Air emissions data management is a hot topic these days.
The Trump administration recently announced that it will roll back the Clean Power Plan, which set strict limits on carbon emissions from existing coal- and gas-fired power plants.
At the same time, companies must still satisfy local and federal requirements like the Clean Air Act as well as stakeholder demands for transparency and sustainability.
These changes are affecting emissions data management in profound ways. Let's look at four big trends we're seeing in the field of emissions data management.
1. Emissions and sustainability data management are merging
Many organizations are already embracing voluntary environmental programs like ISO 14001. But as regulations become more uncertain, sustainability initiatives will be an even more important way of managing risk and satisfying stakeholder demands.
This merger of emissions and sustainability will require an integrated approach to environmental management and sustainability that's new to many businesses. It makes sense, then, that more companies are looking for environmental management systems that can handle both environmental and sustainability data under one roof.
2. Emissions data must be measured at more frequent intervals
In the past, many companies looked at continuous emissions monitoring as just another step to maintaining compliance. It wasn't uncommon for recordings to be taken at the minimum intervals -- especially since processing large volumes of data by hand was tedious and time consuming.
Today, regulatory uncertainty is driving organizations to keep closer tabs on air emissions. Companies are realizing the value of real-time emissions monitoring not only for compliance, but rather as a tool for proactively managing risk. To that end, many organizations are adopting environmental data management software in order to provide continuous visibility into their emissions performance.
3. Manual data entry and processing is a thing of the past
Today's technology enables companies to capture real time feeds of emissions data at the source and import it into a centralized EHS software system for analysis and reporting.
This eliminates costly data entry errors, timely QA/QC, and frees up EHS teams for more valuable tasks. In fact, it's not uncommon for teams to see a 50% reduction in time spent on manual data entry and reporting tasks when they start using environmental management software.
4. Companies are moving to asset level management
With increased pressure to improve sustainability, it's no longer enough to capture data about a company's carbon footprint at the factory or enterprise level. Companies require a more detailed picture in order to discern which processes and pieces of equipment contribute most to their carbon footprint.
Asset level data provides a detailed picture of emissions performance for each individual process and piece of equipment. Instead of looking at a big picture view of the whole forest, asset level data provides a close up view of the individual trees.
In the future, asset level data will be used to inform decisions on which equipment to service or replace, which processes to optimize, and which activities contribute most to their carbon footprint.
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