Advancing to the cloud from a spreadsheet

The aviation industry has had a very difficult year. We all know why. What you may not know is that many airlines and airports have spent 2020 learning how to increase efficiencies and minimize waste in order to survive this draught. Improving the use of smart technologies like IoT, automation and cloud infrastructure are the keys to the future success of the aviation industry. In fact, even in this challenging time, the objective for Greener airports, which smarter technologies are crucial for attaining, is trending upwards. Striving for carbon neutral is the target set by major governing bodies. The Airports Council International (ACI) Europe recently set the goal to bring European Airport’s emissions to zero or carbon neutral by 2050.

The purpose, attaining sustainability or carbon neutrality, has become a necessity in some industries and progressive in others. Sustainability has two meanings depending on the context. Surviving 2020 in the aviation business with customer traffic predicted at -50% compared to 2019 is one use of sustainability. But the second meaning, limit the use of natural resources to increase global environmental sustainability by reducing carbon emissions is more brand boosting in the eyes of consumers. In fact, according to IATA’s Industry Statistics Fact Sheet in June, the aviation industry is predicted to lower overall emissions by 340 million tonnes or 37% in 2020 compared to 2019, but operating losses of $84 billion are not sustainable.

Spreadsheet programs for carbon emissions inventory and reporting

The strategy of carbon accounting in order to reduce emissions to a carbon neutral level is the target for the aviation industries governing bodies. The Airport Carbon Accreditation (ACA) certification is proof of an organization’s excellent work in reducing emissions to meet the target. The ACA certification, launched in 2009, is based on the GHG Protocol – an International Standard for accounting and reporting GHG emissions.

The GHG Protocol methodology requires a verifiable emissions inventory that is accurate and transparent. Commonly spreadsheet programs are utilized for airport emissions inventories, because that is the recommended tool. Spreadsheet programs are an essential aspect of many forms of accounting and inventory tracking (and have been for decades), because they can be utilized for a wide variety of tasks. The adaptability and familiarity of spreadsheet programs lead to their use without consideration for other solutions.

Hasn’t our technological capabilities progressed past basic spreadsheets for inventory tracking?

Limitations of spreadsheet programs

The limitations of spreadsheet programs can increase the cost, time and resources needed to be a dynamic carbon emissions reducer. The majority of budgets should be spent on tactics for improving the consumption efficiency and minimizing excess waste not tracking inventories on a spreadsheet.

Specific limitations of spreadsheets for emissions inventories include:

  • Sharing and unprotected documents
  • Formula errors, human error and cell linking
  • Emissions Calculations into accurate tCO2e
  • Repeatability and traceability

Sharing data and unprotected documents:  Accumulating the necessary data required for an accurate and transparent emissions inventory requires a cooperative effort. The coordination of the different stakeholders, suppliers and services, as well as management oversight demands a free flowing of sensitive company data. When sharing the emissions inventory spreadsheets, you run the risk of edits and changes being made without the document owner’s consent. This could lead to an unapproved, unofficial totals getting distributed and bad decisions being made according to incorrect data.

Formula errors, human error and cell linking:  When utilizing spreadsheets, the danger of formula errors or human error is always present. Simple mistakes such as putting a misplaced decimal or an incorrect link to the wrong cell can lead to an errors in the data. Importing the data to the wrong consumption categories is also a possible mistake that has big ramifications.

 Emissions Calculations into accurate tCO2e:  According to the GHG Protocol, all the emissions inventory consumption data must be converted to tCO2e (tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent) figures. This daunting task requires a consistent time investment into ensuring the emissions coefficients are the latest numbers. As new strategies are put in place to reduce emissions, new emissions factors and coefficients need to be sourced for the tCO2e.

Repeatability and traceability:  Emissions inventories are a continuous process throughout the year for many reasons, including auditing purposes (certification renewal), continuous improvement measurement and monthly consumption analysis. Spreadsheet programs may not be setup to be easily repeatable, if primary program managers leave the organization. The traceability is also not a given when the data is updated regularly and changes are not tracked.

Cloud-based solution for carbon emissions inventory and analysis

Klappir Green Solutions has an excellent SaaS platform and carbon accounting solution. The Environmental management system solution, EnviroMaster, is developed specifically for emissions inventory tracking and reporting. The Klappir EnviroMaster is based on the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard.

The EnviroMaster smart technology is perfect for the ACA certification as an improved method for levelling up the certifications to attain carbon neutrality. Klappir’s platform is getting gaining traction in the maritime industry and making a big impact on reducing emissions.

Klappir and AIM

Klappir and AIM Solutions are hosting free webinars for the aviation industry. The webinar targets some of the challenges of the aviation industry’s drive towards sustainability and how technology can mitigate some of them. The webinar will show how Klappir’s cloud-based solution can be leveraged to manage, measure and monitor emission sources, and reporting. Support for the certification process for the Airport Carbon Accreditation is also highlighted. 

Register here now, as seating is limited.

Christopher Brown

5. nóvember, 2020

Christopher Brown