The IFMA Foundation announced the release of "Carbon Footprint," a free publication in the "Sustainability 'How-to' Guide Series" offering facility mangers a comprehensive approach to understanding greenhouse gas emission accounting, reporting and minimization.

Carbon has become the currency of the sustainability movement, impacting energy management, waste handling, air quality, environmental stewardship and a host of other sustainability issues. In the U.S., about 40 percent of carbon emissions can be attributed to the construction, operation and maintenance of buildings — a fact that places much of the responsibility for carbon footprint management on facility professionals.

Because energy usage is usually the largest portion of a building's operational cost, the drive to make buildings more energy efficient directly aligns with the desire to reduce the carbon footprint. As stewards of the built environment, facility managers are in a unique position to measure, monitor and reduce building- and workplace-related carbon emissions.

"Carbon Footprint" provides facility professionals with the tools they need to understand the carbon footprinting process, analyze their results and plan for the future of their organizations.

The publication is divided into six unique sections that cover topics including:
• What is a carbon footprint?;
• The role of the facility manager;
• Calculating greenhouse gas inventory;
• Analyzing the results;
• Best practices and benchmarking;
• Setting goals for reduction (climate action planning);
• Making the business case (cost savings, tangible and intangible benefits); and
• Case studies.

The guide was written by Sharon Jaye, D.Ed., CAPM, SFP, assistant director of facilities at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, Ga. She has a bachelor's degree in business administration from Clayton State University, a master's degree in project management from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and a doctorate of education in educational leadership from Argosy University.

"With changing regulations in the environmental field, carbon footprinting is becoming increasingly more important to organizations and facility management professionals alike," said Jaye. "My hope is that this guide demystifies the process for facility managers and makes it easier for them to save money for their organizations and reduce the environmental impact of their carbon footprint in the process."

"Carbon Footprint" is available online free of charge. In total, 13 publications from the "Sustainability 'How-to' Guide Series" are available online. The IFMA Foundation produced the guide in partnership with the Atlanta Chapter of IFMA and the IFMA Sustainability Committee.