Your guide to CO2 reporting and a zero-emissions fleet
May 22, 2023
The International Council on Clean Transportation reports that light-duty cars and trucks produce 40% of transportation emissions. To decarbonize the sector, up to 90% of passenger vehicles will need to be zero-emission vehicles by 2050.
Starting with your fleet to understand how much CO2 your company produces is a great first step in tackling the challenge of emissions reduction. You can lower CO2 emissions by shifting to zero-emissions vehicles. Here is your guide to establishing a zero-emissions fleet and informed CO2 reporting.
What are scope 1, scope 2 and scope 3 emissions?
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are classified into 3 scopes:
- Scope 1 emissions include the direct GHG emissions from the tailpipe of a vehicle.
- Scope 2 emissions cover the indirect GHG emissions from fueling the vehicle with gas, electricity, or other fuel.
- Scope 3 emissions are generated across a fleet’s value chain, suppliers, and customers.
How does emission reduction impact strategic considerations for EV adoption
Electric vehicles (EVs) are the best move that companies can make to reduce their fleet emissions. EVs provide a great benefit by bringing scope 1 tailpipe emissions to zero, with the caveat that the electricity generation mix will determine a company’s scope 2 emissions. Regions in the United States (U.S.) and Canada with a higher renewable energy mix provide a greater scope 2 emission reduction, than those regions that primarily generate electricity with fossil fuels such as coal or gas.
Transitioning from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to more sustainable types of vehicles, ties closely into an organization’s broader environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategy, specifically in the management of their scope 1 and scope 2 emissions. Arc by Element provides holistic support through gradual fleet electrification that meets our clients’ needs.
What types of vehicles qualify as zero-emission vehicles?
Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) include battery electric vehicles (BEVs) or all-electric vehicles and fuel-cell electric vehicles (hydrogen vehicles). These vehicles qualify as zero-emissions, as they produce no direct exhaust or tailpipe emissions like ICE vehicles do.
What is CO2 reporting?
CO2 reporting quantifies a company's emissions in metric tons. Clients have access to on demand emissions reporting on Element’s Xcelerate Intelligence platform, down to the vehicle identification number (VIN) level.
As companies convert to zero-emission vehicles, it is useful to track the percentage of their fleet that have been electrified. This will help companies to see the progress in getting to that ultimate goal of having all vehicles produce net zero-emissions, rather than just focusing on the output, the metric tons.
What are some recommendations for CO2 reporting?
- Create a baseline from your historical operations, and then from there, see how you’re tracking year-over-year on CO2 emissions. Fleet CO2 emissions are directly related to the amount of fuel consumed. Fleets can calculate their emissions with fuel use data and employ strategies to reduce emissions.
- Quantify and report CO2 emissions, even when it is voluntary. While CO2 reporting is usually required only for large emitters, it is good practice to report emissions. CO2 reporting is increasingly being encouraged by investors and the public, as it demonstrates a commitment to environmental sustainability.
- Be proactive in developing a sustainability plan, inclusive of CO2 reporting. With global CO2 emissions continuing to grow, governments are increasing regulations to achieve deep emissions reduction. The Biden administration recently announced new vehicle emission standards for light-and medium-duty vehicles for the 2027 to 2032 model years, aimed at decarbonizing the transportation sector and accelerating the transition to EVs in the U.S.
- We encourage working with a GHG emission reporting consultant to understand your company’s carbon footprint.
- Consult the relevant bodies that apply to your operations to calculate your carbon output and prepare your CO2 emissions report:
Refer to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) GHG inventory guidance. Note: In California, companies must report their emissions to the state as well as the EPA.
The Government of Canada website provides guidance on reporting to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program in Canada.
- Leverage Element’s Strategic Consultants and their fleet Life Cycle Cost Analysis (LCCA) tool to plan vehicle replacement to support emission reduction strategies. The LCCA tool helps you to make decisions on acquiring assets, while providing the total cost of ownership. The tool also makes emission projections on the selected vehicles, so that you are aware of the environmental impact of your choices.
Ready to take action?
Our team of experts can guide you in your efforts to achieve a greener fleet. Contact us to learn more.
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