Understanding your carbon emissions
Measuring and monitoring GHG emissions are essential features of a strategy to reduce such emissions. By enabling network operators to understand the relationship between the network and CO2, the measurement process gives insights into where reductions can be made without affecting NREN service levels. The
ISO-14064 standard is very useful in this regard, as it also deals with projects to improve the situation.
Within the GÉANT Green Team, several GHG reports have been produced for participating NRENs. Data from these reports form a basis for comparison among the GHG emissions per year and per part of the network. Based on these data, several graphs are produced showing trends regarding the percentage of energy consumption in the diverse NREN’s activities as well as the change in energy consumption during the years under analysis.
Green House Gas Emissions’ Reports
The GÉANT Green Team has been carrying out audits of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of NRENs and the GÉANT pan-European network. There are several gases that contribute to climate change but the biggest pollutant is Carbon Dioxide (CO2). The measure of GHG emission is usually expressed as a mass of CO2 equivalent, or tons of carbon dioxide.
The Green Team has adopted the
ISO 14064 standard for its carbon audits. ISO defines a standard at the organisation level for quantification and reporting of GHG emissions and removals. This is in line with the objectives of the Green Team whereby each member has agreed to seek independent validation of their own network's carbon audits.
GHG Audit Reports
GÉANT study of environmental impact inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and removals.
Statistics and graphs based on the available data from the NREN GHG reports, as well as further EU and worldwide sources.
Guidelines and templates for conducting audits
A common scheme or template for preparing GHG reports for NRENs was adopted, to enable the audits to be carried out in a methodical and consistent manner. This also enables comparisons within and between NRENs, with a view to identifying key areas that need attention. The main aim of the template is to assist in the early stages of producing a greenhouse gas (GHG) report for a NREN or similar organization.
The GHG emissions are divided into four classes:
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A two-step method is used to calculate the GHG emissions in each class.
- The first step measures the energy consumption of light, computer equipment, cooling and heating used by all activities of a class.
- Then using public available conversion factors the GHG emissions derived from these energy consumptions are calculated.
Typically the consumption values are measured in kWh either by direct measurements or from equipment specifications. If not known directly, an approximate PUE (power usage efficiency) factor should be used to account for the cooling requirement of electronic equipment.
Ultimately only the aggregate GHG emissions of an organization are of interest, and the splitting into four classes is only a proposal for easier management of the accounting effort. And, of course, it may also help to introduce energy-reducing measures in the organisation.
Click here to download a copy of the Accounting Template