Monitoring, reporting play key roles in tracking, reducing GHG emissions

PPG Industries uses a database solution from ESS, a provider of environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) and crisis management software, to monitor 130 manufacturing facilities. While the system meets PPG's need today, Jerry Osheka, director of environmental compliance for the Pittsburgh-based coatings and specialty products supplier, says PPG is always looking for a better way of doing thi...
By Jim Fulcher, contributing editor (jimfulcher@comcast.net) March 1, 2008

PPG Industries uses a database solution from ESS , a provider of environmental, health, and safety (EH&S) and crisis management software, to monitor 130 manufacturing facilities.

While the system meets PPG’s need today, Jerry Osheka, director of environmental compliance for the Pittsburgh-based coatings and specialty products supplier, says PPG is always looking for a better way of doing things.

“My vision is to improve our ability to collect and report data, and track projects,” Osheka says. “Better reporting using dashboards, for instance, would make it easier to track progress in reducing our carbon footprint.”

The challenge may be more complex for other companies, many of which use spreadsheets, and often look at the company with a plant-by-plant perspective because they lack a way to take an enterprise view.

What manufacturers need, says Simon Jacobson, senior analyst with Boston-based AMR Research , is an automated view into both the plant and the enterprise that can tie back to the company’s financial view. Such an approach would facilitate modeling and planning, he says.

One solution that takes that approach is offered by Carbonetworks . Its software platform enables companies in various process industries to create effective GHG emission strategies to reduce costs and capitalize on emerging global markets.

Managing assets related to emissions can be difficult, and involves adherence to national or jurisdictional regulations and policies, says Stephen Mooney, VP of Carbonetworks. Carbonetworks’ regulatory rules engine enables companies to get real-time metrics, reports, and asset valuation analysis of their global operations on a single platform.

For example, the Carbonetworks Carbon Balance Sheet tracks greenhouse gas emissions. Part of the Carbonetworks Emissions Management software platform, this tool helps companies understand how these emissions and offsets contribute to their bottom line.

“Our software promotes decision-making abilities across the enterprise,” says Mooney. “The Carbon Balance Sheet, for example, helps manufacturers understand how emissions reductions can directly affect their financial performance. It allows viewing environmental performance on a single pane of glass—whether for one facility, or a thousand.”

AMR’s Jacobson says Carbonetworks creates a structure for its solution similar to the manufacturing intelligence pyramid. “It promotes a role-based view, so plant-floor supervisors, managers, and executives all get a different view most suited to supporting the types of decisions they make,” he says.

Mooney concurs. “Executive teams want to execute now, so time is critical, but it’s difficult to identify and understand corporate risks,” he says. “But with risk comes opportunity, so manufacturers need to identify opportunity as well. Our mission is to help manufacturers build an effective strategy that sets an emission target and then gives a dashboard view of operations so they can monitor progress. That way they also can act on a changing manufacturing environment.”

Five-point carbon strategy

Manage what you measure by taking a top-down approach to emissions inventory creation and management.

Understand your position through application of a top-down approach that takes all facets of emissions management into account, including inventory, market activity, and portfolio risk.

Get a clear financial perspective on carbon by removing the guesswork from carbon reductions and offsets by linking to global emissions markets and projects to gain the most from the inventory and projects.

Build a cost-effective carbon strategy on one platform, and then build consensus across all major business units with automated reports, shared work spaces, and forecasts.

Execute your strategy through use of deep analytics displayed in straightforward, informative dashboards to improve decision management.