You Can't Manage What you Can't Measure
Climate change is increasingly becoming an issue of critical
importance to business. Many companies are seeking to manage their
exposure to climate risks and realise the growing opportunities
through developing a strategic carbon management strategy.
The first step in managing carbon emissions is to develop a
greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory to measure your carbon footprint. A
carbon footprint is the total set of GHG emissions caused directly
and indirectly by your business. Understanding your carbon
footprint will help identify the major sources of GHG emissions,
and assist in their management and reduction over time. With the
ability to measure emissions by developing a GHG inventory, you
will play a critical role in promoting sustainability for your
Globally, 3,000 organizations in 60 countries voluntarily
measure and disclose their greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and
climate change strategies through the Carbon
Disclosure Project (CDP).
The largest North American Provinces and States have established
climate-risk management programs. California has announced a GHG
cap-and-trade program. The program is a central element of
California's Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32) and
covers major sources of GHG emissions in the State such as
refineries, power plants, industrial facilities, and transportation
fuels. The regulation includes an enforceable GHG cap that
will decline over time.
In 2009 the Ontario (Canada) Ministry of the Environment (MOE)
filed O. Reg. 452/09 -
the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Regulation,
under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA). The regulation
was accompanied by guidelines regarding GHG reporting requirements.
The regulation went into effect on January 1, 2010.
Ontario has also announced that the Ministry will develop a
program to encourage voluntary reporting. This is in anticipation
of inclusion of many emitters in future emerging North America-wide
requirements, with which Ontario will likely align.
Internationally, as more organizations and countries, including
Mexico in April of 2012, move toward regulation of GHG emissions,
thousands of carbon-intensive facilities in each of those countries
will be required to measure and report their carbon footprint.