Delivering the scale of carbon reduction needed for a net zero world by 2050 demands companies transform - decarbonising their value chain, and by helping the world to get to zero emissions. The energy value chain is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to greenhouse gases (GHG), with electricity and heat generation accounting for one-third of global greenhouse gases emissions each year. If the world is to come anywhere near to meeting its climate-change goals, the energy and utility industry will have to play a big part. Increasingly stakeholders demand transition of the energy sector, and a growing number of energy majors are making strategic climate commitments. Fortunately, technological advancement and cost reduction of solutions means that companies have a number of solutions at its disposal.
In order to tackle climate change effectively, companies benefit from having a clear understanding of which parts of their business emit the most greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
For oil and gas, fuel from operated facilities, distribution and from purchased electricity, heat and steam are significant. However, the major driver of a company's carbon footprint comes from downstream emissions as the end product inevitably produces carbon dioxide and other GHGs.
For electricity utilities, the major emissions source is from power production (emission allocation depends on operational control), and from consumer use of purchased electricity.
Companies can understand their total impact by conducting a GHG value chain assessment, supplementing available company data with modelled estimates. Cozero Log can help with this.
Ultimately, the goal for Energy and Utility companies needs to be to adopt zero carbon energy generation that is dominated by renewables. However, there are also important levers through operational efficiency of existing assets, by working with consumers to increase energy efficiency, and by supporting carbon removal and reduction projects across the world.
The biggest lever for carbon action is to use renewable energy rather than fossil fuels for power generation, for heating and in water production and treatment. Optimising operations for high process efficiency is an essential intermediate step. For oil and gas companies this means smart monitoring and maintenance of infrastructure, and process change to eliminate flaring and venting.
The real difference will be products that enable users of energy to use less, and emit less. Supporting efficiency is key, for instance rolling out smart meters for customers. Supporting customer electrification will lead to both fewer carbon emissions and cleaner air, for instance by supporting uptake of storage heaters and electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
For a company's carbon footprint that is hard or not possible to address, companies can look to support projects that remove atmospheric CO₂ within their value chain through measures such as carbon capture and sequestration, or reduce CO₂ from beyond their value chain through financing carbon offset projects.
Cozero Act recommends the carbon actions and solution providers to help companies focus on where action is needed most. Cozero Act supports companies to develop and manage bespoke carbon management action plans, as well as transparently track progress against these.