US beverage association publishes beverage carbon footprints

The US Beverage Industry Environmental Roundtable (BIER) has finished research on the carbon footprints for 5 beverage categories – beer, bottled water, carbonated soft drink, spirits and wine, in Europe and North America.

The research is available on its website, together with boundary assumptions, emission calculation details, secondary data sources and impact analyses discussion.

The research is intended to identify those aspects of the beverage value chain that contribute significantly to the overall carbon footprint of a product and to evaluate the sensitivity of the carbon footprint to modifications in material or production practices such as packaging material selection, distribution logistics and recycling rates.

The carbon modelling and analysis contained within the reports is based, in large part, on data from BIER member companies through their independent business evaluations, such as life cycle assessments and greenhouse gas inventories.

“The category models being released today are a good example of how companies can work together to promote environmental sustainability,” said Robert ter Kuile, Senior Director of Environmental Sustainability, PepsiCo.

“This research will help PepsiCo, our fellow BIER member companies, our customers, and the broader beverage industry to identify new opportunities for sustainable business practices that conserve resources, reduce emissions and protect the environment.”

Highest and lowest carbon emissions in the UK by region

The UK Department of Energy and Climate Change has published CO2 emissions data for the entire country, divided into local authorities and regions.

For each of 406 local authority regions, you can see the emissions from “industry and commercial”, “domestic”, road transport” and “total”, for each year 2005 to 2010, and also the emissions per capita (per person). Units are in tons CO2 per person.

The 10 lowest carbon emission parts of the UK are:

Redbridge 4.1
Hackney 4.2
Lewisham 4.2
Harrow 4.3
Waltham Forest 4.4
Haringey 4.5
Gosport 4.5
Merton 4.5
Sutton 4.6
Castle Point 4.6

The 10 highest carbon emission parts of the UK are:

Cookstown 20.4
Falkirk 21.3
Rugby 24.0
Eden 25.4
High Peak 33.2
Rutland 35.6
Redcar and Cleveland 55.2
Neath Port Talbot 56.2
North Lincolnshire 62.9
City of London 157.6

The City of London is a bit of an anomaly because not many people live there!

Between 2008 and 2009 emissions decreased in nearly all regions, and since 2009, emissions have increased in nearly all regions – presumably due to economic conditions.

Data was gathered from electricity and gas bills, traffic data, and emissions data from large industrial sites.

Emissions from electricity generation was allocated according to where the electricity was consumed, not where it was generated (and CO2 emitted).

Aviation, shipping and military transport are not included, because there is no obvious region they should be allocated to.



Formosa Taffeta Co of Taiwan gets “Carbon Footprint Verification”

Taiwan textiles manufacturer Formosa Taffeta Co has obtained a “Carbon Footprint Verification Statement” for 24 of its product categories, from BSI Pacific Ltd. (bsi), a branch of the British Standards Institution.

Formosa Taffeta recently launched a company-wide verification project looking at the greenhouse gas emissions of its products from start to finish, following the PAS 2050:2011 standard.

The goal was to help the company improve energy management, maximize efficiency, enhance energy use and lower carbon emission.

It was assisted by the Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI).

TTRI launched a Carbon Footprint Constancy Team in 2010.

Press release

Standard Forwarding offers CO2 emission reports for shipments

Standard Forwarding, a US “less than truckload” (LTL) forwarder and subsidiary of DHL Freight, is offering CO2 emission reports for customer’s shipments.

The CO2 emissions are calculated “following principles from internationally recognized standards, such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol from the World Resources Institute, and the CO2 and reporting norms for transport shipments method negotiated by the World Economic Forum,” the company says.

Customers can request a monthly, quarterly or yearly report detailing their carbon footprint for each route during the requested time period.

Customers can choose to neutralise their emissions by buying into various climate protection projects around the world, verified by Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS).

“We are proud to be at the cutting-edge of environmental responsibility for an LTL carrier,” says John Ward, president of Standard Forwarding.

Ceres – analyses emissions from US’ 100 largest power producers

Ceres, a US “sustainable strategy” consultancy, has published a report of the air pollutant emissions of the 100 largest power producers in the US.

It is based on their 2010 generation and emissions data.

It covered fossil fuel, nuclear and renewable energy facilities, owning 2,500 power plants.

The report covers SO2, NOx, mercury and CO2. It also covers opportunities and risks companies may face from potential changes in environmental regulations.

Major findings are that:

Electricity generation from natural gas-fired plants was virtually equal to the generation from coal-fired plants, with each fuel providing 32 percent of total generation in April 2012

Renewable energy production more than doubled from 83 million megawatt hours (MWh) in 2004 to 195 million MWh in 2011

Since 1990, power plant emissions of SO2 and NOx have decreased and CO2 emissions have increased .

In 2010, power plant SO2 and NOx emissions were both 68 percent lower than they were in 1990

In 2010, power plant CO2 emissions were 24 percent higher than they were in 1990 .This increase is primarily due to economic growth resulting in increased energy consumption across all sectors, and much warmer summer conditions resulting in an increase in electricity demand for air conditioning.

In 2010, power plants were responsible for about 64 percent of SO2 emissions, 16 percent of NOx emissions, 68 percent of mercury air emissions (among sources reporting to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory), and 40 percent of CO2 emissions in the U .S .

