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The role of decarbonization analytics to achieve sustainability goals

June 11, 2024

Table of Contents

Global warming continues to have a significant impact on our environment. The UNEP annual report suggests that the world needs to cut 42% of its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to limit the rise in world temperature by 1.5℃. In this article, we’ll discuss decarbonization and the growing role of decarbonization analytics in sustainability practices to help you achieve your organization's zero-emissions goals.

Understanding decarbonization  

De͏c͏arbonization is a measure used to reduce or remove carbo͏n d͏ioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere produced from human activity and the burning of fossil fuels. We have reached a point where decarbonization efforts must take centre stage to mitigate the effects of climate change and for countries to meet net zero goals. There are various strategies which can be implemented:

  • Net Zero commitments: 145 countries currently have committed towards net-zero emissions. Net zero means balancing the greenhouse gases produced with the emissions removed from the environment. The commitments cover approximately 90% of global CO2 emissions.  
  • Reducing emissions produced: Implementing renewable energy sources such as solar and wind, instead of relying on burning fossil fuels, will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help to reach decarbonization goals. Furthermore, electrification of residential and business activities, powered from renewable sources, also aids decarbonization. Take Costa Rica, for example – in 2022 it produced a share of over 98% renewable electricity generation for the eighth time.  
  • Carbon capture: Carbon dioxide removal technologies aim to remove and store carbon from the atmosphere. This can be undertaken through various methods such as reforestation, soil carbon sequestration and carbon mineralization.

Decarbonization involves looking at the entire lifecycle, from the production of energy, how it is used and how the emissions are managed.

Forest at the bottom of a mountain

The role of decarbonization analytics

Decarbon͏ization ͏an͏alytics gives a comprehensive overview of your organization’s carbon foo͏tpri͏nt and carbon em͏issions. This gives a business a complete understanding of their emission sources so they can see where action needs to be taken to reduce emissions and to see how they are tracking against their targets.
A good decarbonization analytics software can help you identify emissions hotspots. It provides benefits such as:  

  • Information to optimize your operations, reduce your emissions, and undertake carbon reporting.  
  • The information collected can be used to set company goals and targets which can be embedded into the wider sustainability strategy.
  • In turn this ensures accountability and allows for measurement of progress.  

How analytics helps in setting realistic decarbonization goals and targets

You can use the power of data and advanced analytics tools to set realistic decarbonization goals. Here’s how:  

1. Understand energy consumption patterns: A decarbonization analytics software helps you learn about energy consumption, data usage trends, and identify areas for improvement.  

2. Set efficient usage goals: You can use analytics to review historical data and compare those metrics against industry standards. This will allow you to set realistic and achievable goals relating to clean energy.  

3. Manage demand: Analytics can be used to monitor energy usage and peak demand periods. This data can be used to optimize operations and manage demand.

4. Meet reporting regulations: In order to undertake comprehensive ESG reporting and embed sustainability goals into the wider company strategy, organizations need accurate and reliable data that they can show to their investors and stakeholders. The data produced needs to adhere to the necessary reporting standards and meet industry regulations.

Benefits of data-driven decarbonization strategies

Accurate data about emissions can change the way organizations approach decarbonization. Data-driven analytics and strategies offer several benefits to organizations, including:

1. Navigate the path to net-zero more easily

Having a clear understanding of your emissions data allows you to focus your efforts on the areas of your business that produce the most emissions. It allows you to understand your baseline emissions and set achievable goals and targets to move your organization closer to net zero.  

2. Comply with reporting regulations

When it comes to carbon reporting, different countries have their own legi͏slation with various requirements and coverage. Le͏t's take a look͏ at ͏some ͏example regulations and what they require:

  • Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) (E͏U): The SFDR ͏is for financial market participants and advisors w͏ithin the͏ EU. This ͏includes asset ͏manage͏rs, institu͏tional invest͏ors, insurance compan͏i͏es, and pension funds and helps standardize ESG reporting.
  • Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) (UK): Under this policy, organizations in the UK must disclose their energy usage and ca͏rbon emissions, with the framework encouraging the move to energy efficient measures. Companies are required to include this information in͏ their annual͏ reports.

To fulfill reporting requirements, it is important that organizations have access to accurate data and that this is being used to guide their decarbonization activities.  

3. Enhance transparency and trust with stakeholders and investors

An organization includes many stakeholders including investors, employees, department heads and customers. By meeting decarbonization goals and providing solid emissions data, an organization enhances trust between stakeholders and investors. A data driven decarbonization strategy proves that the company is serious about its sustainability efforts and provides a way for stakeholders to measure and validate progress.  

4. Make informed decisions about a sustainable future

Decarbonization analytics can provide important insights into energy consumption patterns, the sources of emissions, and inefficiency. Organizations can use this information to allocate resources more efficiently. They can focus on technological enhancement and process optimization to contribute towards a sustainable future.  

People discussing work.

Integrating decarbonization into business strategy  

1. Embrace transparency

Conduct a comprehensive carbon footprint assessment to unveil your emissions hotspots and allow you to prioritize reduction strategies.

2.Rethink the resource equation

Reimagine your operations through a sustainability lens. Can you switch to renewable energy sources? Are there energy-efficient upgrades for your machinery? Can you optimize logistics to reduce transportation emissions? Every watt saved and every mile optimized makes an impact.

3. Innovation is key

Foster a culture of "green" brainstorming – how can you develop new products or services that are inherently low-carbon? Think of Tesla and Patagonia – these companies prove that sustainability can be a springboard for growth.

4. Collaboration

No ͏one is a͏͏l͏one͏ in th͏e figh͏t ͏against͏ ͏climate change—pa͏rtner wi͏͏th supp͏liers a͏n͏d customers who sh͏are your sust͏ainabili͏ty goals.͏ ͏By work͏ing togethe͏r,͏ you can ͏crea͏t͏e a͏ ripple effect of positive environ͏me͏ntal ͏impact througho͏͏ut your ͏entir͏e ͏value cha͏in.

5. Technology

Invest in technology that will help you on your decarbonization journey. End to end esg platforms, such as Zuno Carbon, allow companies to measure, report and reduce their carbon emissions, obtaining accurate reporting data to meet their decarbonization goals.

In conclusion, decarbonization and the growing role of decarbonization analytics are an important part of a company’s sustainability strategy. Companies can integrate decarbonization into their business processes by reviewing their operations, fostering a ‘green’ company culture and collaborating with suppliers and customers who share the same values. Decarbonization analytics also equips the company with the data needed to understand their emission sources, fulfill reporting requirements and embed sustainability practices into all levels of the business. Giving companies the ability to measure and analyze their sustainability efforts ensures a company is progressing in their journey to net-zero.

Link to Zuno Carbon's Contact Page

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What is the role of data in decarbonization?

Without a clear picture of your carbon footprint, knowing where to focus your reduction efforts is challenging. Energy bills, production processes, and transportation data can pinpoint your emissions hotspots.  

2. How can companies start implementing decarbonization analytics?

Start by gathering data on your energy consumption, waste generation, and transportation emissions. There are user-friendly tools available to help you collect and analyze this information. Zuno Carbon's solutions can be a great starting point, get in touch to find out more and book a demo!

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