Measurement

GHG Emissions Changes: Redrawing baselines

Read the full post at Environmental Leader.

Greenhouse gases (GHG) can be measured by recording emissions at source by estimating the amount emitted using active data and applying relevant conversion factors. These conversion factors allow organizations to calculate GHG emissions from a range of activities. Accurate greenhouse gas reporting is a key deliverable of any sustainability software. A significant part of this challenge is to ensure that the appropriate conversion factors are in place and being applied to energy expenditures correctly. With recent changes to how the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) calculate CO2 emissions, the potential exists for companies in the UK to experience significant shifts in both individual emission factors and overall Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. These changes have been published as part of DEFRA’s greenhouse gas conversion factors for company reporting: methodology paper for emission factors which reviewed the format and content of GHG conversion factors.

GSA’s “Green Button” to Save Energy Costs Across Federal Government

The head of the General Services Administration, Dan Tangherlini, announced today that GSA will use Green Button technology to save energy and shrink costs across the federal government. The agency launched this initiative in partnership with industry leaders following a 2013 Presidential memorandum directing federal agencies to strengthen efforts to use renewable energy and manage energy usage more efficiently and effectively.

What is Green Button?

  • Inspired by a White House call to action, Green Button is an industry-led effort that allows electricity customers to download their household or building energy-use data in a user-friendly format.
  • The December 2013 Presidential Memorandum set a new target for federal agencies to increase their consumption of renewable energy to 20% of their total amount of electric energy use by 2020 and instructs them to use.
  • More than 43 million household and business customers, reaching well over 100 million Americans, already have access to their Green Button data. In the future, more than 61 million customers will have access based on utility commitments.
  • GSA, along with the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, with support from the National Institute of Standards and Technology have worked with Schneider Electric, Pepco Holdings, and FirstFuel Software to launch a Green Button Pilot demonstrating integrated Green Button energy analytics. The pilot built upon earlier 2012 GSA Energy Management activities where energy management of 100 GSA buildings uncovered $16 million in total energy savings.

GSA Administrator Tangherlini said the agency is committed to supporting the President’s green goals: “Creating a more sustainable government is vital to our mission and drives the agency’s priorities.  As one of the largest real estate managers in the country, adopting Green Button technology across our real estate portfolio allows us to improve building performance and save taxpayer dollars.”

For more information on Green Button, visit http://www.greenbuttondata.org/.

WEBINAR: Mercury in Products: What the Numbers Say

Friday, June 13, 2014, 2:00 PM to 3:30 PM CDT
Register at http://www.productstewardship.us/events/event_details.asp?id=387946&group

For nearly 15 years, state governments across the U.S. have been pursuing, enacting, or implementing legislation to reduce the amount of mercury that goes into certain products, such as thermostats, auto switches, lamps, dental amalgams, and batteries. What progress has been made in these efforts? What challenges lie ahead? This webinar will explore trends in mercury use and mercury-containing product sales since 2001 using data from the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse (IMERC). IMERC, a program of the Northeast Waste Management Officials Association (NEWMOA), collects and manages data submitted by manufacturers of mercury-added products to implement the notification provisions of state mercury reduction legislation. Webinar attendees will learn what these trends in mercury use mean for product stewardship programs; how states are implementing phase-outs, labeling, sales bans, and collection plans for mercury-containing products; how to find this information on the IMERC database; and what these trends mean for the long-term management of mercury from these sources.

Management, Measurement & Metrics

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

I’m sorry to trot out the old chestnut about “what gets measured is what gets managed,” but this last week has been a trying game of numbers for me. As I head toward the weekend, I am once again forced to question the utility of so much of what we spend our time measuring.

From where we are standing today, the key questions are:

  • How do we make economic progress without destroying the natural, life-sustaining resource base necessary for that progress?
  • How do we achieve progress for all rather than progress for just a few?
  • How do we address the real issues of our time: poverty alleviation, infectious disease, famine and civil strife?

EnviroAtlas

EnviroAtlas is a collection of interactive tools and resources that allows users to explore the many benefits people receive from nature, often referred to as ecosystem services. Key components of EnviroAtlas include the following:

Though critically important to human well-being, ecosystem services are often overlooked. EnviroAtlas seeks to measure and communicate the type, quality, and extent of the goods and services that humans receive from nature so that their true value can be considered in decision-making processes.

