The Emerging Low-Carbon Economy
With the growing concern about global climate change and its adverse impact on our
planet and future generations of its inhabitants, starting with our own children,
governments around the world and their leaders are working towards setting new
standards for Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and encouraging businesses,
through incentives and tax credits, to use energy efficient processes and renewable
sources of energy.
Accordingly, various public and private organizations are quickly developing and
implementing strategies for:
• Reduction of Green House Gas (GHG) emissions,
• Minimizing the impact of their businesses on the environment, and
• Growing their businesses in a sustainable manner.
To achieve this, businesses need to make several changes in their business processes.
They need to make new investments to use renewable sources of energy, develop
strategies to reduce electricity, fuel and water consumption and recycle/eliminate
waste. The businesses are even working on changing their products’ designs
altogether to use environmentally friendly materials, extend life of their products and
make them easier to recycle.
With all of these changes happening rapidly, a new low-carbon economy is
emerging. It is resulting in far reaching impact across all industries and creating new
opportunities for businesses in all their forms and sizes.
Impact of Business on our Planet
As businesses, large and small, produce products and services to meet the needs of
growing number of people around the world, they create an impact on every facet of
life on our planet including on the environment. Today our planet is facing major
ecological problems. Overwhelming environmental problems that face us include:
• Global Warming and fossil fuel use
• Water pollution and lack of fresh water
• Air pollution and acid rain
• Biodiversity and habitat loss
• Overfishing and ocean pollution
• Topsoil loss and overuse of crop chemicals
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• Depletion of natural resources and deforestation
• Toxic chemicals and hazardous waste and, finally,
• Abject human poverty
Opinion Leaders recommend Green Economy
Daniel Sitarz is an expert in the field of sustainability and environmental issues. He is
the author of several publications and books on this subject. In his book Greening
Your Business, he emphasizes that every one of the environmental problems that we
face today as a society has its root cause in a conscious business decision. Further he
states that by consciously including environmental impact as a key factor in every
business decision and making businesses environmentally friendly, we can start
addressing these environmental issues and by doing so we can start our effort to save
According to Thomas L Friedman, 21st century has dawned a new era, the Energy
Climate Era (ECE). In his book Hot, Flat and Crowded Friedman has proposed an
ambitious national strategy—which he calls "Geo-Greenism"—is not only what we
need to save the planet from overheating; it is what we need to make America
healthier, richer, more innovative, more productive, and more secure. To learn more
about this book, please visit the Hot, Flat and Crowded: Why We Need a Green
Revolution - And How it Can Renew America page on Friedman’s website.
World Leaders initiate efforts to tackle the Climate Change Issue
In July 2009, a summit of G8-G5 nations was held in Italy. The World Leaders from
G-8 countries have reaffirmed the importance of the work of the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and notably of its Fourth Assessment Report, which
constitutes the most comprehensive assessment of the science. They have recognized
the broad scientific view that the increase in global average temperature above pre-
industrial levels ought not to exceed 2°C. Because this global challenge can only be
met by a global response, they reiterated their willingness to share with all countries
the goal of achieving at least a 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050 and
recognized that this implies that global emissions need to peak as soon as possible
and decline thereafter. As part of this, they have also supported a goal of developed
countries reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in aggregate by 80% or more by
2050 compared to 1990 or more recent years. The full text of the declaration by G-8
Leaders on this issue can be found by clicking on the following link: Responsible
Leadership for a Sustainable Future.
The world leaders are scheduled to meet again from December 7th to December 18th
2009 in Copenhagen for COP15-United Nations conference on Climate Change. The
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decisions most likely to be made at this conference will dictate the future course of
action various countries will take in achieving GHG emission reductions by 2050, the
consensus for which is expected to be built in this conference. For more information
on this conference, please visit: http://en.cop15.dk/
Emerging regulation in USA
Our lawmakers have already taken some positive steps. Democrats Henry Waxman
and Ed Markey have sponsored a draft bill that aims to cut U. S. greenhouse gas
emissions by 83% compared to 2005 levels by 2050. You can learn more about this
bill by reading the Discussion Draft Summary of The American Clean Energy And
Security Act of 2009.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued Final Greenhouse Gas
Monitoring and Reporting Rule that will require as many as 10,000 facilities in the
United States to measure their greenhouse gases (GHGs) and start reporting them in
early 2011 (GHG Reporting Rule). Facilities that are required to measure and report
their GHG emissions include a list of source categories identified by the EPA.
These sources include, among others:
• Coal-fired electricity generating plants subject to the Acid Rain program,
aluminum, ammonia, cement, electronics, lime, petrochemical, petroleum
refining, certain underground coal mines, and municipal landfills.
