Taking Action on Climate Change with Greenhouse Gas Inventories
October 27, 2014 - Kestrel Management • dynaQ
With the rise in energy costs, recent and pending government action on climate change issues, and the global concern over greenhouse gas (GHG), many organizations are faced with an uncertain future related to the long-term impacts these issues will have on their bottom lines and future growth opportunities.
Energy use and GHGs are intrinsically linked. Conducting a baseline GHG inventory can help to estimate the financial impact of new legislation and to develop a company’s strategy for managing GHGs and potential regulatory requirements. A management system approach to energy use and GHG management further helps to organize information and responsibilities, while ensuring that these issues are properly addressed.
Case Study: Getting Ahead of the Curve
For a large tool manufacturer, simple compliance and facility/process management is not enough where air quality is concerned. The company is not only reducing its emissions, it is also committed to designing, manufacturing, and marketing products that detect, prevent, mitigate, and remedy air pollution from mobile sources.
As part of its efforts to maintain a record of continuous environmental improvement, the company undertook an initiative with Kestrel to create a complete inventory program to track its GHG source emissions at its manufacturing locations across the globe.
Kestrel modified its web-based dyanQ™ software into an application designed specifically to help this company collect, track, and manage its GHG emission source data. Development occurred in three phases:
- Phase 1: Inventory and System Design. Kestrel conducted a series of design sessions for application development, inventory program development, GHG research, and facility-related data.
- Phase 2: Inventory Deployment. Kestrel collected GHG emissions data back to 2008 and entered it into the newly designed system, involving company personnel from critical departments to ensure the complete integration of purchasing, engineering, accounting, and EHS.
- Phase 3: Inventory Implementation. Kestrel worked with corporate staff to install and test the inventory system to ensure that all facets of the application are in working order.
The database takes into account all fuel sources across the company: direct combustion (from the facility), direct mobile, indirect facility, and hours worked. Facility staff is able to pull data from utility usage reports and enter the figures into the system. Kestrel has built in equations that convert reported figures to metric tons of CO2 emitted. This allows the company to see what kind of emissions they have across the company based on energy usage.
Kestrel’s GHG inventory system is providing a number of benefits:
- It is consistent with accepted GHG inventory methods.
- It is readily useable and intuitive to company employees with a role in the inventory development.
- It gives the company the ability to track usage and emission trends over time.
- It provides a way to evaluate the impacts of plant renovations, production changes, etc. on emissions.
- It establishes the GHG tracking and documentation that would be essential to participate in any sort of voluntary or mandated carbon credit/cap-and-trade system.
- It creates a good baseline of GHG data that will help not only with environmental protection but also with strategic business planning for the future.
Submitted by: Joseph Kunes