chapter  14
8 Pages

Other Indirect Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

While the food supply chain is by far the most important source of indirectemissions of greenhouse gases, other sources should not be neglected. For mostof us, the next most important source of indirect emissions is the workplace. THE WORKPLACE

According the Carbon Trust, the average office creates about 131kg of carbon dioxide per square metre each year. This includes gas or oil for heating and electricity for office machinery and air-conditioning. Typically, offices allocate 10 to 12 square metres of space per person, meaning a figure of about 1.3 to 1.5 tonnes for each employee. Poor performers might be as high as 4 tonnes. The Guardian’s office building, for example, has a figure of about 400kg per square metre, and although the work practices in newspapers – such as the need to labour well into the night – mean high emissions, this performance is extraordinarily bad.247 Per occupant, the average office building uses more electricity than the typical home, even though our home might give us typically eight times as much space. The Carbon Trust suggests that the average office building uses about 226kWh of electric power per year per square metre of space.248 For a person with about 10 square metres to work in, this means emissions of about 1 tonne just from electricity. However, even the worst offices, such as the Guardian’s, still use less electricity than a typical UK supermarket.