Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Currently, in Ireland, only a limited number of large financial and publicly listed Irish companies are required to assess and report environmental data under the EU Non-Financial Reporting Directive. However, a new bill, being drafted by Senator Lynn Ruane, requiring companies to publish their greenhouse gas emissions will be introduced to the Seanad in early 2021, making it a legal requirement for Irish companies to assess and report their greenhouse gas emissions data on an annual basis (Murray, 2020).
The methodology being proposed for companies to gather their greenhouse gas emissions data would be drawn from an international best practice standard, developed by the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). It breaks down reporting into three scopes:
- Scope 1 is direct emissions from company-owned or controlled sources e.g. boilers, vehicles, fugitive emissions.
- Scope 2 relates to energy purchased by a company for running its facilities e.g. electricity, gas.
- Scope 3 involves emissions from the rest of the company’s supply chains – which can be both upstream and downstream e.g. employee commuting, end-of-life treatment of sold goods (GRI, 2016).
According to Seb McAteer, a parliamentary adviser to Senator Ruane, “The bill would… apply to large companies first i.e., those with more than 250 employees.” In year two, the bill will apply to companies with 150-250 employees and then those with under 150 employees in year three. Companies with fewer than 50 employees are excluded completely.
The bill would also require companies to compare their annual reports with previous reports and account for any changes. In the case of emissions increases, the company would be required to set out the steps needed to ensure significant reductions. This would then provide emissions targets for the following year, with the company required to meet them.
Crucially, the bill will include a set of graduated fines for companies that are deemed not to be making enough progress in efforts to decrease their emissions. The level of the fines would be set relative to the company’s turnover, similar to the way that companies are fined for data breaches under GDPR (Murray, 2020).
At WEW Engineering we can provide:
• Carbon Footprint Reports to reduce energy usage and material usage. The purpose of carbon footprint reporting and audits in an industrial plant is to reduce energy usage and material usage, by determining the optimum design solution and implementing these designs. WEW Engineering can assist with the measuring and reduction of carbon emissions, emitted by each industrial plant or any organisation. Enabling you to commit to carbon reduction as an organisation, confirming commitment to climate change and moving towards carbon neutrality, while also reducing costs.
• Energy Audits: WEW Engineering in association with allied, specialist energy partners provide a focused Energy Auditing Service, formal audit report and recommended modifications to concur with Best Available Techniques (BAT).
• We also provide solutions and recommendations for use at existing water, wastewater, energy, and process plants. Developing and implementing by-product to co-product strategies. Sustainability Audits of existing plants can also be provided as part of our specialist consulting engineering services.
GRI (2016) ‘GRI 305: EMISSIONS 2016’. Global Reporting Initiative | https://www.globalreporting.org/how-to-use-the-gri-standards/resource-center/.
Murray, D. (2020) ‘Law will oblige companies to declare greenhouse gas emissions’ | https://www.businesspost.ie/climate-environment/law-will-oblige-companies-to-declare-greenhouse-gas-emissions-ed5ffc41