Emissions Reduction: Why Tracking Emissions is Key to Success
October 3, 2022
Why Track Your Emissions?
With climate change impacts continuing to impact us all, many governments, businesses, and other organizations are taking the steps to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This includes emission trading programs (voluntary or required), carbon or energy taxes, net-zero targets, and regulations and standards on emissions and energy efficiency. As a result of this, it is crucial for companies to understand their emissions to stay on top of any future climate policies.
Tracking emissions from operational activities leads to a better understanding of where your emissions are coming from and how much environmental impact they’re having. Sources such as energy consumption, employee commuting, business travel, and purchased products to name a few are all measurable and when put into a comprehensive GHG Inventory, it gives you an understanding and breakdown of each source and can identify where to focus your reduction efforts. Preparing a GHG inventory report can help to track and monitor emissions. Green Economy London follows the guidance from the GHG Protocol Corporate Standard by the World Business Institute as it represents the best practice of reporting. As stated in the Standard, corporate GHG inventories can:
- Manage GHG risks and identifying reduction opportunities;
- Public reporting and participation in voluntary GHG programs;
- Participating in mandatory reporting programs;
- Participating in GHG markets;
- Recognition for early voluntary action.
City of London Climate Emergency Action Plan
In April 2022, the City of London released the Climate Emergency Action Plan outlining the new net-zero by 2050 targets, resiliency measures, and how to engage all Londoners with climate action.
The community-wide action plans to achieve these main goals:
- Net-zero community GHG emissions by 2050
- Improved resilience to climate change impacts
- Bring everyone along (e.g. individuals, households, businesses, neighbourhoods)
Businesses in London can follow the lead taken by the City to track their emissions and set sustainability targets.
There are direct and indirect emissions for operations that companies need to define when tracking emissions. Businesses are required to report scope 1 direct GHG emissions in their inventory. These emissions occur from sources that are owned or controlled by the company. These typical sources include natural gas, heating, refrigerants, and fire suppressions. The indirect scope 2 emissions to report are emissions from the generation of purchased electricity or steam by your company. These emissions physically occur at the facility where electricity is generated. Scope 3, other indirect emissions are optional to report. These emissions are all other emissions that are linked to your business’s operations. These sources can include waste, employee commuting, electronics, business travel, and investments.
Establishing a Baseline
A baseline year is a reference point in the past to compare your future years’ emissions against it. Establishing a baseline year will be the point in time from which you set a GHG reduction target. It should be a year that has reliable and complete data and reflects your organization’s ‘business as usual’ activities.
How can we help?
Green Economy London will support your business to track and reduce GHG emissions by collecting and analyzing consumption data to give you a breakdown of emissions sources year after year, establishing baseline data and then set reduction targets and monitor progress. We want your business to achieve sustainability targets and reduce emissions so we encourage, celebrate and recognize measurable progress.
Join the network of businesses that are driving information in the low-carbon economy and reach out firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how we can help your business track emissions.
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