CarbonCounts™ is a shared platform specifically designed to support multiple organizations’ collaboration and management of climate and other environmental initiatives.
Examples of information it houses:
- Inventory of all projects underway and planned
- Text descriptions of each project
- Project owners, participating organizations, and organizational hierarchies
- Greenhouse gas emissions; water and energy use; waste generation; adaptation measures
- Conversion formulae and constants for each project with quantitative metrics
- Planned progress, budget, and milestones
- Scheduled progress reports over project lifetimes
- Validation history and documentation for reported progress
- Aggregation reports (graphic and tabular) that contain:
- Conversion of project metrics to common units and comparisons to goal/plan
- Derived and aggregated metrics, such as, CO2e avoided, gallons of water conserved, expenditures vs planned budget, % of milestones completed/late, kWh reduction per employee
- Summaries by types of project, responsible organizations, and common metrics
Tracking Progress and Milestones
Projects can be set up to track any type of quantitative progress or inventory measure, such as the number of hectares of forest sustainably managed, equipment retrofits, miles of dunes reinforced, energy consumption, or water use. CO2 equivalents for each input are stored in the system and used to calculate GHG emissions and reductions. For any project, milestones and schedules can be set up and tracked as well.
Transparency and Validation
Reported progress for each project, which can be augmented with notes and documentation, is routed to an authoritative reviewer. CarbonCounts™ allows assigned validators to review, approve, or reject data entered. Following acceptance, progress reporting is presented in summary and individual project output reports, accompanied by project-specific conversion methods and constants.
Adaptability and Customization
CarbonCounts™ can be readily customized for any language, frequency of reporting, alternative CO2 equivalent conversion formulae and constants, assigned user roles for data entry, reviewers, management, and administrators, as well as tabular and graphic outputs. Abt also provides research and support for organizational change needed to foster adoption, conversion calculations, and identification of mitigation and adaptation priorities.
Supporting Climate Change Initiatives Worldwide
The Government of Mexico has been using the Abt-developed CarbonCounts™ tool since 2010 to track and report progress on its 294 federal-level climate change goals. The figure above shows CO2e reduction by organization, as deployed for Mexico’s Special Commission on Climate Change.
The national government of Mexico has used CarbonCounts™ since 2010 to track its progress on 294 mitigation and adaptation goals managed by more than 25 different organizations. Mexico is now finalizing a new climate change action plan for 2012-2018 and will continue to use CarbonCounts™ for monitoring and reporting.
Mexico City, home to more than 21 million people, is now using CarbonCounts™ to track water conservation, energy savings, solid waste management, green procurement and commuter reduction in more than 2,000 city government buildings across 30 agencies. Mexico City has also adopted CarbonCounts™ to monitor and report on the city’s mitigation and adaptation actions and goals under its own Climate Change Action Plan.
The Massachusetts Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) plans for a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1990 levels by the year 2020. In 2013, Massachusetts adopted CarbonCounts™ to track its progress in reducing GHG emissions across 27 different strategies covering energy production, transportation, buildings and non-energy sectors. For the next seven years, CarbonCounts™ will measure how well the Commonwealth is meeting its 2020 goals.