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New guidance on Scope 3 emissions provides big step forward for achieving net zero buildings

Guidance has been issued for the first time setting out how the emissions of buildings in operation can achieve net zero carbon. The new guidance will transform the ability of those who run and manage services in buildings to measure and reduce emissions directly and across their supply chains to help them meet COP26 carbon reduction targets.

The impact will significantly extend the capacity of property developers and estates managers to lower emissions from the outset of discussions about new contracts and new buildings.

The new guidance, issued jointly by the Sustainable Facilities Management Index (SFMI) with the support and assistance of facilities management business BAM FM, upskills those in the facilities management (FM) sector to measure “Scope 3” emissions, to identify responsibilities for reporting these, and explains how to capture and reduce emissions in line with the COP26 1.5~ target.

Until now, FM greenhouse gas emissions have only included energy consumption in buildings.

The Scope 3 emissions guidance would capture a much wider range of emissions relating, for example, to travel to and from buildings, materials used in its maintenance, and even food supplied in canteens.

Sunil Shah, SFMI Founder commented: “An FM’s carbon impact is larger than many will report. This is exacerbated by the explosion of net-zero targets that have been announced by providers. So, many FMs are actively or inadvertently ‘scoping out’ emissions from their inventories to make hitting an arbitrary net-zero target easier. By doing this the industry is not positioning itself as a solution to the problem we have of reducing GHG emissions.”

Reid Cunningham BAM FM’s Strategic Development Director, added: “Scope 3 missions are the next part of the decarbonisation challenge for the built environment. This new guidance will bridge a vital gap and enable FM providers and customers and supply chains to use a standard approach to measuring emissions that will enable the whole industry to come together effectively to achieve net zero.

“Since COP26 in Glasgow, there has been a desire for more reporting measures for carbon and energy and to encourage supply chains to drive down emissions in a consistent way.”

Cunningham said a move to a low carbon economy would be hampered if the FM industry could not demonstrate a detailed understanding of its emissions and its capacity and influence in reducing them.

To download ‘Scope 3 emissions in FM: Setting the foundations for net zero’ click here

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