A report outlining carbon management practices in manufacturing operations published by the Aberdeen Group reveals that approximately 72 percent of the executives responding to the study said the investments in energy and carbon management programs this year will remain the same or increase as compared to last year.
According to the report, “Carbon and Energy Management in Manufacturing Operations,” although cost reduction is the top driver behind energy management, companies are more likely to be driven by the requirement to comply with current and future regulations for carbon management.
Organizations currently operating in Europe have to comply with the current laws related to carbon emissions and trading, while for their North American counterparts, the changing landscape of compliance mandates for carbon emissions is a primary concern. In the U.S., companies have already seen the advent of new regulations with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule for mandatory Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reporting being released in May.
“Energy and carbon management are the two critical components of any organization’s sustainability program,” explains Mehul Shah, research analyst, Aberdeen. “For nearly 72 percent of the 120 executives responding to this study, the investments in energy and carbon management programs this year are going to remain the same or increase as compared to last year. The capabilities highlighted in this new research have been critical in enabling the top performers to reduce emissions by 12 percent, energy consumption by 13 percent, surpass energy and operating margin goals by17 percent and 12 percent, respectively.”
According to the report, a significant part of carbon reductions realized over the past year have been a result of the economic downturn and corresponding reduction in energy consumption in manufacturing operations. It predicts that an increase in coal in the generation of electrical power in the U.S. will increase C02 emissions by 2.1 percent and 1.1 percent in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
The results of the study revealed that although the maturity of carbon management programs in organizations is not as high as the maturity of energy management programs currently, the focus on carbon management has been increasing more than ever before. Forty-three percent of the total respondents are currently in the planning stage to implement a carbon management program, according to the study.