Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) is a tool used to identify the net impacts of a product, including raw materials extraction, manufacturing, use, and disposal. Knowing the life cycle impacts of your product or project can provide critical information to customers and decision-makers to enhance your brand and market sustainability features, creating new sources of value. This argument has been proven by innovative products such as compact fluorescent light bulbs, hybrid vehicles, and insulation made from recycled blue jeans. Demonstrating low environmental impact of a product with life cycle assessment is particularly important for emerging green technologies and green developments projects. Our approach to life cycle assessment provides you with clear metrics that allow you to improve the sustainability features of your product. In addition, we can compare your product or project with a conventional equivalent, using this information to enhance your brand. EcoShift life cycle assessment consultants use standardized LCA methods (ISO 14040-14049), as well as tailor-made procedures, to assess the unique characteristics of individual goods. For more information on LifeCycleShift, download our InfoPak.
EcoShift consultants provide expert witness, academic review, and due diligence services on a variety environmental and climate change topics. With a long and growing record of peer-reviewed publications and current academic affiliations, our specialized technical knowledge is augmented by our professional independence, objectivity, and integrity. We have the necessary skills to interpret highly technical, scientific information and translate it into lay terminology.
Climate and energy policies, in fits and starts, are continuing to evolve. At the local, state, regional, national and international level, some climate change policies are already functioning, others are defining the final rules and moving towards implementation, while others are still under debate. Policies to support solar photovoltaic and energy efficiency adoption have been in effect for years. These policies impact the public and private sectors in diverse manners, creating opportunities for some and barriers for others. EcoShift provides policy analysis and strategic advising to government, non-profit, and private institutions. √ What will be the impacts of a policy on energy consumption? √ What will be the effects of a particular policy on a business’ bottom line and regulatory risk? √ What lessons can be learned from a policy or program that will support development of future initiatives?
Achieving extensive greenhouse gas reductions onsite can be costly, which is why various voluntary offset certifications exist. In addition, all climate legislation allows some reductions through the purchase of carbon offsets. EcoShift specializes in developing methodologies to accurately account for the amount of carbon stored in an offset, as in our recent white papers for Climate Action Reserve’s Forest Protocol and Cropland Management Protocol. In addition, we help organizations interested in purchasing offsets determine what is the right type and source of offset so that purchased reductions are credible. EcoShift has also developed a model for local offset programs, which carry the added benefits of ease of monitoring and confirmation by purchasing entities, local governments, and citizens.
A comprehensive and well-designed climate and sustainability plan can help your organization minimize costs, improve your bottom line, reduce regulatory risk, and demonstrate environmental stewardship to your customers and employees. A ClimateShift strategy involves three steps: Assess: Conduct a Greenhouse Gas Inventory. Using Climate Registry protocols and tools developed by EcoShift, our carbon consultants perform a comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, or carbon footprint, providing a snapshot of impacts of business operations and creating baseline data needed to demonstrate reductions. Our greenhouse gas accounting process is transparent and verifiable, enabling efficient auditing and effective planning. Design: Create a Climate Action Plan. With a completed inventory, our climate change consulting team helps you identify low cost options for reductions. We use several metrics to aid in choosing which strategies to pursue, including payback periods, cost per ton of reductions, upfront costs, and public visibility. Options we assess include: energy efficiency improvements, staff education, transportation incentives, renewable energy, alternative fuels, and carbon offsets. Implement: Select and Execute Projects. Utilizing our broad network of expert providers makes executing a climate action plan cost effective and efficient, so implementation easy for you. We also build customized analytical tools to allow ongoing monitoring. Scope 3 emissions: Including Scope 3 GHG emissions in your inventory means that you are fully disclosing your climate impacts, even though such reporting is not required in existing climate change regulations. Companies are increasingly looking to reduce emissions in their full supply chain because they are aware that their climate impacts extend well beyond operations. Scope 3 emissions can be a large percentage, or even a majority, of your total footprint, so understanding your Scope 3 emissions is a crucial step towards corporate stewardship. Our Scope3Shift service will help you understand, calculate, and take steps to reduce your Scope 3 emissions and green your supply chain. You can download the full InfoPak on our Scope 3 emission services here. For more information on ClimateShift and carbon reduction strategies, download our InfoPak. If you would like to contact us, please fill out the following form: [contact-form 1 “Contact form 1”]
Ecosystem services provide trillions of dollars of value to the global economy each year – likely on the order of magnitude of global GDP. However, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment has shown that most ecosystems around the world are in severe decline. All businesses are part of local, regional, and global ecosystems and interact with these ecosystems through impact and dependency. These interactions can exist internally to operations and elsewhere along the product / service life cycle. Impacts can be both positive and negative and many companies are actively seeking to minimize their negative impacts. On the positive side, emerging markets for ecosystem services provide potential business opportunities. Where companies are dependent on diminishing ecosystem services their business value may be at severe risk. Leading companies are taking a proactive stance to effectively manage both their impact and dependence on ecosystem services. There are a growing number of tools to help your company better understand its relationship with ecosystem services. Conducting a Corporate Ecosystem Services Review (CESR, see below) will provide your company with a comprehensive assessment of major risks and opportunities. EcoShift can support your company by conducting a CESR, Corporate Ecosystem Valuation, or Ecosystem Services Benchmark and can guide you towards establishing an ecosystem service action plan. Read more about ecosystem services.
Energy efficiency improvements have the potential to lower operational costs, which will increase profitability and savings. Most companies can save 10-30% of facility operating costs through energy efficiency improvements, and the return on investment on projects is usually less than four years. Rising fossil fuel energy prices due to decreasing fossil fuel supplies, rising demand, and changing legislation can increase financial uncertainty. An EnergyShift strategy involves three steps: Assessment: Since every enterprise is different, we perform a comprehensive and customized assessment of all aspects of your energy usage, including heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, the building envelope, and operational and maintenance procedures. Planning: After identifying opportunities for energy savings and renewable energy, we create a plan of action consistent with your goals and investment horizons. We calculate a set of decision metrics including project costs, energy savings, payback times, and return on investment. Financing and Implementation: Because many sources of incentives and financing exist, we will work with you and our partners to identify funding and financing sources. We also reduce your management burden by tapping our broad network of vendors and installers of energy technologies. Employee Behavior: Behavior change and employee engagement are some of the first places to look for low- or no-cost approaches to achieve cost savings and reductions in environmental impact. We identify strategies to implement management changes and employee incentive programs in order to reduce your energy consumption. You can download our InfoPak on employee behavior management here. For more information on EnergyShift, download our InfoPak.
A key component of future federal Climate Change policy will be incorporation of renewable fuels into the transportation fuel mix, which currently comprises over 28% of U.S. energy consumption. Even renewable energy sources like biofuels use fossil fuel energy throughout their life cycle, so life cycle assessment is increasingly becoming an essential tool for understanding the carbon intensity of transportation fuels. California has approved a plan to reduce the life cycle carbon intensity of transportation fuel by 10% by 2020. The purpose of the regulation is to incentivize the development of lower carbon fuel for California’s transportation system. Any fuel with 10% less carbon than conventional transportation fuel can generate credits, which must be purchased by fuel producers that are non-compliant with the LCFS. We anticipate that a similar framework will be adopted at the national level. Since Ecoshift is familiar with the various design improvements in the acquisition and processing of fuels, and follows the ISO 14040 life cycle analysis guidelines, we can help you identify places to improve the physical pathway used to produce your biofuel. Once implemented with your fuel, we can then apply to CARB for a new pathway. You can download our complete service offering description here.