Our experience has taught us that decarbonization is best done surgically, focusing on specific domains which are known to consume significant amounts of energy and are therefore good candidates for decarbonization. Transport, computing, industrial machinery, and heating/cooling systems are all examples of critical domains where smart, proactive strategies can move the needle on your climate impact while saving you money in the long run. This is strategic decarbonization, and this is what we do. Talk to us about how we can help you in your decarbonization journey.
We focus our decarbonization efforts on equipment, machinery, vehicles, etc., that have long lifetimes, require significant capital investment upfront, and use large amounts of energy in the many years or even decades that they are in service. Some examples: electric vehicles added to a fleet of delivery trucks to replace older diesel-powered trucks, compute servers purchased for a new data center or to upgrade an existing center, electric heat pumps replacing furnaces fueled by natural gas, industrial motors that must be either refurbished or replaced after a decade of use, etc.
These and many other business and industrial scenarios involve both embodied carbon in the manufacture of the capital equipment – contributing to scope 3 emissions – and then operational carbon during the use phase contributing to scope 1 and scope 2 emissions. The challenge in these types of scenarios is to decide whether and when a piece of equipment should be replaced, how refurbishment compares with replacement, and – if replacement is warranted – what type of new equipment should be purchased.
The optimization here should cover both the lifetime cost of the equipment and the lifecycle carbon emissions from cradle to grave. Government incentives for electrification and low-carbon energy will play a role here. Our decarbonization solutions will optimize carbon (and other resources like water) within an accepted cost and return framework so that both financial and climate concerns are addressed together.
We look at problems and solutions on a lifecycle basis and identify strategies that can deliver carbon reductions that are provably additional. We use rigorous life-cycle assessments (LCAs) to calculate the embodied carbon in equipment, machinery, vehicles, etc., as well as greenhouse gas emissions from the use phase based on the specific power grid region (or multiple regions in the case of vehicles) where the equipment is expected to be in service. We can even take into account the hours of the day that a piece of equipment is in use and get to highly granular emission calculations.
In addition to carbon, we have the capability to look at other metrics like water use. Our LCA-based approach also looks at the fixed and variable costs of equipment, allowing us to find the most cost-effective path to reducing a given amount of emissions.
We are putting together secondary data to accurately capture emissions from the manufacture of electric/gasoline/diesel vehicles of different sizes and ranges, compute servers, end-user computers like laptops, data networks and switching devices, industrial motors of various sizes and capabilities, commercial HVAC equipment using both electricity and conventional fuels, etc. These data sets will allow us to easily quantify the embodied carbon in a wide range of capital equipment, which is an important input into optimizing the timing of equipment replacements/upgrades.