From office buildings to hospitals to sports venues, there are many different types of facilities that generate very different levels of GHG emissions. And when it comes to emissions, facilities face a big problem – they generate 40% of total annual global CO2 emissions, with building operations making up 28% of those total emissions. Whatever type of facility you own or operate, you can contribute to the fight against climate change, improve your public reputation, and increase your funding with a net zero focused facility management strategy.
In this article, we’ll explore the different energy and sustainability management tactics that you should include in your facility management strategy to reduce emissions and achieve net zero.
First Things First: Calculate Your Current Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Before you can begin reducing your greenhouse gas emissions, you first need to calculate how much your facility is currently emitting. You can do this manually using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s GHG Emissions Calculation Tool. Alternately, you can use an energy and sustainability management platform to calculate your emissions for you. We recommend the latter method as it provides more accurate results and removes the margin for error in manual calculation. In addition, an energy and sustainability management platform will track your emissions over time to see how they are impacted by your emissions reduction efforts (we’ll highlight several different emissions reduction examples below).
Participate in Peak Load Management
You may associate peak load management with its traditional use – reducing stress on the grid during peak hours. However, participating in peak load management is also an effective way to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. By shifting your facility’s energy load overnight (e.g., to baseload nuclear or renewable power), you can avoid the dispatch of the dirtiest generation during peak hours (e.g., oil peakers), thus reducing emissions.
Take Advantage of On-Site Renewable Generation
On-site renewable energy generation (e.g., solar panels on the roof of your facility, biomass, fuel cells, battery storage, or wind power) is a great way to reduce your facility’s emissions. We recommend looking into the different options of on-site renewable generation that would best suit your facility. Refer to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s On-Site Renewable Energy Generation Guide.
Procure Green Energy
If you are not able to generate renewable energy on-site, you can procure it from outside sources (e.g., renewable energy credits and green tariffs). On top of helping you reach net zero, green energy procurement can protect your facility against electricity price increases and volatility (this is particularly relevant now, with energy prices skyrocketing).
Implement Energy Efficiency Projects
We mentioned above that 28% of building emissions stem from building operations. A great way to reduce these emissions is by implementing efficiency projects. Examples include:
- Installing new energy efficient machines, HVAC, and lighting systems
- Regulating the temperature with smart thermostats
- Using ENERGY STAR certified appliances
Finally: Measure and Verify Your Efforts
To ensure your emissions reductions efforts are successful, your next step should be to measure & verify them. This involves:
- Tracking all your invoice and metering data to ensure your projects are performing as expected.
- Complying with guidelines outlined in the International Performance Measurement and Verification Protocol (IPMVP) and ASHRAE Guideline 14.
How WatchWire Can Help
WatchWire is an integrated energy and sustainability management platform that can:
- Provide you with peak load monitoring and alerts that let you know when peak load hours are likely to occur, so you can take necessary action to reduce emissions.
- Assist you with green energy procurement, including renewable energy credits and green tariffs.
- Measure and verify all your emissions reductions efforts.
- Calculate and track your facility’s greenhouse gas emissions. Click here to discover how WatchWire tracks emissions.
To discover more about WatchWire and its capabilities, request a free demo or visit our resource library.
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