• Facilities that emit 25,000 tons per year or more of CO2 of combined
emissions from listed source categories like electricity generation,
electronics, ethanol production, food processing, glass production, iron and
steel production, ferrous alloy production, oil and natural gas systems, pulp
and paper, industrial landfills, and wastewater treatment.
• Facilities that do not meet the first two source categories, but that emit 25,000
Metric Tons of CO2 per year from stationary fuel combustion sources
President Barrack Obama is also passionate about tackling the issues relating to
global warming. He has ordered Federal Agencies to Set 2020 Emissions Goals.
Federal agencies have been given 90 days to set goals for reducing emissions by
2020. Agencies have until June of 2010 to set targets for reducing emissions from
employee travel and commutes. The federal government owns more than 500,000
buildings and operates more than 600,000 vehicles. Specifically, the executive order
calls for the following:
• 30 percent reduction in vehicle fleet petroleum use by 2020
• 26 percent improvement in water efficiency by 2020
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• 50 percent recycling and waste diversion by 2015
• 95 percent of all applicable contracts will meet sustainability requirements
• Implementation of a 2030 net-zero-energy building requirement
Large Corporations are Greening their businesses
Some large businesses have already started evaluating impact to the environment as
one of the significant parameters in their decision making process. They are changing
their businesses to reduce consumption of fuel and other natural resources, have
started using renewable energy and are implementing methods for reduction,
recycling and elimination of waste. They are even influencing suppliers to make their
businesses sustainable. Recently Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the world's biggest retailer,
announced a worldwide sustainability index that will rate each product it sells by its
environmental impact enabling customers to make choices and consume in a more
Wal-Mart has also issued a questionnaire asking its suppliers to respond by October
2009 in order to score each supplier on its sustainability initiatives. Some of the
questions from Wal-Mart for its scorecard related to reduction of energy costs and
greenhouse gas emissions.
Goldman Sachs has published its Environmental Report for the past three years. Page
11 of the 2008 report shows the Global Carbon Emission Summary for the world-
wide operations of Goldman Sachs. This report can be viewed by visiting the
The Carbon Market Opportunities
As companies work on a response to these new opportunities and challenges some of
the key problems they face include:
• Acquisition of carbon intelligence is costly and time-consuming,
• Lack of connection between sustainability, environmental, operations,
facilities & fleet management functions within an organization.
• Rising cost of fuel & energy
• Compliance – Emerging US EPA carbon reduction and reporting regulations.
• Brand and Business Opportunities – Consumer preference for green services
• PR challenges associated with green-washing.
• Companies making significant investments for reduction of Carbon emissions
by upgrading facilities & fleet and changing to cleaner energy & fuel have no
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easy method and infrastructure to track and account for the reduction in
Carbon emission due to such investments.
To tackle these issues and to address the growing concern of possible adverse global
climate conditions, various public and private organizations are quickly developing and
implementing emissions and carbon reduction strategies. A new, low-carbon economy is
emerging, resulting in regulatory requirements, which in turn are pressing the need for
new technology and business processes that can enable organizations to measure, account
for and reduce carbon emissions, electricity, fuel & water usage.
Carbeion LLC is an Irving, Texas based Carbon Intelligence Technology Company
dedicated to serving sustainability focused enterprises by delivering hosted carbon
intelligence. Carbeion customers include a billion dollar Shipping & Logistics Company
and multiple manufacturing organizations. Carbeion also has joint research collaboration
with The University of Texas, Dallas.
Carbeion's mission is to enable businesses to become sustainable, decrease waste,
increase profits and minimize their impact on the environment. We achieve this by
providing businesses a software technology platform to manage their sustainability
business transformation. Our technology enables visibility, intelligence, optimization,
compliance, risk management & comprehensive stakeholder engagement on
environmental impact metrics like CO2 emission; energy, water and fuel consumption;
and waste generation within direct business operations, in the supply chain and at the
locations where end users of the products and services offered by our customers.
Carbeion is focused on creating technology solutions to help its client evolve Enterprise
Carbon Intelligence and profit from Sustainable Growth. While working with its clients
and by consciously tracking the emerging trends in the low-carbon economy, Carbeion
has built significant domain knowledge in the field of Enterprise Carbon Intelligence.
Carbeion's team includes experts with experience in Carbon footprint management,
supply chain expertise and technologist with expertise in Business Intelligence &
Corporate Performance Management. Carbeion's advisory board includes leadership from
the sustainability, climate change, software technology & academic world. Carbeion
serves customers in Manufacturing, Retail, Government Logistics and other industries
and provides them unique solutions for:
• Carbeion software product for Emission, Energy & Cost monitoring
• Electricity, Water, Fuel usage data entry and upload services
• GHG & sustainability Consulting services
• Green & Carbon awareness training & sustainability employee education
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