Leeds-based direct mail specialist Gecko has integrated carbon emission and offsetting calculations from CarbonQuota into its Tharstern MIS in order to provide carbon footprint information and offsetting options to its clients.

CarbonQuota offers automated carbon footprint analysis software and it was during discussions with them that it occurred to Gecko managing director Chris Bottomley to consider integrating that data with the MIS.

‘I asked CarbonQuota to calculate the footprint of two jobs we had just produced for a key client in the insurance sector. The results of that were a real eye-opener and led to the idea of adding the carbon footprint calculation to our quote letters, along with optional costs for offsetting it,’ he explained.

Mr Bottomley introduced CarbonQuota to Tharstern so that they could jointly work on integrating the two systems. CarbonQuota worked first with the Gecko team to make an accurate assessment of the carbon footprint of its operation, determining how much carbon emission was associated with each individual process. This data was then uploaded into the Tharstern MIS to enable CarbonQuota to apply unique ‘carbon emissions factors’ into every stage of the print process, including distribution and end-of-life wastage, along with paper, other consumables and production processes. CarbonQuota also provided a lifecycle carbon impact assessment for every job calculated to various international standards, including GHG Protocol, PAS2056/60 and ISO14064.

Gecko now uses the system to provide clients with accurate information about the carbon footprint of each print job. ‘We decided to offer our clients the opportunity to not only calculate the carbon footprint of their jobs, but to give them the chance to offset it too,’ added Mr Bottomley. Gecko contributes to three offsetting projects, Tropical Mix in Panama, Pacajai REDD Project in Brazil and Wind Project in Gujarat, India.

‘Carbon accounting is becoming as mainstream as cost accounting,’ commented Dominic Harris, co-founder of CarbonQuota. ‘With many of the world’s organisations making pledges to be Net Zero, the need for scientific measurement and detailed reporting of print is often a pre-requisite for doing business with these organisations. So, print service providers who want to be included in these supply chains will have to be able to provide details of their own carbon footprint.’