Sustainability 101

Waste-Related GHG Emissions: How Waste Affects Carbon Footprint

Now you can track your waste-related GHG emissions on the Great Forest Sustainability Metrics platform.
Now you can track your waste-related GHG emissions on the Great Forest Sustainability Metrics platform.

Did you know: Landfill and waste services account for 30% of the commercial sector’s GHG emissions? 

Waste is the next BIG frontier in fighting carbon emissions, but many property managers and building owners are missing this significant opportunity to reduce their building’s carbon footprint by focusing solely on energy use, and ignoring waste-related GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions.

Why is waste-related GHG emissions data useful? 

  • REPORTINGCurrently, over 8000 companies disclose their carbon footprint data to the Carbon Disclosure Project. More businesses will begin reporting as their customers, investors and the public demand accountability. By including your waste-emissions data, you will have a fuller picture of your efforts, and you will be leading the way.
  • REDUCE YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT: Once you know how your waste stream contributes to your carbon footprint, you will be able to start implementing strategies to reduce waste-related GHG emissions. This is an opportunity to have a big impact on BOTH carbon emissions and building waste.

How is GHG from waste calculated?

The GHG Protocol, which provides the world’s most widely used GHG accounting standards, provides guidance. But due to complexity in linking waste disposal to emissions, there are several methods used for collecting data, and different coefficients used by different agencies (EPA and DEFRA). Great Forest waste experts recently completed an in-depth study, which will soon be published, that analyzes and identifies the best approach.

Our research informs our calculations. Great Forest uses US EPA emissions factors together with Great Forest’s proprietary glass/metal/plastic emissions factors for a more accurate accounting of GHG emissions resulting from waste. The waste-related GHG metrics are  inclusive of the transportation and processing of waste as per the GHG Protocol Scope 3 Category 5: Waste generated in operations.

Contact us if you are interesting in viewing emissions data on the metrics platform. 

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