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Jim Baird | Carbon Accounting for Waste Management

Jim Baird | Carbon Accounting for Waste Management



Presented at the 4th International Conference on Carbon Accounting

Presented at the 4th International Conference on Carbon Accounting
25th November 2011



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  • Set the context with an outline of current waste related GHG emissions & mechanisms for reportingCR will discuss the EU ETS which measures and trades GHG emissions from energy, & explore how this might be applied to waste emissions
  • ISWA: International Solid Waste Association - is an international, independent and non-profit making association, working in the public interest to promote and develop sustainable waste management worldwide scientific community, public institutions and public and private companies from all over the world working in the field of and interested in waste management. National Members CIWM; EU, Asia, South America, Aus/NZ, N.AfricaLooked at the UNFCCC data so stress all DIRECT WM emissions:3-5% anthropo direct WMWM techs 18% of Kyoto GHG reduction targets for EUTotal global down from 69 Mt to 32MtCDM (CR more later) – predicted 209 Mt CO2e savings by 2012
  • Great graphic from ISWA doc depicts the interrelatedness of waste management and the economy as a whole.Also emphasise the need to include both the direct AND indirect, and the need to complement existing methodologies.
  • Great graphic from ISWA doc depicts the interrelatedness of waste management and the economy as a whole.Also emphasise the need to include both the direct AND indirect, and the need to complement existing methodologies.
  • However, WM solutions can assist in reducing GHG emissions beyond just the direct CH4 from LFReduction – no WM associated emissions & no upstream emissions eitherRecycling – reduced processing energy (e.g. Glass/al) & avoided from extractionRecovery of energy displaces FFCould see LFs as modern day gas fields though estimated 10% will always be ‘fugitive’
  • UK: Tier 2 methodology based on national data on waste quantities, composition, properties & disposal practices over several decades.Obviously WM decisions impact on other sectors, notably energy (AD/incineration, reduced energy needs) & agric (manure)69% decrease in emissions from LF/69% LF gas now recovered (may be conservative)Verification process means usually running about 2 years behind.CH4 from LF = 92.9% of total GHG emissions from the waste sector; 12.7% of total UK LF emissions > Scottish proportion of population = 8.4%Because of nature of degradation, NOT a direct link between waste composition in any given yr & CH4 emissions.Assumes UK trend = 54% reduction since 1990 due to methane recovery systems.
  • Both have influenced the Defra guidance for company reporting.3 scopes:Controlled by you on-site/emissions on your siteEnergy consumed by you on-site/emissions off-siteResult of your actions/emissions off-siteCarbon reduction strategies tend to begin with Scope 1 and 2 initially (greatest opportunity to directly affect change) - then move onto scope three. On-site WM e.g. Composting etc – Scope 1Other WM – Scope 3How does this guidance align with existing measuring and reporting schemes?The guidance sets out broad general principles for how to measure and report greenhouse gas emissions. It is based on the GHG Protocol, the internationally recognised standard for the corporate accounting and reporting of GHG emissions. This means it aligns with many widely used national and international voluntary measuring and reporting schemes such as the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 14064-1 and the Carbon Trust Standard. The guidance also complements both PAS 2050 and ISO 14040 (LCA) which can be used to measure the carbon footprint of products.Some organisations already report emissions data for regulatory schemes such as the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) and Climate Change Agreements (CCAs). Others will need to do so as part of the forthcoming CRC. These schemes only cover some of an organisation's GHG emissions,whereas this guidance covers an organisation's total GHG emissions (also known as its corporate carbon footprint) as illustrated in the following diagram.
  • Defra/DECC provide conversion factors for this reporting. Updated annually with increasing depth – some piece of work.LCA now with e.g. Energy including extraction, refining etc as well as end-of-pipe emissions.WM have always been LCA based – includes all LC stages shownRecommend use production emissions plus WM treatment method specific values as all going into waste stream have an embodied carbon valueNB: These figures should be used for site based reporting only. They should not be added together along a supply chain, as material use would be counted several times along a supply chainNegative numbers - recycling or energy recovery process avoids the production of primary materials and combustion of fossil fuel but not avoided emissions from alternative waste management.
  • The Carbon Metric methodology is draws on Life Cycle Analysis theory. LCA = measures every impact associated with all the stages of a process from-cradle-to-grave, allowing an assessment of the environmental impact. Full LCA are not conducted (unnecessary complication) but the bases of the methodology comes from ISO and PAS2050 which are internationally recognised guidelines on how to conduct LCAs.Environmental impact can be measured using a number of indicators (e.g. acidification, toxicity). No single indicator can cover all impacts, however, using more than one indicator can be costly and make results hard to interpret. We risk spending all our time measuring waste rather than actually reducing it.One of the most common env indicators, and the one used in the SCM is climate change (measured using CO2e units). Climate change is used because it is known to have massive environmental impacts already and reducing climate change is a priority for reducing environmental impact globally. Stern review.Sevenster = environmental indicatorsCM based on a consumption approach to carbon accounting – consider whole lifecycle. Territorial looks at emissions generated within a geographical area. It is used in international treaties egkyoto. Difficult to say how much a tool like CM will contribute towards Scotland’s carbon targets BUT climate change = global problem and by reducing global emissions we can be sure we are reducing carbon impact which Scotland is responsible for.
  • CF based on life cycle thinkingThe carbon factor column shows the impact of recycling, minus avoided production, minus avoided landfill to show the benefit of recycling one tonne of that material over landfilling it.
  • Sources include: x, y, zData was required to reach a certain standardSometimes, lack of suitable data meant that poor fitting data had to be used.
  • Weighting – no units, stops people using the tool as a carbon footprint and allows users to compare the significance of different materials and options against each other easily.All relative to each otherTextiles – high for 2 reasons: 1. BIO IS study, comprehensive and up to date study shows high impact of textiles 2. includes element of reuse (higher up waste hierarchy so better carbon savings) – represents collection of textiles in Scotland today.Food – low because no closed loop recycling options – prevention has higher carbon savings
  • Another way of showing thatRecycling rate of 2 material system. Total RR = about 5% by weightBut most of the carbon in these materials is held in the textiles. Therefore, recycling a small amount of textiles means that you are recycling a disproportionately large part of the carbon in that system

Jim Baird | Carbon Accounting for Waste Management Jim Baird | Carbon Accounting for Waste Management Presentation Transcript