Decarbonisation Technology - November 2022

Artificial intelligence drives the way to net zero AI and smart manufacturing can be used to optimise profits as well as produce insights into a company’s carbon footprint and accelerate its sustainability

Aaron Yeardley Tunley Engineering

B usinesses are responding to the threat of global warming by quantifying their carbon footprint and reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Companies such as Tunley Engineering aid businesses in data collection, data analysis, and GHG reporting before focusing on reducing emissions from the hotspots calculated in the business carbon assessment. Consultancy from Carbon Reduction Scientists at Tunley Engineering is pivotal for businesses to accurately measure their emissions because of the sheer difficulty and expense of measuring the full extent of their business activities. The fourth industrial revolution (Industry 4.0) is already happening, and it is transforming the way manufacturing operations are carried out. Industry 4.0 is a product of the digital era as automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies shift the central industrial control system to a smart setup that bridges the physical and digital world, addressed via the Internet of Things (IoT). Industry 4.0 is creating cyber-physical systems that can network a production process, enabling value creation and real- time optimisation. The main factor driving the revolution is the advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning. The complex algorithms involved in AI use the data collected from cyber-physical systems, resulting in ‘smart manufacturing’. The impact that Industry 4.0 will have on manufacturing will be astronomical as operations can be automatically optimised to produce increased profit margins. However, the use of AI and smart manufacturing can

also benefit the environment. The technologies used to optimise profits can also be used to produce insights into a company’s carbon footprint and accelerate its sustainability. Some of these methods are available to help companies reduce their GHG emissions now. Other methods have the potential to reduce global GHG emissions in the future. Scope 3 identification Scope 3 emissions are from a company’s supply chain, both upstream and downstream activities. This means Scope 3 covers all of a company’s GHG emission sources except those directly created by the company and those created from using electricity. It comes as no surprise that, on average, Scope 3 emissions are 5.5 times greater than the combined amount from Scope 1 and Scope 2 (BSR, 2020). Therefore, companies should ensure all three scopes are quantitated in their GHG emissions baseline. However, in comparison to Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions, Scope 3 emissions are difficult to measure and calculate. This is because of a lack of transparency in supply chains, a lack of connections with suppliers, and complex industrial standards that provide misleading information. The major issues concerning Scope 3 emissions are as follows: • Reliability of data This includes the variability in data quality between supply chains and the uncertainty in carbon emission factors used to calculate GHG emissions • Double counting Emissions can easily be double counted as supply chains of companies become interconnected. For example,


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