Climate change is increasingly becoming an issue of critical importance to business. Many companies are seeking to manage their exposure to climate risks and realize the growing opportunities through developing a 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 company.
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.
Did you know?
Ontario’s Regulation for Public Agencies
Regulation 397/11 under the Green Energy Act came into force January 1, 2012 requiring public agencies to report their annual energy use and GHG emissions to the Ministry of Energy by July 1, 2013. In addition, public agencies will need to develop five-year energy conservation and demand management (CDM) plans by July 1, 2014. Public agencies must make their annual energy reports and five-year energy CDM plans publically available on their websites and in hard copy.
The regulation effects public agencies:
- municipal service boards (for water/sewage pumping and treatment operations)
- school boards