Download report

Sustain – help reduce carbon from UK buildings

UK buildings carbon consultancy Susain has worked with a number of UK government organisations, schools and universities to help them reduce carbon from their buildings.

At Bournemouth University, it helped reduce electricity used by vending machines by fitting PIR (passive infrared) control units which switched the machines off when there was no-one around, rather than leaving them switched on all the time. Savings of 30 to 50 per cent were achieved, with 16 per cent savings in heavily used 24 hour access computer labs. The system could be installed in 5 minutes and then forgotten about.

For Bristol City Council, it looked at ways to install solar panels to take advantage of the government’s feed in tariff.

Sustain offered renewable technology expertise and energy auditing, support for tendering process. It found that solar panels could be installed on 26 schools.

For South Gloucestershire COuncil, it developed Display Energy Certificates and Adivsory Reports for over 100 buildings. These are required for buildings with a “useful” floor area of over 1000m2 occupied by a public authority or institution providing a public service. It delivered 100 certificates.

Guardian article

East Coast Line (UK) gets “Gold Carbon Saver Standard”

UK rail operator East Coast has been awarded “Gold Carbon Saver Standard” for its work to reduce carbon emissions from stations, depots and offices.

The award was made by an independent organisation called Carbon Saver.

The company set up a network of “environment champions” at its stations, with responsibility for identifying areas where energy use can be reduced.

At East Coast’s Clayhills depot in Aberdeen, electricity has been reduced 22 per cent year on year, by introducing more energy-efficient gas boilers, better management of ‘shore’ supplies (used to provide power to trains in depots) and the use of sensors to turn off lights when not in use.

At Durham station it reduced energy consumption by 30 per cent year on year. Electricity use fell by 7% by switching off water boilers when not in use, adding low energy lighting, and with better fault reporting of car park lighting sensors.

“The award of Gold Standard by Carbon Saver followed visits to each of our managed locations by assessors who looked for evidence of how we are saving energy and encouraging our people to get involved,” said Jim Harbidge, East Coast Environment Manager.

Press release

LifeSizeMedia – a week of measuring carbon

UK public relations consultancy LifeSizeMedia has run a “sustainability challenge” in its office this week, to experiment with ways to better manage its carbon emissions and how to communicate them.

Alisa is rather reluctant to give up her under desk bin

Alisa is rather reluctant to give up her under desk bin

Strategies included running home (7 miles) to avoid carbon emissions from taking the train home; buying an ‘eco kettle’ which can boil to different temperatures; keeping the non-recycling bin several metres away from desks to encourage people not to use it (see photo of argument about it above); trying to use food from home rather than takeaways for lunch; and filming everything on You Tube all the way through.

You can watch Alissa, Emma, Fran and Charlotte trying to reduce their carbon emissions here.

Ogilvy Earth to help Carbon Disclosure Project with report

Carbon Disclosure Project, a nongovernmental organisation which gathers information about corporate behaviour on climate change, says that OgilvyEarth, a unit of advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, will help it publish its report.

CDP will publish a report on climate change behaviour of the top 500 publicly traded American companies (S&P500) in September 12 2012, and OgilvyEarth will advise on the content, communications and presentation of the report.

It will present scores on corporate environmental performance and corporate strategic management of emerging environmental risks and liabilities for all of the companies.

“We view CDP as one of the most important organizations in the world as it pertains to the measurement, rigour and transparency around corporate sustainability efforts,” said Kim Slicklein, President, OgilvyEarth.

“Findings from the report will impact current and future business behaviour, allowing companies to benchmark their progress and make critical policy and planning decisions.”

“CDP is an important client for OgilvyEarth since we focus our efforts on organizations that incorporate sustainability at the heart of their business.”

Facebook shares 2011 carbon footprint

Social network company Facebook has shared its 2011 carbon footprint data.

“We’re releasing this data because we believe in the power of openness, and because we hope that adding another data point to our collective understanding of our industry’s environmental impact will help us all keep improving,” Facebook said.

“We recognize that this data is just one slice of our overall environmental footprint, but we think it’s an important starting point.”

“We’ll continue to track and share this data, and we’ll also work to understand and share other aspects of our footprint where we can.”

Total annual carbon footprint per active Facebook user is 269 grams, equivalent to a medium latte or 3 large bananas.

Facebook’s total energy use from office space, data centers and other facilities was approximately 532 million kWh.

Facebook’s greenhouse gas emissions from data centers, office space, employee commuting, employee air travel, data center construction and server transportation was around 285,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent.

Facebook’s energy mix was 23% clean and renewable, 27% coal, 17% natural gas, 13% nuclear and 20% uncategorized (energy that’s purchased by utilities on the spot market).

“The reality is that as a fast-growing company our carbon footprint and energy mix may get worse before they get better,” Facebook said.

“When we bring our Lulea, Sweden, data center online in 2014, we expect to see a steady increase in the clean and renewable sources powering our data center operations.”

“We’ve set a company goal to derive at least 25% of our energy mix from clean and renewable sources by 2015. We know this is going to be a stretch for us, and we’re still figuring out exactly what it will take to get there.”

Carbon policies include:

A preference for locations that have access to clean and renewable energy sources in our data center siting policy;

Engaging with environmental organizations, our industry peers and our utility providers to advocate for more clean and renewable energy sources in the overall energy mix available to all consumers;

Including a renewable energy component to every new data center we build so we can learn more about what such investments mean for Facebook.