Delivering Sustainable Operations through Collaboration on Emissions Reduction
Article written by: Dave Anderson, Score Group
There are many stakeholders in the emissions management and sustainability arena. Each group of stakeholders have their own interests - some are aligned, whilst others may be in opposition. Examples of these include regulatory authorities, business owners and shareholders, material suppliers, customers, special interest groups, lobbyists, the general public and let’s not forget all other life forms that we share our planet with.
What everyone likely already appreciates is that we are all in this together and so collectively, our actions - not words - will ultimately decide if the planet itself remains habitable for future generations, because that is inevitably what the sustainability prize will be.
It takes all of us working together with a shared vision and goals to deliver a sustainable future. No one individual or organisation can do it alone. Regulators, operators, valve manufacturers, service companies and the supply chain must all work together.
No single organisation has ultimate control over emissions management; however, all operating companies have control over their own aspirations for emissions reduction.
In-house Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies and objectives are being drawn up (or are already in place) in most organisations. According to a recent industry report, 50% of CEOs in the UK now have specific ESG performance goals connected to their roles.
A typical example of an ESG target is -
“Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30%, by 2030”
Some questions you should be asking: Do I know my company’s ESG targets? What are they? How were they agreed? Have they been communicated to all relevant stakeholders? How will I contribute to their achievement? Do I need any training or practical advice on actions I can/must take? What reporting systems will I use to measure progress towards our goal(s). Is progress reporting auditable and transparent? Are we continuously improving our performance?
Why Collaboration is Key
Looking at all the parts of the emissions management ecosystem (see graphic to the right), it’s easy to get lost in the complexity of systems, subject matter experts and operational capabilities. Furthermore, organisations typically have varying appetites to engage, and this effectively increases or decreases the probability of success, by creating a multi-layered model, as influenced by the green boxes shown in the graphic.
We hear in the press every day how stakeholders are pushing for an all-encompassing “Net Zero Emissions” focus.
Unfortunately, a big part of these discussions focuses on the negative impacts and business penalties of non-compliance or not achieving our aspirational or prescribed goals. Negative influences include but are not limited to; costs associated with the implementation of new monitoring technologies, operational change disruption, non-compliance penalties such as financial fines and public relations/ brand damage. If we focused all our efforts and resources on reacting to these negative influences, then we would be more likely to miss the real opportunities that are associated with optimised emissions management.
Taking a positive approach
If we alternatively shift our focus onto the positive aspirations, impacts, and business benefits resulting from fully implemented Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) policies and practices, then we are more likely to have positive engagement from all stakeholders and therefore success is more likely to be achieved.
When we engage positively and passionately in lowering emissions, we can expect the following outcomes to be achieved; lower emissions, reduction in production losses, operating cost reductions, optimised risk management, optimised operating efficiency and maximised profits.
Do you know anyone in our industry who doesn’t want these outcomes? Knowing what we want to achieve and where we want to go is a great start.
Where should you start?
A great place to start is understanding the sources and scale of your current, existing emissions – in other words measuring and reporting current emissions will reveal where your best reduction opportunities are.
Taking an emissions measuring focus and gathering quantitative survey data delivers a clear advantage when it comes to mitgation.
Emissions Scopes, measurement and reporting
Do you know what the three defined ‘emissions scopes’ are and are you measuring them? Armed with quantitative emissions data, you can prioritise your actions and make the biggest impact on emissions mitigation/elimination.
Scope 1 and 2 emissions are the easiest to measure, as they are directly within the control of the business owner or operator, be that a valve manufacturer, supplier, maintenance or repair company and they are driven by the scale, reliability, and efficiency of business operations, as well as the source of the energy consumed during production.
Scope 3 emissions are somewhat more complex to measure as these are scattered throughout the business’ value chain; both upstream and downstream operations (from raw material receipts through to final products supplied). The World Resources Institute has published technical guidance for calculating scope 3 emissions, which identifies 15 different categories to measure and report on.
In certain markets (including the UK) Scope 3 emissions reporting will become mandatory in July 2024 for many companies, under the European Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). The potential fines qualifying companies are facing for misreported CO2 emissions are up to £40 per tonne of CO2 emissions, so this presents a very serious risk.
For many years, we have been pushing for the enhancement of traditional Leak Detection and Repair (LDAR) programs to include quantitative data, even recommending a change of the service acronym to LDQAR, on the basis that emissions monitoring and management is evolving, as our understanding and emissions measuring capabilities are enhanced.
