Decarbonization 101
Implementing Decarbonization Strategies

Overview of Decarbonization Technologies and Solutions

May 28, 2024
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This lesson highlights the importance of accessing decarbonization technologies and solutions and underscores the significance of identifying and implementing relevant decarbonization actions tailored to an organization's specific needs.

Terms to Know

  • Decarbonization Technologies - A range of processes, methods, and innovations aimed at reducing or eliminating carbon dioxide from various sources. (Ex: renewable energy sources, energy efficiency measures, electric vehicles)
  • Power Purchase Agreements - Contracts between a company/organization and a renewable energy provider, where a consumer agrees to buy a specific amount of renewable energy at a predetermined price over an agreed-upon period.
  • Circular Economy - A circular economy is a model of production and consumption, which involves sharing, leasing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing, and recycling existing materials and products for as long as possible.
  • Life Cycle Analysis - Systematic evaluation of the environmental impacts of a product, process, or service through its life cycle, considering all stages from raw material extraction to use, disposal, and potential recycling.
  • Carbon Capture and Storage - Technology that captures carbon dioxide emissions from industrial processes or power plants, compressing it and storing it underground to prevent its release into the atmosphere.
  • Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) - A globally used framework for sustainability reporting that provides guidelines for organizations to disclose their economic, environmental, social, and governance performance. 
  • Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) - An initiative established by the Financial Stability Board to address climate-related risks and opportunities related to financial reporting.
  • ISO 14001 - An international standard for environmental management systems that provides a framework to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve environmental performance.

Decarbonization technologies and solutions encompass a diverse range of approaches aimed at reducing GHG emissions and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. 

Many organizations, especially those just beginning their decarbonization journey, may need more knowledge or means to source relevant technologies and solutions for their organization effectively. Not to mention, it can become expensive and laborious to depend on consultants for this often highly customized and tailored guidance.

With Net Zero Navigator’s Decarbonization Lever Library, organizations can peruse a table of business actions an organization can take to decarbonize over a certain period of time. 

While organizations may not find every lever useful, many of the decarbonization actions are generally applicable to a broader audience depending on the industries:

  • Green Energy Sourcing: Peak Load Management - Matching operational energy usage with renewable energy peaks (e.g., solar output highest during the middle of the day) ensures a greater renewable share of electricity usage from the grid and thus lowers corresponding scope 2 emissions
  • Building Operations: Owned Renewables - Using on-site renewable energy mitigates the need to purchase energy, thus lowering scope 2 emissions
  • Greener Packaging: Use of Sustainable Packaging - Reduces scope 3  and end-of-life treatment of sold products and purchased goods and services emissions by purchasing greener packaging inputs (e.g., bio-packaging)
  • Other Ingredient Inputs: Supplier Management - Choosing suppliers and customers that perform better on emissions standards (or mandating current ones to meet those standards) will naturally lower scope 3 emissions from purchased products and processing of sold products, respectively.

Quadial Inc. uses Net Zero Navigator to visualize the impact of certain decarbonization actions and gain insight into other decarbonization actions that may be material to their organization.

The key to successfully implementing and achieving ambitious decarbonization technologies is determining which are material to your organization.

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