Enterprises looking to calculate their carbon footprint have been offered a helping hand by British software company, Access Accounting. The company has incorporated a tool within its accounting package that will enable enterprises to assess the carbon footprint of individual users or departments within the company.

Stuart Allsop, Access’s director of innovation, said the software would be able to calculate factors such as the number of carbon emissions used up by salespeople on the road or by executives flying on business trips.

"All the data has been provided to us by DEFRA (the department for environment, food and rural affairs) and supports industry-standard GHG (green house gas) protocols. There is no requirement for the user to do anything as all the data is provided as automatically."

He added that the software would also indicate the power consumed by individual departments but said that if there were no individual bills for each business unit, then the values for each unit – the percentage of power used up – would have to be assigned manually to calculate the impact.

The software could be used to check actual number of carbon emissions against the projected volume, and could also be used to identify the worst offenders within an organisation.

"In our company, we discovered that the individual with the highest carbon footprint wasn’t one of the salespeople out on the road the whole time, but the CFO, thanks to two flights to our Dublin office every month." By having such information to hand, companies would be able to assess their environmental impact much more accurately.

However, the software will not be released separately but is only available as part of Access’s accounting package, Access Dimensions; it will however be a free-of-charge add-on.