Jim Baird | Carbon Accounting for Waste Management


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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

    1. 1. Carbon Accounting – Waste Management
    2. 2. Acknowledgements • Kimberley Pratt – Zero Waste Scotland • Sheila Scott and Charlie Russell
    3. 3. International Solid Waste Association
    4. 4. Waste & Climate Change: some numbers Global direct GHG emissions from WM = 1.3 GtCO2e or 3-5% total Between 1990 & 2007 total global anthropogenic emissions in 2005. GHG emissions from waste sector declined from 69 Mt to 32 Mt for the 36 Annex 1 industrialised countries & EITs - LF CH4 In EU, MSW management could recovery. account for 18% of 2012 Kyoto target for 15 EU member states. Overseas - CDM in Kyoto Protocol = opportunity for WM sector: •18% of 1,834 registered projects in 10/2009 = waste •Currently registered = deliver 209 M carbon credits by end of 2012 •1 carbon credit = 1 t CO2e emission reduction ISWA White Paper: „Waste and Climate Change‟ December 2009
    5. 5. “Improved, harmonisedThe resource economy and transparent approaches for both direct and indirect emissions associated with waste management activities must be developed to complement existing methodologies” ISWA White Paper: „Waste and Climate Change‟ December 2009
    6. 6. “Improved, harmonisedThe resource economy and transparent approaches for both direct and indirect emissions associated with waste management activities must be developed to complement existing methodologies” ISWA White Paper: „Waste and Climate Change‟ December 2009
    7. 7. Waste management solutions to reduce GHG emissions • Waste reduction – prevention & reuse - Zero Waste Scotland • Recycling – reduction in energy spent in extraction/processing • Composting – sequestration, reduced fertiliser production, peat substitution • Recover energy from waste/waste processing - incineration/EfW, RDF, AD - thereby displacing fossil fuel • Engineered landfilling (our own modern day „gas fields‟)
    8. 8. UK NIR waste GHG emission reporting CH4 emissions, T =Current National Inventory [ x CH4 generated, T – RT ] (1-OXT)Reporting: CH4 emitted in year T, Gg T = inventory year • Waste = direct emissions (CH4 x = waste category or type of material from landfill) RT = recovered CH4 in year T, Gg OXT = oxidation factor in year T (fraction) • Energy; Industrial Processes; Solvents & Other Product Use; Agriculture; LULUCF = indirect emissions• UK GHG emissions from WM = 3.2% total UK emissions in 2009; 69% decrease in waste emissions; 69% of CH4 generated in UK landfills now recovered. UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory, 1990 to 2009 April 2011• Scottish GHG emissions from landfill = 2.559 MtCO2e (4.8% total Scottish emissions in 2008) GHG Inventories for England, Scotland, Wales & NI: 1990-2008 Sept 2010
    9. 9. Defra GHG reporting guidelines - scopesDECC/Defra Guidance on how to measure and report your greenhouse gas emissions09/2009
    10. 10. Defra/DECCs GHG Conversion Factors for CompanyReporting “These conversion factors should be used to measure and report GHG emissions for: 1. Your organisation 2. Your personal carbon footprint 3. Other reasons such as project planning and GHG emission reductions projects.” NB: Not for supply chain – double accountingAugust 2011 Guidelines to Defra/DECC‟s Greenhouse Gas Conversion Factors forCompany Reporting: Annex 9 LCA Emission Factors for waste emissions
    11. 11. Distillery Businesspage 11
    12. 12. LCA Methodology• Life Cycle Thinking informed by: – ISO 14040:2006 Principles and framework – ISO 14044:2006 Requirements and guidelines – PAS 2050 (2008) – World Resource Institute GHG Protocol Initiative – Also draws on work by Sevenster et al. (2007) in the Netherlands• Climate change is used as a proxy indicator for all environmental impact• Consumption approach to materials rather than territorial – Considers whole life cycle – But less compatible with CC Act
    13. 13. Carbon Factors• A summary of the carbon factors can be found on ZWS website• Carbon impacts of materials based on LCA results• Designed to include additional data as it becomes available
    14. 14. Data sources• Sources include: trade associations, Eco-invent, IPCC, SEPA, DEFRA, WRATE, WRAP studies• Quality assurance: less than 5 years old, representative of Scotland, traceable data sources and clearly defined limitsLimitations: Exceptions:• Glass (old data) • Incinerator residues (exc. metals)• Wood and paper (USA dataset) • Florescent tubes• Steel (estimated) • Vegetable oil• WEEE (incomplete study) • Furniture• Footwear (USA dataset) • Paint
    15. 15. Tonnage V Carbon impact exampleRecycling Rate (%)
    16. 16. Focusing on CarbonTotal arisings (t) Total recycled (t) Tonnage RR Carbon Metric RR
    17. 17. Carbon Metric• Will focus recycling efforts on materials with high carbon intensity• Denominator is carbon metric factor x material arisings • So how do we deal with waste reduction – need baseline year? • Evolving technologies will change carbon potential • For example • waste to electricity • Waste to electricity plus heat • Waste to biogas to gas grid • Waste to biogas to biomethane (transport fuel)page 18
    18. 18. Current Policy and Market Measures in the Waste Sector
    19. 19. How would and ETS system fit in?page 20
    20. 20. Conclusions• At the NIR level Waste has been dealt with from the GHG level – i.e. CH4 from Landfill and CO2 from incineration of fossil carbon.• Production and Waste Sectors are not on a level playing field in terms of Carbon. Waste and Production should be better integrated.• Waste Sector now has its own carbon metric informed by LCA thinking.page 21