Session Title: Sustainable pathways for decarbonization
Time: 3:15 – 3:45pm
Session Type: tba
Ports provide a novel and interesting context for the application of carbon footprint techniques. Varying widely from sprawling industrial complexes to small niche marinas, ports primarily operate as logistics platforms for the transfer and movement of people, goods, and services. In doing so they need to consider not only the requirements of the senders and receivers of goods and services; but act as business partners alongside shipping companies, terminal operators, forwarding companies; whilst also operating as landlords to occupying industries. In the context of rapidly adapting competition in globalised markets, integrated transport systems, and new transport technologies, port authorities are presented with significant functional and structural challenges effecting the management of their operations.
The Interreg Two Seas funded project ‘Ports Energy and Carbon Savings (PECS)’ has investigated the carbon footprints of several European ports, and developed novel methods for carbon reduction. This paper explores the competing definitions of ports as geographic places, administrative units, and as supply chain components; with each perspective explored within its relevance and impact on carbon footprint methodologies. A consideration is also provided to the role of ocean-going vessels within the carbon footprint of ports. Subsequently, methods are developed and applied to assess the carbon footprints of four European ports. Finally, the outcomes of carbon saving interventions deployed during the PECS project are discussed.
Companies that provide innovative solutions that decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions over a product’s life cycle would like to be able to quantify and communicate the benefits of their solutions. However, many calculation methods exist, which diminishes the robustness and the credibility of GHG reduction claims. The French association SCORE LCA, backed by industry, initiated a project with the purpose to identify how the avoided emissions generated by a value-chain actor can be calculated, communicated, and interpreted. Within the project, two evaluation methods were tested on case studies: the guidance of the French “Entreprises pour l’Environnement” for an attributional LCA (ALCA), and the consequential LCA (CLCA) methodology. From the case studies, key parameters were identified that influence the calculated avoided emissions: the application of ALCA or CLCA, the identification of a reference scenario, and the modeling of co-production and recycling. Furthermore, requirements for the communication of environmental evaluations of ISO 14044 and ISO 14020 were reviewed. From this, recommendations are done on the minimum level of detail that companies should provide when they communicate the environmental benefits of their solutions. Finally, graphs and vocabulary are suggested that minimize the risk of misinterpretation, and enhance the credibility of the results.
Mahmood F Bhutta
In recent years, there has been a movement towards streamlining reusable surgical instrument sets, driven by labour and cost efficiencies,(1, 2) involving elimination of instruments infrequently used, and usually making these items available as ‘supplementary items’. There is also growing interest in improving the environmental impact of operating theatres, but little evidence of the impact of instrument sterilisation.(3, 4) The aim of this study was to estimate the carbon footprint of processing reusable surgical instruments, either as part of sets or as supplementary items, to understand how different approaches might affect environmental outcomes.
A hybrid carbon footprint was estimated in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Accounting Sector Guidance for Pharmaceutical Products and Medical Devices, using activity data and prospective machine loading pattern audit data at a UK hospital sterilisation services department. Processes included were energy and materials (fuels, water and detergent), and material production and disposal of packaging. The post-sterilisation packaging was modelled using three scenarios, with instruments A) individually wrapped in single-use packaging as supplementary items, B) prepared as sets in single-use tray wraps (double-wrapped), or C) packaged as sets in reusable tins. Emission factors were sourced from the UK DEFRA/BEIS, ICE, International Stainless Steel Forum, and Small World Consulting databases. Microsoft Excel (v.16.25) was used for all calculations.
The carbon footprint of the washer totalled 3.02 kg CO2e/ cycle, and the steriliser was 3.56 kg CO2e/ cycle. The washing and sterilisation of individual instruments as part of a set totalled 0.02 kg CO2e/ cycle, whilst that of a supplementary instrument was 0.07 kg CO2e/ cycle. The carbon footprint of processing including packaging per instrument was lowest when instruments were part of a set packaged within a tin (0.02 kg CO2e) followed by a tray wrap (0.03 kg CO2e). There was a four-six fold increase when items were packaged as supplementary items (0.118 kg CO2e). Occasionally the machines ran with a small number of sets on them (filling as little as 4/12 slots for the washer, and 6/18 slots for the steriliser).
This study showed that the carbon footprint of using reusable surgical instruments can be reduced by incorporating instruments frequently packaged as supplementary items into standard sets (preferably within reusable tins), alongside running the washer and sterilisers at full capacity where possible. Surgeons and sterilisation services should be made aware that streamlining reusable instrument sets can be at odds with meeting carbon reduction targets.
- Farrelly JS, Clemons C, Witkins S, Hall W, Christison-Lagay ER, Ozgediz DE, et al. Surgical tray optimization as a simple means to decrease perioperative costs. J Surg Res. 2017;220:320-6.
- Nast K, Swords KA. Decreasing operating room costs via reduction of surgical instruments. J Pediatr Urol. 2019;15(2):153.e1-.e6.
- Berner JE, Gras MDP, Troisi L, Chapman T, Vidal P. Measuring the carbon footprint of plastic surgery: A preliminary experience in a Chilean teaching hospital. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2017;70(12):1777-9.
- Woods DL, McAndrew T, Nevadunsky N, Hou JY, Goldberg G, Yi-Shin Kuo D, et al. Carbon footprint of robotically-assisted laparoscopy, laparoscopy and laparotomy: a comparison. Int J Med Robot. 2015;11(4):406-12.
Large corporations routinely announce targets for future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions covering their own operations (Scope 1) and parts of their supply chain (Scope 2 and 3). Until recently, companies had few tools for setting emission targets based on climate policy goals. This changed in 2015 when the “Science-based targets” initiative (SBTi) was established. The initiative encourages companies to set emission targets in line with the 1.5 to 2 degree goal of the Paris Agreement and offers methods and guidelines for doing so. To date, more than 300 companies, with combined annual emissions comparable to that of Canada, have defined science-based GHG targets. With increasing popularity of the SBTi comes a need for scientific scrutiny of its methodological approach and the corporate targets it has approved.
In this study, we develop a framework to characterize and compare all methods that have been promoted by the SBTi, in terms of emission accounting scope, emission allocation model, company-required input variables, global parameter settings and format of resulting targets. We then evaluate the scientific validity of each method by answering the question “if all companies, globally, were to use this method to calculate a target, would the sum of all company targets equal the global emission scenario assumed in the method”? Finally, we address a concern that companies might “cherry-pick” the method that gives them the easiest target by comparing 317 SBTi-approved targets to “would-be targets” that we calculate for each of the methods companies can choose between. In light of the results, we provide recommendations to method developers, the SBTi and companies and discuss future research needs.