Using EnviroAtlas, many types of users can access, view, and analyze diverse information to better understand how various decisions can affect an array of ecological and human health outcomes. EnviroAtlas is available to the public and houses a wealth of data and research.

 

ClearPath

ClearPath is an all-in-one suite of online tools to complete GHG inventories, forecasts, and climate action plans at the community-wide or government operations scale. It allows multiple users to collectively:

  • develop baseline and subsequent inventories
  • track emissions progress over time
  • forecast multiple scenarios for future emissions
  • analyze benefits of emissions reduction measures
  • visualize alternative planning scenarios
  • guidance and training at your fingertips

ClearPath is a product of ICLEI.

5 top reporting frameworks: A crash course

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

CDP, DJSI, GRI, GRESB, SASB. It’s confusing enough to know these acronyms, let alone understand how these sustainability reporting standards actually work.

CDP and DJSI are considered to be the most credible and familiar reporting frameworks by sustainability experts, according to a recent GlobeScan/SustainAbility survey. GRESB is one of the fastest growing, industry-specific standards, as well as Measurabl’s first commercial reporting solution. GRI is a household name in the CSR world and SASB soon will be one in the financial reporting world. All five frameworks provide a representation of the flavors of sustainability reporting, both industry-specific and industry-agnostic, integrated and non-integrated.

Here’s a chart to help you navigate the “who, what, how and when” of some of the world’s top reporting frameworks at a glance.

The New Math: Five part blog series

Roger Guzowski has written a four five part blog series about sustainable materials management and how that fits into greenhouse gas accounting for your organization.

  • Part 1 discusses the relationship between our stuff and its associated greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Part 2 discusses how the manufacture of stuff contributes to our carbon footprint.
  • Part 3 explains how to calculate these climate impacts using EPA’s WARM tool.
  • Part 4 shows you how to illustrate the impact of your recycling and sustainable materials management actions by using EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.
  • Part 5 discusses Scope 1,2, and 3 emissions and the importance of factoring those into your calculations.

If you want to learn more about other EPA tools for calculating greenhouse gas reductions and the environmental impact of pollution prevention activities, join the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable for a webinar on June 18.Register at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/181882663.

Kathy Davey and Natalie Hummel from U.S. EPA will provide an overview of the Pollution Prevention (P2) GHG and Cost Calculators, which are designed to capture GHG reductions and cost savings from energy conservation, green energy, stationary & mobile source fuel reduction/substitutions, water conservation, greener chemical use, and more. The speakers will provide examples and the discuss the latest updates to the calculators.

The New Math: Four part blog series

Roger Guzowski has written a four part blog series about sustainable materials management and how that fits into greenhouse gas accounting for your organization.

If you want to learn more about other EPA tools for calculating greenhouse gas reductions and the environmental impact of pollution prevention activities, join the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable for a webinar on June 18.Register at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/181882663.

Kathy Davey and Natalie Hummel from U.S. EPA will provide an overview of the Pollution Prevention (P2) GHG and Cost Calculators, which are designed to capture GHG reductions and cost savings from energy conservation, green energy, stationary & mobile source fuel reduction/substitutions, water conservation, greener chemical use, and more. The speakers will provide examples and the discuss the latest updates to the calculators.

Using EPA’s Pollution Prevention Greenhouse Gas and Cost Calculators to Measure Environmental Outcomes

Wednesday, June 18, 2014, noon-1 pm CDT 1-2 pm CDT
Register at https://www4.gotomeeting.com/register/181882663

Are you a U.S. EPA grantee, state, city, NGO, business or consultant looking to demonstrate the environmental benefits of the ground efforts in sustainability or pollution prevention?

Kathy Davey and Natalie Hummel from U.S. EPA will provide an overview of the Pollution Prevention (P2) GHG and Cost Calculators, which are designed to capture GHG reductions and cost savings from energy conservation, green energy, stationary & mobile source fuel reduction/substitutions, water conservation, greener chemical use, and more. The speakers will provide examples and the discuss the latest updates to the calculators.

This webinar is hosted by the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable (GLRPPR).