Tracking Emissions with Fugitive Emissions Software
Fugitive emissions software is becoming increasingly important. For example, on March 21, the SEC decided to move forward on making climate disclosure reporting, including Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, required for registered companies.
This caught many companies off-guard. Even though the SEC had been hinting at this development for a while, many companies aren’t prepared for this type of reporting. Executives are used to building managers taking care of things like leak detection and repair and the process to reduce voc emissions. Now, they will need to observe past performance as well as current performance and report on them just like any other financial report.
Business-as-usual practices won’t cut it for the future of program operations. Using software to detect voc leaks, track leaking components, and minimize expensive leaks is now the industry standard.
What are Fugitive Emissions?
Unintended or fugitive emissions are gasses, whether natural gas, carbon dioxide, or refrigerant-specific gasses, that are released into the atmosphere accidentally. They’re considered hazardous air pollutants and a threat to environmental sustainability, coming from pressure-containing equipment like storage tanks and systems that we see in the air conditioning, data cooling, and refrigeration industry (HVAC/R). Some are even considered volatile organic compounds.
Everything from simple leaks to large hydrocarbon gas leaks to faulty equipment can lead to these emissions.
A cause of climate change
Ultimately, fugitive emissions are bad for the environment. They are a top cause of climate change, which is why the SEC is now cracking down on the need to report them.
We can now predict future likelihood of climate change effects, and we know that there will be many that will greatly impact our lives. To curb some of them, we need to better track emissions everywhere, from office buildings, to chemical manufacturing facilities, to grocery stores, and more.
Companies Aren’t Prepared
A recent study from EY shows that despite changes in regulations, companies aren’t ready to step up to the challenge.
In one survey, they found only half of companies examined make all recommended disclosures by the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. In addition to this, only 15% feature climate change in their financial statements.
A Fugitive Emissions Compliance Program Needs to Move Beyond Paper
Current business-as-usual models of refrigerant management and fugitive emissions leak detection are not future-ready to track the emissions that the SEC is looking for. Many companies have focused on making their buildings energy-efficient, looking at optical gas imaging, portable voc detection instrumentation, calibrated organic vapor detectors, infrared imaging cameras, and other state-of-the-art tools. Even though these are great, they do not move a company towards better reporting.
Moving to digital
Even if their actual HVAC/R set-up is high-tech, many companies that come to us are doing their fugitive emissions monitoring through paper invoices.
What companies ultimately need to be looking for are software applications that accurately provide reporting on everything from emissions to gas leaks. While these may have been previously unavailable, programs that compile compliance records and perform leak detection now exist – and trakref is one of them.
Software for Fugitive Emission Compliance Operations
The right software doesn’t just need to be able to replace spreadsheets or paper logs, though. It also needs to be able to put operations into effect that will allow for proper emissions reporting.
The proper software must have workflows that instruct technicians through compliance when doing work such as identified components repair. These workflows must always be updated with the latest legislation and be able to guide technicians through collecting the data that bodies from state governments to the environmental protection agency to the SEC need.
Baked-In Emissions Information
In addition to the above, software needs emissions data and policy baked in. Wondering if your software is in-line with up-to-date standards shouldn’t be something to worry about.
Refrigerant Balance Sheets
Trakref uses protocols from both IPCC AR4 and the Voluntary Reporting Program v2.1 as part of our tracking and reporting mechanisms. These create automated refrigerant balance sheets.
Policy Changes Reflected in Workflows
The SEC is just the latest change at the national level on what is required in reports on emissions. That’s why we have policy experts on our team to make sure that the workflows in our software are always up-to-date.
Using the Right Reports
In addition to having the right architecture baked into the software, the software also must have the reports that you need. Trakref has these so you can pull exactly what you need.
Installed Inventory Impact Analysis Report
This report shows changes in GWP installed in systems at adjustable intervals that align with reporting requirements.
Scope 1 Emissions Reporting
Trakref also has specific reports to show your Scope 1 emissions. These reports can track against your current goals, or just show your emissions at face value.
Trakref Does This All
Trakref has all the of the elements that we’ve specified that software must do to properly track emissions.
We have both desktop software as well as apps for smartphones and handheld computers.
If you’re ready to get started, contact us today.
Join Our Open Mic
If you want to learn more about tracking fugitive emissions using software, join our Open Mic event on May 12 at 1:30pm ET. Register here.
You can also download our handout on the topic here.
We are refrigerant geeks with proven techniques to manage leaks in our HVAC/R and refrigerant management software.