotary Project. ESRAG could just promote and encourage clubs to directly contribute to the project. The estimated carbon reduction resulting from the program would be reported.
CO2 Calculator Introduction

INTRODUCTION TO THE CALCULATOR

(Please download the following in formation as a PDF including a worked example) 

ESRAG Oceania has commissioned Toitū Envirocare in New Zealand to develop a calculator that can be used by any Club in Australia or New Zealand, to estimate their club’s carbon emissions. 

Rotary Clubs in Australia and New Zealand are now able to estimate their emissions from meetings, events and projects (if required), using this calculator, with assurance that the methodology has been designed and developed by an international environmental consultancy.

Clubs which are interested in calculating their annual emissions, or for specific events or projects, can access the calculator by the following process:

Complete the input collection form which is attached. This will require the collection of data for identified meetings, events and projects. Input collection instructions to assist in this process are attached.

The completed input collection form should then be submitted to ESRAG at esragcalculator@gmail.com. ESRAG will process the information submitted through the calculator and send the resulting reports back to the Club concerned.

The club concerned will then be entitled (if they wish to) to make the following report, to reference the designers of the calculator and the source of emission factors used:-

‘[Club name] has estimated its annual organisational emissions for the measurement period [x-y] from the following sources [x, y, z] using a calculator designed by Toitū Envirocare, which uses emission factors from DEFRA, Ministry for the Environment, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and other relevant sources.’”

An example of wording for a New Zealand Club is as follows: 

(Club name) has estimated its annual organisational emissions for the measurement period 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2021 from the following sources Electricity, Business Travel, Waste and Catering using a calculator designed by Toitū Envirocare, which uses emission factors from DEFRA, Ministry for the Environment, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and other relevant sources.’”

Clubs using this form of assurance for their emissions, must advise ESRAG (Oceania) who are required to monitor usage and advise Toitū Envirocare annually.

 

ESRAG Rotary Club Carbon Calculator (Oceania)

Input Collection Form instructions

The Input Collection Form has been designed to assist in gathering the information required for input into the Rotary Carbon Calculator.

In order to minimise the administrative time spent on gathering data, conservative estimates maybe used, and in some instances, defaults are provided.

The primary purpose of the calculator is to enable clubs to estimate their emissions, to arrive at the estimated tonnes of CO2e generated by Club meetings, Events and Projects.  For most Rotary Clubs this is likely to be between 5 and 10 tonnes and will be only an estimate so a high degree of accuracy in filling out the Form is not required.

The Input Collection Form cannot be filled in on-line.  So, the first step is to print off the form found on the ESRAG Oceania website.  The following aim to assist you in filling out the form:

 

Identification

The name of the Club, and the period for which data is being captured should be filled in. The state in your country is also required to enable identification of the appropriate energy emission factors to be applied.

 

Meetings, events and projects

Identify all significant sources of emissions. These will typically be Regular meetings, Committee meetings, events and projects (the calculator can handle up to six in one document). These should be named and entered as headings in the columns of the input form (the existing wording can be replaced).

 

Average no of attendees

Estimate the average number of attendees per meeting for each event type during the period. This may be estimated if actual records have not been kept or if you are planning ahead

 

Room size and duration

Estimate the room size for the events – if actual room size is not readily available, estimate it based on 4 sqmtrs per attendee. Duration of each meeting expressed in hours (eg. 1.75).

Meals

Estimate the average number of meals of each category for each event or averaged over the year. For example allocate the number of meals for the average attendees at each meeting, between beef, lamb, poultry, fish and vegetarian over the year. ie if say 50 meals are served to the average number of attendees, and typically one half are beef based and half are fish, allocate 25 to beef and 25 to fish.

The number of meals should usually total the average number of attendees.

If a dessert is served the number of desserts served should be included separately. (The factor for finger food will be applied).

If an entrée is served the number of entrées served should be included. (The emissions will be estimated separately).

The finger food category should be used for meetings in which snack food or where continental breakfasts are served.

Hot beverages

Estimate the average number of hot beverages (tea, coffee etc) per meeting. (The factor for coffee with milk will be applied).

Drinks

Estimate the average number of drinks consumed (wine, beer, soft drinks etc). The factor for a glass of wine will be applied.

Waste

The default factor for waste is 0.5kg per attendee for each of paper and plastic. If waste in either of these categories is significantly from this enter 0 or the estimated weight if applicable.

Accommodation

Enter the number of attendee days for each meeting for those staying in hotel accommodation.

No of meetings

Enter the number of meetings held during the period. This will be used to gross up the emissions for the period.

Travel

The distance travelled by all attendees should be estimated. This information can be obtained from members who typically attend meetings, by phone, email or survey.  There are separate Forms for alternative approaches to assist in recording the information.  There is a simple version and a more detailed version.  Information for these forms can be obtained from a representative sample of members, in whatever way is most appropriate for your club.

The simple version does not require vehicle type or mode of public transport to be specified, as a medium petrol car will be assumed. It calculates the kms for a representative sample of regular attendees, based on the average return trip allocated between Car and Public Transport. If some members car share, and are passengers, they should be included in the appropriate column as 1.  The average kms per attendee should then be calculated, and this can then be multiplied by the average number of attendees to give the total kms travelled by all attendees attending the meeting.

If more accurate information is required, a larger sample of attendees can be used, which allows for distance travelled by all the categories of car and public transport for which emission factors can be assigned.

Air Travel

It is suggested that if air travel is involved provide details of the origin and destination airports, number of trips, and whether return. This will enable the distance travelled to be estimated, and the kgCO2e will be calculated.

Other

If there are other emissions which are not provided for above, they should be specified and the estimated kgCO2e entered in the section entitled other.

CO2 Calculator FAQs

CO2 Calculator FAQS

FAQ:  How much Carbon dioxide is being emitted in your Club Meetings ?

Rotarians, Rotary Club meetings and Rotary projects all result in carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to greenhouse gases driving climate change.

The ESRAG Carbon Calculator has been developed for the Oceania region to enable Clubs to estimate the impact of their normal Meetings and Projects. 

FAQ:  How can I reduce the Carbon Footprint of my Club’s activities ?

Attending and running Rotary Club meetings and in carrying out most of the projects that we do will result in carbon emissions.  However,there are smarter ways to continue doing these important activities that have lower emissions.  Once you have estimated your Club’s carbon footprint start working oh how you can reduce these emissions without affecting the quality of your activities.

FAQ:  How can I offset my Club’s carbon emissions ?

Even after you have reduced the carbon footprint of your Club meetings and projects some footprint is likely to remain.  You might like to reduce your carbon footprint to zero or even go further.  It is possible to support a carbon sequestration project using public, commercial or even Rotary activities.

Additional documentation.

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