Taking this to the next level, our latest efforts are focused on driving continuous (IC) improvement but adding this to the acronym too (LDQARIC) would render it unwieldy to say the least.
We needed a new model, which Score has simplified to Emissions Elimination Program (EEP).
Emissions Monitoring Equipment
Compliance requirements, within specifications such as The Oil & Gas Methane Partnership 2.0 (OGMP 2.0) for example, require process operators to complete emissions surveys and repair leaks of certain magnitudes within specific time periods and so selection of emissions survey equipment becomes critical.
A wide range of listening, imaging and sampling technologies (such as acoustic emissions, ultrasonics, optical gas imaging, thermal imaging, mass spectrometry, etc.) can be periodically deployed by trained personnel, or permanently installed to continuously detect, quantify and report emissions data.
Inspection and measuring equipment selection criteria should include parameters such as core technology, application case, leak source, ease and speed of use, safety, operator skill requirements, sensitivity, leak rate quantification certainty, data capture and storage and reporting functions. Expert advice should always be taken to ensure the correct, fit for purpose tools are selected and used in every instance.
Emissions survey results should be integrated with reporting systems that guide emissions management decision making and optimise emissions mitigation and elimination efforts.
Partial or fully automated systems that deliver consistently reliable actionable insights are most valued.
Valve Repair vs. Replacement?
It should be noted that repairing existing leaking valve assets has a significantly smaller associated carbon footprint than replacing that asset with another valve.
Typically, valve repairs deliver around 70% - 95% lower total emissions when compared to valve replacement. These lower total emissions will make a significant contribution towards meeting organisational ESG and net-zero goals.
Working closely with valve repair service companies who have the experience, skills and knowledge and have developed both temporary mitigation and permanent repair methods, techniques, solutions and procedures ensures that total site-wide emissions are continuously reduced over time.
Opportunities for temporary leak sealing methods include engineered sealing clamps, mechanical integrity clamps, injectable fluids, replacement seals, sealing wraps. Every proposed repair must be robustly assessed from a risk and sound engineering practise perspective, prior to implementation.
Now we know what we collectively want to achieve let’s take our discussion forward and collaboratively work towards sustainable operations, for the benefit of all stakeholders.
Score Group is proud to have been delivering environmental solutions and sustainability benefits to customers for over 40 years. We provide our services globally, from more than 30 locations spread over 6 continents and we work in multiple market sectors such as energy, oil & gas, marine, defence and utilities.
Our unique Emissions Elimination Program is your single source solution for emissions management, providing regulatory compliance and reporting on emissions.
All work is managed through our bespoke software solution - designed and developed in collaboration with Asset 55 - which enables you to monitor the environmental performance of your asset and track failures through to repair.
Published research confirms that around 75% of all emissions are valve related and, in our experience, around 15% of isolating valves are leaking to flares or vents.
Our long and successful track record in delivering Intelligent Valve Management services makes us a partner you can trust on both eliminating emissions and improving valve reliability. Score Group meets regulatory compliance and reporting requirements, whilst producing evidence of your efforts to meet or exceed your ESG goals.
Score differentiates itself from other service providers by offering a full-cycle service model, through our unique Emissions Elimination Program™, which has 4 key steps.
We start by surveying with the best available technologies and tools, then analyse the survey results, to allow us to prioritise and deploy our repair methods and technologies.
It is through the consistent and reliable delivery of our repair services, methods and technologies that we measurably eliminate your emissions. This focused approach leads into our continuous improvement phase, where we then seek to engineer out recurring failures.
Our clear understanding of emissions sources and impacts allows us to target your scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions elimination on a prioritised basis and our 40 years of experience in maintenance and repairs ensures that our clients see an efficient and effective emissions reduction result.
Score is proud to support and partner with customers on their journey to net zero emissions and to help them build and maintain a sustainable future for all.
If you would like further information on Score’s Emissions Elimination Program™, please contact us via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Article Written by Dave Anderson, Score Group: With 39 years of valve industry experience and 29 years of service in the Score Group, Dave Anderson is a highly experienced valve specialist and brand ambassador. He travels the world, enthusiastically promoting Score’s innovative products and services, to educate and help customers find and tackle their problem valves and measurably lower their emissions. Dave is an award-winning international conference speaker and with his team’s support he has built an international customer base, spread over more than 30 countries, which contributed to Score Group winning the Energy Industries Council (EIC) Export Award, as well as the Technology Award and Company of the Year Award in 2022.
Published: 14th August 2023
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