A project to create a standardised approach for measuring the carbon emissions involved in FM service delivery has taken another step.
The business case and roadmap for the project to devise ways of measuring the sector's Scope 3 carbon emissions were discussed at a webinar event on Thursday 25th November. The categories of greenhouse gas accounting applicable to FM service functions offered by service firms to clients also came under the microscope, with the data requirements for calculating emissions in these areas front of mind.
The report, ‘Scope 3 Emissions in FM – Setting the Foundations for Net Zero’ (download requires contact details) is the first of two initial pieces of the project's ‘stage 1’ activity. A second report, incorporating feedback from the first, is intended to deliver a methodology for measuring FM’s Scope 3 emissions. This is due in Q1 2022.
Later, in the project’s second phase towards the latter part of 2022, wider testing and implementation will take place with volunteer organisations testing the methodology devised.
Attending the webinar event were BAM FM’s managing director Louise Williamson and strategic director Reid Cunningham; UKGBC net zero adviser Karl Desai; Acclaro Consultancy’s Sustainable FM Index programme director Chris Havers, and the firm’s managing director Sunil Shah.
Williamson commented: “FM companies have been measuring (GHG Scope) 1 and 2 for some time, but we are now looking at how we can consistently measure those scope 3 emissions which is much more complex but necessary if we’re to support our clients.”
Cunningham illustrated the kind of detailed measurement of Scope 3 emissions will entail with this example of BAM’s own activity:
“We’re working with Edinburgh University to investigate the different carbon intensities of ingredients in our menus and we’re engaging with some clients to change menu cycles and options to reduce the carbon in our catering services.”
Key to developing forms of measurement would be the avoidance of ‘double counting’ those emissions already accounted for in Scope 1 or 2 reporting, the attendees agreed. And there was also agreement that one particularly challenging element of the project will be the way in which goods procured by FM for service delivery to clients are collected and converted to carbon allocated to emissions.
The expectation is that both the scope and granularity of emissions reporting will develop over the coming months, culminating in further guidance from this project to be published in the second 'Stage 1' report in early 2022.
The current report concludes with a table, developed by the project leaders, detailing sixteen GHG Protocol Scope 3 categories – ranging from ‘upstream transportation/distribution’ and ‘business travel’ to ‘employee commuting’ – with the applicable elements of FM service delivery connected to each. (For example, for ‘employee commuting’, service delivery elements include ‘emissions from commuting to client sites for on-site teams’ and ‘emissions from commuting to FM offices’.
The project is being led by the consultancy Acclaro Advisory under the banner of its commercial Sustainable FM Index tool, with service provider BAM FM as the project’s principal sponsor. Four key membership bodies are also supporting the project's aims: the IWFM, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA), and the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE).
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