Information Systems for Environmental Sustainability

IT, Resource Productivity, Environmental Preservation, and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Guidelines for Conducting a Baseline GHG Inventory from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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Lessons learned from the first annual CO2 inventory conducted by PNNL:

Improve data collection and data management process – Data to support this analysis came from various data coordinators across PNNL. Some of this data is incorporated into PNNL’s environmental management system and other data was pulled from human resources, accounting, travel, and other individual performance metric owners. To facilitate data collection for future inventories, it is recommended that inventory developers work with the EMS team members and the other data holders to track information in a way that supports a calendar year analysis and in a format that better supports reporting requirements. … Once a common system is in place to collect, manage, and verify the quality of the data, future inventories will require significantly less effort.

Seek additional calculation tools – The initial scope of this inventory was defined more broadly than is often done for corporate GHG inventories, by attempting to include emissions associated with
waste/recycling and paper products consumed. While third-party tools are currently available to support an assessment of emissions associated with both of these activities, there are uncertainties involved with the
calculation methodology for paper and the waste/recycling calculation has issues associated with double counting upstream emissions.

Conduct analysis by building and/or organizational unit – In order to use the inventory results to effectively identify opportunities for improvement over time, the inventory should be conducted at a finer level of granularity, for example at the building level and group level rather than institution level. The current analysis presents aggregate data for the Richland and Sequim facilities over a calendar year period. [more]

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Author: nigelpm

Associate Professor of Information Systems, Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan - Helping organizations to navigate digital transformation.

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