Imagine carbon emissions as an iceberg. Scope 1 and 2 is what you can see above the water. Scope 3 is the hidden mass beneath.
“But holy moly, it’s big,” said Reid Cunningham, strategic development director at BAM FM, during the recent IWFM Turbulent Times Webinar – Agents of change: from net zero promises to genuine progress’ with Inenco.
Carbon Trust defines the various scopes as follows:
- Scope 1: direct emissions from an organisation’s owned or controlled sources;
- Scope 2: a company’s indirect emissions from the generation of purchased electricity, steam, heating and cooling; and
- Scope 3: all other indirect emissions that occur in a company's value chain.
To tackle Scope 3 emissions, organisations need to investigate their supply chains or place high demands on them to measure and report their own emissions. Doing so will enable organisations to more accurately calculate their total emissions.
Bethany Goodwin, senior account manager and NHS specialist at Inenco, said: “Most people are still trying to measure their carbon footprint.” So a roadmap to net zero remains beyond the reach for many. Nevertheless, streamlined energy carbon reporting is helping people establish their baseline for Scope 1 and 2 emissions. “Most of them aren't touching on Scope 3 at this point.”
It is easier for some organisations to drill down on their supply chain. Goodwin gives the NHS as an example, which has significant procurement power and has set out its expectations of its supply chain. “They will stop buying from suppliers who are not aligned to its net zero goals. They will rank their suppliers in terms of how good they are. They have the power to do that because they are a huge purchaser. It’s much more difficult for an independent private organisation to expect that of their supply chain although they should be working with them collaboratively to do it.”
Although the task may be more challenging for private sector organisations, collaboration remains a key buzzword and absolutely necessary if anyone is to reach their net zero targets, said Stuart Wright, operations and net zero delivery director at Aviva.
Aviva is supporting its supply chain with strategies, software and other tools to calculate their own emissions. But the company is also working with the landlord of a building it occupies. “We haven't got a particularly long tenure but we've agreed that there will be solar panels and at the end of the lease, there’s either a guaranteed value of those assets or the landlord will take them on as a building asset for future tenants.”
Refurb the future
Aviva’s solar energy approach above is sound, especially in light of that familiar statistic in facilities management: 80 per cent of the buildings that will exist in 2050 already exist.
“We’re not going to build our way out of this problem,” Reid said. “And that would be terrible anyway because there's so much embodied carbon in existing buildings. We have to refurbish our way out of this – and that's a combination of physical and behavioural changes.
“Behaviour is really important and we’ve been struggling for a few years, maybe slightly misfiring with trying to control buildings and control people and measure things. We haven't quite been able to square the circle with data that actually either changes behaviour or informs behaviour quickly enough to do something about it. Or even then integrates into a building so the building can maybe react or do something about it.
“However, I think we are at quite a pivotal moment with IoT devices and CO2 monitors and all sorts of things where they are configured with BMS languages like Niagara, for example. For the first time, we can quite easily implement large numbers of reasonably cheap sensors, and either get the data into our possession to make live decisions, or even integrate that into the BMS straightforwardly and economically for the building to react.”