The recent climate summit organised by President Joe Biden was an opportunity to communicate to the world the commitment of the USA to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50-52% by 2030, thus cancelling the image of a country that adopted retrograde conservative positions on climate change until just a few months ago.
A commitment that goes hand in hand with the European commitment to cut emissions by 55%, again by 2030. It is hard not to see in these numbers the phase of profound transformation that our society and economy is destined to undergo in this decade. An epochal change that companies will have to face by moving between the inevitable evolution of mandatory legislation destined to be increasingly demanding and the opportunities that will open up to those willing to promptly adopt voluntary tools that the market will recognise in a rewarding way.
Let’s take the example of the quantification of an organisation’s GHG emissions. This has already been introduced as an obligation in France with the Grenelle 2 law, the logic of which is about to be implemented at EU level with the revision of the NFRD directive, but for many companies it has already become a pressing request from their main customers.
We are thus called to adopt UNI EN ISO 14064-1, the internationally recognised reference for the calculation of an organisation’s GHG emissions. Emissions that must be understood in an extended responsibility perspective, not limited to the direct ones of GHG, released by the chimneys within the boundaries of one’s own company. To these, known as Scope 1 emissions, must be added the indirect ones generated in the remote production of electricity consumed by one’s company (Scope 2), and potentially all other indirect GHG emissions (Scope 3).
The recent 2018 revision of UNI EN ISO 14064-1 introduced further details in the GHG emissions of a company, dividing the 3 Scopes indicated above into 6 Categories.
In order to establish major credibility at market level to own GHG inventories, often also called Carbon Footprint of Organisations (CFO), it is also possible to submit them to an accredited third-party verification and even register them on Carbon Footprint Italy, the national register of companies that have started a carbon management process.
GSC Group SpA, a company that produces chemical and auxiliary products for tanneries and that has made the CFO’s data visible to all its customers is one of these.
The identification of the most significant points where GHG emissions are generated is the natural evolution of this path in order to identify where to more effective direct one’s own efforts to reduce emissions. This is the best way to respond to the pressing, even if not yet binding, customer requests, before they become binding obligations by the Commission and the European national governments, which in turn are committed to involving the social and economic fabric to halve GHG emissions by 2030, signed with the Green Deal.
edited by Daniele Pernigotti
CEN: The European Committee for Standardisation. It has a Technical Committee (CEN/TC 467) dedicated to climate change.
CFO: Carbon Footprint of Organisations. Also known as the organisation’s GHG inventory, it is the sum of GHG emissions generated with a view to extended responsibility along the supply chain.
GHG: Greenhouse gas. Carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N20), as well as a number of other synthesis gases are examples of GHG.
ISO: International organisation for standardisation based in Geneva. It is structured in numerous Technical Committees (TC 207 manages environmental management regulations) and the various national standardisation bodies participate in it, UNI for Italy.
NFRD: Non-Financial Reporting Directive. Directive dedicated to non-financial reporting which includes information on GHG emissions. Currently under review.
SBTi: Science Based Target initiative. Volunteer programme dedicated to companies interested in adopting targets for reducing their GHG emissions in line with the Paris objectives.
UNI: Ente di normazione italiano. (Italian standardisation body) It has a working group (CT 4/GL 15) dedicated to climate change.
Aequilibria Srl is a leading international consulting firm on carbon management, also confirmed by the recent appointment of its Sole Director, Daniele Pernigotti, as coordinator of the CEN European Technical Committee on climate change (CEN/TC 467), which is also leader of UNI’s homonymous national group and of many other groups at ISO level.
Representing Italy in the ISO group that developed ISO 14064-1 has led to a deep knowledge of the standard also in more detailed interpretative aspects, to which adds Aequilibria’s extensive experience in the implementation of this tool in companies, with a particular focus along the entire leather supply chain.
Aequilibria has also gained important experience in the implementation of SBTi, the main internationally recognised tool for companies interested in defining GHG emission reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement, even if currently adopted only by a few dozens of companies in Italy.
For further information please visit our website www.aequilibria.com