MTN Carbon Footprint Article

Development of Carbon Footprint system used for Green House Gas inventory and emmisions reporting

Compiled by: WWISE Engineers

Muhammad Ali (MSC Industrial & Systems Engineer)
Noor Ahmad (BSC Electro-Mechanical Engineer)

WORLD WIDE INDUSTRIAL & SYSTEMS ENGINEERS (WWISE) is a well established Business Management consulting company which was established in January 2008. Our services and products are provided to a variety of organisations in the Telecommunications, Engineering, Software Systems Mining, Construction, Government, Service and Production sectors. Having extensive experience and knowledge in the fields of Industrial and Systems Engineering, covering areas of Business Solutions, Safety, Health, Environment, and Quality & Project Management.

WWISE a consultancy/training business that focuses on improving the efficiency and effectiveness of businesses processes using various technological advancements and International standards that allow our clients to compete with the international market. Our intellectual property and high level of experience in the business world will ensure success, in a market that requires professional consultancy services. We build systems, fix, maintain and improve them. We know that each Management System is unique and for it to be effective, the system must be aligned with the type of business, its products and services as well as business objectives.

We provide a high quality service in creating Safety, Health, Environment, Quality Management systems individually or integrate the principals into a simpler Integrated Management System that shows the clear direction of a company with defined policies, processes, procedures and continuous improvement tools. We develop systems to allow companies to be certified to ISO 9001; 14001; 22000; 31000, OHSAS 18001 and TS 16949. We ensure the value added benefit is met by electronically controlling all business processes. We recently added ISO 14064/ 65 systems to develop a carbon footprint system of MTN SA. The system is electronic and built on ASP.NET. WWISE offers a wide variety of custom built systems that are developed on ASP.NET and PHP platforms.

We hope to establish a faithful customer base by providing excellent and effective service. To survive in an industry that is already saturated with many consultant businesses, WWISE has the challenge of differentiating its services against competitors. This means focusing on outstanding customer service with high-quality results that leads to a customer’s loyalty and always providing an on-going after sales service and maintenance of their systems.

Carbon footprint is defined as the potential climate impact of the greenhouse gases that are emitted directly or indirectly due to an individual or business’s activities.  For example, the combustion of fuel used to drive a car, heat a home, or fly a jet produces greenhouse gas emissions that could be calculated as part of an individual’s carbon footprint. A greenhouse gas (GHG) is a gas in the atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. However, since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the burning of fossil fuels has contributed to the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

The global warming potential (GWP) is a definition that states that all GHG are measured relative to the same mass of CO2 and evaluated for a specific timescale. GHG emissions contribute to “Global Warming”, a phenomenon related to the increase in earths total average temperature and its effects on the climate.

The ISO 14064 standards (published in 2006 and early 2007) are the most recent additions to the ISO 14000 series of international standards for environmental management [4]. The ISO 14064 standards provide governments, businesses, regions and other organisations with an integrated set of tools for programs aimed at measuring, quantifying and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

These standards allow organisations take part in emissions trading schemes using a globally recognised standard. Advantages of following ISO standards are:

  • Ensures the credibility, consistency, and transparency of GHG accounting and reporting;
  • Increases investor confidence.
  • Facilitates the certification and trade of GHG emission reductions or removal enhancements.
  • Facilitates the development and implementation of organisation GHG management strategies and plans.
  • Allows entities to track performance and progress in the reduction of GHG emissions and/or increase in GHG removals.
  • Assists in the identification of GHG risks or liabilities.
  • Increase cost savings through reduced energy and resources consumption.
  • Enhance corporate image as an eco-friendly organisation.

GHG emissions fall into three categories: Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3[1].

Scope 1

Scope 1 emissions are known as direct GHG emissions. Scope 1 emissions comprises of sources that are owned or controlled by an organisation. Direct emissions include fleet vehicles, power generation, fuel combustion, fire suppression and refrigerant use.

Scope 2

Scope 2 emissions are known as Energy Indirect GHG emissions. Scope 2 emissions are associated with the consumption of electricity at an organisation.

