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Carbon Trust targets employees with new online green tool

Green business news - by GreenWise staff
5th January 2012
The Carbon Trust has launched a new online interactive tool to get individual employees to save energy and cut waste in the workplace.
'Carbon Trust Empower’ is new piece of software developed by the Carbon Trust to help companies cut their carbon emissions through energy and resource efficiency. It is being launched in response to the massive savings in energy and waste the Carbon Trust estimates employee can bring to bear within an organisation, if targeted effectively.

Research by the not-for-profit body has shown that the online tool has the potential to save a typical small business over 15 per cent off their energy bill or more than £600,000 a year. Larger organisations could make even greater savings, according to the Carbon Trust, which said Whitbread and Oxford City Council were among the first to sign up to the tool.

"Companies often struggle to harness the huge energy savings that an effectively engaged workforce can help deliver," Richard Rugg, director of Carbon Trust Programmes, said. "Part of the problem employers face is making actions practical, fun and sustained. By creating a virtual tour entirely from an employee’s viewpoint, every aspect of Empower has been designed with the end-user in mind."

How the tool works
The online tool takes employees on an interactive animated tour of a typical workplace, provide workplace facts and enabling them to explore energy saving opportunities throughout their office. First, employees are shown options on how they arrive for work, with a choice to join a company carpool or travel by public transport. They then are taken to their workspace, where they can commit to switch off their PC when not in use, print double-sided, and teleconference rather than travel. The virtual journey also helps staff cut energy waste in other parts of the office, such as the reception area, kitchen, corridors and toilets, the Carbon Trust said.

Office managers can also use Empower to view the sum of their employees’ individual energy savings. According to the Carbon Trust, by using the software individual employee’s can cut their carbon emissions by 220 kilogrammes of CO2 – equivalent to heating the average household for a month.

Learning platform
Commenting on the tool, Chris George, head of Energy and Environment, Whitbread Hotels & Restaurants, said: "We believe that Empower is a strong learning platform which will help our teams to understand how we can work together to reduce energy consumption within our portfolio of buildings in the UK. It is a straightforward and user-friendly tool, which is easily accessible online and may lead to tonnes of CO2 emissions being saved across our business.

It also demonstrates that as we save energy, we also save money, bringing real commercial benefits to the bottom line."

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Carbon Trust targets employees with new online green tool
Carbon Trust Empower takes employees on an interactive animated tour of a typical workplace (© Viorel Dudau |
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