Recently, environmental discussions seem to have shifted from carbon footprints to energy management. Many organisations are planning to supplement their ISO14001 Environmental Management standard with the Energy Management standard ISO50001. Even some governments, like South Africa, are implementing this new standard to avoid a future energy crisis. Instead of reducing carbon emissions by implementing a broad sustainability policy, many organisations prefer the energy approach. This makes sense. Energy-efficiency is a major step towards reducing the total carbon footprint and lowering operating cost. Also, there is no real stick for not reporting things like waste emissions. Most legal requirements do not include Scope 3 emissions. As corporate carbon footprint boundaries stretch up and down the supply chain, a clear return on investment becomes exceedingly elusive, whereas with energy-efficiency initiatives, the returns are easy to project accurately.
Energy is used up by assets and buildings. Building management systems, asset management systems and other such solutions are more than capable of managing various parts of the physical infrastructure, but deploying these different solutions often creates complex IT environments. This is the reason why Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) is moving to a more coherent direction of managing assets and energy together, such as CA DCIM.
Same strategy could be applied to other areas of sustainability, where new requirements frequently shape the landscape. For example, Helsinki in Finland is the home to the European Chemicals Agency, established in 2007 to control chemical substances in the EU. The agency currently requires EU companies importing or producing more than 1000 tons of registered substances per annum to submit a report. In June 2013, the threshold will be reduced to 100 tons, and finally in 2018, to one ton. The process of managing chemicals is called REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals). As we can see from the chart below, there was a lot of chemical movement in and out of the EU. Some 31,000 companies in the EU are affected by this legislation.
Source: Cefic Chemdata International
Currently, REACH reporting is applicable only to the larger manufacturers in the EU, but in 2013 and particularly from 2018 onwards, many more will be affected.. To help with the submission, the European Chemicals Agency provides and maintains a free tool, IUCLID, for collecting data for the REACH report format but there is a cost per substance associated with the submission, particularly with substances of high concern. The cost associated with the process of preparing the submission dossiers is also substantial. This amounts to a powerful incentive to replace the dangerous chemical with a safer and thus cheaper alternative.
The REACH legislation introduces a new process and a new point solution to gather and manage data. Many of the companies affected by this legislation also monitor energy in offices, plants and other sites. They often publish a carbon footprint, water and waste report, social responsibility report or submit data for a building or system certification. These are the companies that would benefit from a software solution that is capable of bringing all these various data streams under one roof. With energy and asset management in data centres, DCIM appeared on the scene to reduce very similar complexities. With enterprise sustainability, a single pane of glass to manage both energy and broader sustainability data in one flexible solution should be the ideal.
For more information on CA’s DCIM, Energy and Sustainability solutions, please visit www.ca.com/sustainability.