Scope 3

Scope 3 covers emissions that do not fall under scope 1 and 2. Scope 3 emission sources include franchises, employee Business travel, Vehicle rental, outsourced activities and waste disposal.


A greenhouse gas inventory is a calculation of the greenhouse gases emitted due to an individual or business’s activities. An inventory is the first step to addressing climate changes, saving money and energy, and establishing your sustainability leadership. A greenhouse gas inventory is an accounting of greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted to or removed from the atmosphere over a period of time [2]. Policy makers use inventories to establish a baseline for tracking emission trends, developing mitigation strategies and policies, and assessing progress. An inventory is usually the first step taken by entities that want to reduce their GHG emissions. A greenhouse gas emissions inventory gives your business a detailed understanding of its community’s GHG contribution to climate change and provides a benchmark for planning and monitoring progress with emissions-reduction initiatives.

Organisations exercise direct control over their own operations and can lead by example by reducing energy usage, using alternative fuels for their fleets, and investing in renewable energy sources [5]. Each business is unique and each has its own set of opportunities, challenges, and solutions.

The primary type of data needed to quantify GHG emissions within each sector is a time series of basic activity data and emission factors for each sector. There are two approaches for collecting activity data: “top down” and “bottom up.” [3]

  • Top-down inventories rely on data collected and aggregated by state, national, and international agencies.
  • Inventories that use a bottom-up approach generally collect and aggregate data from local end users, such as utilities. Since local government inventories have a smaller geographic and operational scope than other types of inventories, they often take a bottom-up approach.

The benefits of having a GHG inventory include [2]:

  • Fiscal benefits :  Developing climate and energy strategies can help Businesses slash energy costs and save taxpayer dollars. Conducting a GHG emissions inventory will show you exactly where energy is being wasted and identify opportunities to become more efficient.
  • Climate leadership :  By taking action now to address climate change, Businesses can be recognized for their leadership on climate and energy issues.
  • Community benefits :  Measures to reduce GHG emissions and energy consumption typically have many co-benefits. They can improve air quality and public health, stimulate the local economy, create green jobs, and make communities more liveable and environmental friendly.
  • Regulatory awareness :  Although the State government has yet to produce legislation addressing GHG emissions, a variety of actions at the state and regional levels specifically impact local businesses. Taking action now will help an organisation prepare for any future legislative requirements.


GHG inventory procedure

The diagram shows the steps required for a successful and accurate GHG inventory [1].

Organisational approach refers to those assets which fall within the inventory boundary of a company and the way in which the GHG emissions from those assets are accounted for. Operational Control boundaries refer to the scope of the emissions that are included in the boundary, in particular emissions that are not from a company’s assets, but which may occur as a result of the operation of its asset [4].Under the equity share approach, a Partner accounts for GHG emissions from operations according to its share of equity in the operation. The equity share reflects economic interest, which is the extent of rights a company has to the risks and rewards flowing from an operation.

Typically, the share of economic risks and rewards in an operation is aligned with the company’s percentage ownership of that operation, and equity share will normally be the same as the ownership percentage. Stakeholders should decide on the approach that leads to accurate GHG emissions inventory and reporting.

With the new Tax Laws from the World Environmental Conference, it was noted that MTN SA pay R100 million on electricity and the SA government shall be taxing MTN on the amount. It is imperative for MTN to justify their electrici ty consumption and calculate their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, as this factor and figure is what MTN SA shall be paying tax on. WWISE was commissioned by MTN-SA to develop a web based Carbon Footprint (CFP) system.

Gap Analysis

What is a Gap Analysis?

Gap analysis is used to examine expected and current business practices. Essentially, it shows the difference between where the company is and where it wants to be. Gap analysis requires a lot of data on expected standards and benchmarks as well as current reports on business statistics and output. Gap analysis can be used in many branches, but it is common in sales and customer service. In sales, leaders can pinpoint where they want their sales to be and where their sales currently are. Gap analysis helps them find out why the two are not the same. In customer service, gap analysis shows the difference between what customers expect and what they think about the service they are getting.

