Marc Allen provides an update on the work IChemE is doing to deliver on its net zero commitment
IN NOVEMBER 2020, IChemE published its position statement on climate change. This, amongst other actions, contained a specific commitment that IChemE would “develop plans for achieving net zero carbon emissions from our direct operations globally by 2025 and publish greenhouse gas emissions data and progress against this target each year; this will include considerations of efficiencies, reductions and offsets”. This aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and specifically SDG13, action to combat climate change and its impacts.
To deliver on this commitment, IChemE has set up a working group consisting of members with expertise in a range of areas relevant to net zero.
When the IChemE Net Zero working group first met in August 2021, it was agreed that the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol is an appropriate framework for IChemE to use to measure its emissions (https://ghgprotocol.org). This is the world’s most widely used GHG accounting standard and it has tools to support comprehensive and reliable emissions reporting. IChemE will use the five principles of the GHG Protocol: relevance, completeness, consistency, transparency, and accuracy to inform its work.
The first step was to define the boundaries and what to include. An organisation will have emissions from all its activities that extend across the three classifications of GHG emissions; scope one, two and three emissions (see Figure 1). The scope of IChemE’s commitment to achieve net zero is specific to scope one and scope two emissions. The measurement would apply to all IChemE office locations – ie at Rugby and London, UK; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Melbourne, Australia.
There will be consideration of whether it is appropriate to extend measurement and reporting to specific scope three emissions in the future. These will be considered and defined as appropriate. In addition to this, IChemE is separately taking environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) considerations into account in its investment portfolio.
The organisational boundary of any GHG emissions reporting considers the nature of the organisation and the purpose of the information. For IChemE the organisational boundary is based on ownership, control (operational and financial) and legal agreements. For example, IChemE owns property
in Rugby, UK. It has legal agreements in place for other leased offices.
There are two different approaches to reporting GHG emissions: the equity share and control approaches. The equity share involves accounting for emissions from operations according to its share of equity in the operation. Using the control approach, an organisation accounts for 100% of the GHG emissions from the operations for which it has control; this approach has been adopted as the most appropriate for IChemE.
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