Why is carbon accounting important?

Inaki gonzalez
January 11, 2023

Why is carbon accounting important?

Carbon accounting is the process of measuring and tracking carbon emissions and/or carbon removals from a particular system, such as an organization, facility, or project. It provides a quantifiable understanding of the overall carbon footprint related to an activity and helps identify opportunities for reducing emissions and mitigating environmental impact.

The goal of carbon accounting is to provide data-driven insights that support the development and implementation of strategies to reduce carbon emissions and advance sustainability initiatives.

A metric ton of CO2 fills up a balloon with 9.8 mts. in diameter. Every second, we are releasing more than 1,000 of these balloons into the atmosphere. 40% of these emissions come from Real Estate, and 70% of them are produced by the building’s operations (around 9 billion balloons/year filled with carbon dioxide).

Carbon accounting in real estate is important because it measures the carbon footprint of a building and helps reduce its environmental impact. This information is useful for setting and achieving sustainability goals, making informed decisions about energy usage, and complying with regulations and reporting requirements such as:

·       Local Law 97 (LL97), which is a New York City law that sets emissions limits for         buildings over 25,000 square feet of construction.

·       California's Title 24 Energy Efficiency Standards, which set energy efficiency         requirements for buildings in the state.

·       The Energy Conservation Code in Massachusetts, which establishes energy efficiency          standards for new construction and major renovations of buildings in the state.

·       The Chicago Energy Conservation Code, which establishes energy efficiency standards         for new and existing buildings in the city.

·       Seattle's Energy Benchmarking and Reporting Ordinance, which requires large         commercial and multi-family buildings to track and report their energy consumption.

·       Philadelphia's Green Building Tax Credit program, which provides financial incentives         for buildings that meet certain energy efficiency and sustainability standards.

What are the benefits of accurate carbon accounting?

·       Maximize energy efficiency and reduce energy bills.

·       Avoid fines: For example, in New York City, buildings that do not comply with the         requirements of Local Law 87 can be subject to fines of up to $500 for each violation.         In California, building owners who fail to disclose energy consumption data in         accordance with the state's mandatory disclosure laws may face fines of up to $2,000         per violation.

·       Optimize Maintenance: Having centralized energy consumption data can help you         detect on-time energy consumption spikes and take immediate action.