Gap analysis, when used correctly, can be applied to a wide variety of situations where a business wants to improve. It is especially important for business leaders that want to make plans months and years into the future. It allows teams to quickly diagnose problems and create ways to solve those problems through integral changes in business practices. At times the gap analysis can be very vague. It explores the nebulous area between goals and current abilities, and requires very exact data measurement to be useful. People must be willing to explore and choose solutions to bridge the gap, and companies must be willing to implement these changes.

MTN Analysis

The engineers at WWISE began the 7 step GHG inventory procedure. Starting with the gap analysis, MTN SA’s organisational structure was broken into 4 major Business groups and 12 Business Units.

The gap analysis indicates that though MTN SA does produce the required information to populate the spreadsheet developed by MTN Group, there is no system that allows it to be done in an efficient and effective manner that would enable it to be used to improve MTN SA’s environmental performance and reduce its energy costs and carbon related liabilities, or to market the reduction initiatives to further improve its reputation. The results from the gap analysis indicate:

  • Defining the Organisational and operational boundaries.
  • Procedures detailing how emission quantification is undertaken should be developed.
  • Procedures for all processes used to collect data feeding into the carbon footprint should be developed.
  • Quality standards (ISO 14064) for the carbon footprint should be established once the assessment has been done.
  • A monthly report on the carbon footprint should be developed.
  • Once the carbon footprint system has been designed and procedures are written, a formal training programme supporting its implementation should be developed.

WWISE Scope of work: CFP Reporting System for MTN SA

With the new Tax Laws from the World Environmental Conference, it was noted that MTN SA pay R100 million on electricity and the SA government shall be taxing MTN on the amount. It is imperative for MTN to justify their electricity consumption and calculate their Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, as this factor and figure is what MTN SA shall be paying tax on. WWISE was commissioned by MTN-SA to develop a web based Carbon Footprint (CFP) system.

Summary of CFP system

The carbon footprint (CFP) system is developed for reporting to MTN SA on the following:

  • GHG Emissions (TCO2e)
  • Energy consumption (kwh)
  • Bill of verification (Invoices)

Data was collected from the finance department and the engineering department to create an inventory list. The inventory list comprised of 6 categories:

  • Electricity (kwh)
  • Petrol (L)
  • Diesel (L)
  • Refrigerant (kg)
  • Natural gas (kg)
  • LPG (kg)

Data was used to calculate the GHG emissions, by tying up and verifying each invoice to the calculation to justify the emission. The system allows MTN to make decisions and observe which business unit is consuming more electricity and verify by means of an audit.

Reporting: CFP System

Figure 2 and 3 bellow is snap shots taken for the CFP system. The system is still being populated with more data and improvements are being carried out on the systems functionality, making it accurate and user friendly. Figure 3 shows the reporting structure for the system. The report shows the consumption of 6 categories in the inventory, their respective GHG emissions and the type of scope they fall under. The CFP system is summarised as following:

  • Data Entry

The activity data (consumption) for the 6 categories was collected from the Finance Department. The CFP system allows data to be imported from excel sheets. The system also accommodates manual entry of data.

  • Data Categorization

The activity data is grouped together in 6 categories. It is then categorized in terms of the type of scope emissions. Figure 3 shows the 6 categories and the type of scope emissions they falls under.

  • Data Reporting

The system reports on the GHG emissions (Tonnes of Carbon dioxide equivalent, TCO2e) for the 6 categories, on a monthly base. The results are indicated by Pie charts and bar graphs. GHG emissions report is further broken into Regions (Province, state, city) and months. This allows MTN SA to monitor its GHG emissions in different regions, on a monthly base. The results of GHG emissions are used to develop an Energy management system (ISO 50000), which assists in developing energy strategies to help MTN SA to slash energy costs.

Furthermore, the results from the CFP system are used to develop GHG mitigation strategies, which address climate change, recognising MTN SA’s responsibilities towards climate and energy issues.

  • Greenhouse gas protocol:

  • US EPA. A Program Guide for Climate Leaders. October 2006:

  • US EPA. A Program Guide for Climate Leaders. October 2006:

  • 2011 Guidelines to Defra/DECC’s GHG Conversion Factors for Company


  • ISO 14064- Green house gases, Specification with guidance at the organisation level for quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and removals.
  • ISO 50000- Management System for Energy.