GHG Inventory Management Plan Development
Construction Engineering Company on Behalf of Private Equity Company • Remote
Construction engineering company on behalf of private equity (PE) company
- Organize energy/greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) data across a wide range of providers and geographies
- Develop a GHG Inventory Management Plan (IMP) to organize the data efficiently and effectively
- A sustainable and systematic approach to the quantification of GHG data that can be scaled up in response to the client’s needs
The client, a PE firm with a wide array of portfolio companies, engaged with Apex Companies to provide environmental, social, and governance (ESG) support across its holdings. One of these firms, a national engineering firm with over 35 locations and 1,000 employees across the United States, engages in planning, design, and construction oversight to enhance transportation networks and infrastructure. The company decided to measure its GHG emissions to leverage this data when bidding for projects, hiring and retaining talent, and working with investors. Due to the firm’s number of employees, there needed to be extra emphasis on ensuring the continuity of data reporting in the event of management turnover.
The engineering firm has a large geographic footprint with locations that utilize a range of energy types and suppliers. Energy data exists in a variety of forms including meter readings, invoices, manifests, and written logs, all of which use different measurement techniques and units.
A key challenge for the organization was a lack of internal structure, which made it difficult to collect, manage, and report data efficiently and at a regular cadence. In addition to helping create a GHG inventory in alignment with the GHG protocol, Apex was also asked to build a strong data management foundation that would allow them to confidently and accurately report their GHG emissions footprint. The engineering firm required written procedures on how data would be collected, compiled, reviewed, and input in a uniform manner.
To begin the process, Apex helped to create a comprehensive IMP—a dynamic document that companies use to outline their processes on data collection, process management, risk mitigation, and quality control of climate data.
Through a series of questionnaires and interviews, Apex determined gaps in the firm’s current processes, common areas of confusion, and the need for a centralized instructional document to act as a roadmap. The IMP identifies all energy and fuel types being used across the variation in sites. Individual offices and sites use different energy sources depending on their local utility providers. These fuel sources include natural gas, electricity, fuel oil, propane, diesel, gasoline, steam, chilled water, hot water, renewable energy, and refrigerants. The variety of fuels and the variety of energy providers necessitates documentation processes for storing and accessing invoices so that data can be found in an efficient manner and so that no data gets lost. For any estimations or assumptions, methodologies are clearly laid out in the IMP, with detailed estimation calculations, and assumptions such as data conversion factors. An IMP specifically lays out where all the data should be stored and who will be responsible for storage and maintenance.
The detailed IMP Apex created for the engineering firm provides a set road map, clear instructions, and standard operating procedures on data collection, compilation, and review. When it comes time for the company to report its GHG emissions, the data will already be housed in one central location with instructions outlining each data source, with calculations to normalize the units in the data management system, greatly simplifying reporting. Creating and maintaining an IMP helps with process continuity; if the data owners leave, the new owners have a system that details exactly what to do and where to go, as opposed to devising a new system or deciphering an undocumented system.
The IMP that Apex created ultimately provides the firm with guidance on creating climate risk strategies and mitigating reputational risk. It is a dynamic system that can evolve and change as the company grows, develops new policies and procedures, and finds new and improved ways to report GHG emissions.