Carbon emissions: Categories and mitigation to reduce impact

  • 10 Jul 2023
  • 3 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Vidhi Patel

Carbon emissions refer to releasing carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Human activities, such as burning fossil fuels for energy, deforestation, and industrial processes, primarily cause these emissions. Managing and reducing carbon emissions is crucial for mitigating climate change.

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a widely used international accounting tool, defines the scope of carbon emissions. They categorise emissions based on their source and level of control:

  •       Scope 1 Emissions (Direct emissions): These are direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by an organisation. It includes emissions from on-site combustion of fossil fuels, such as those produced by power plants, industrial processes, and transportation fleets.
  •       Scope 2 Emissions (Indirect Emissions from Purchased Energy): These are indirect emissions resulting from purchased electricity, heat, or steam consumption. It includes emissions associated with generating electricity and heat that an organisation consumes. For instance, if an organisation relies on grid electricity generated from fossil fuels, the emissions from the power plant would be considered scope two emissions.
  •       Scope 3 Emissions: (Indirect Emissions in the Value Chain): These are indirect emissions that occur in an organisation’s value chain, including upstream and downstream activities. Scope 3 emissions encompass a broader range of sources beyond an organisation’s direct control. Examples include emissions from purchased goods and services, business travel, employee commuting, and waste disposal.

Organisations in Kenya are increasingly recognizing the importance of addressing carbon emissions and are adopting a combination of measures tailored to their specific circumstances to achieve sustainability goals. Here’s an example of how EABL is taking steps to manage its scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions:

Scope 1 Emissions (Direct Emissions):

  •   Energy Efficiency: Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) was presented with the Energy Management Compliance Certificate by the Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) this year. This follows the EABL’s proactive measures to ensure compliance with the Energy Management Regulations, 2012. It includes commissioning an investment-grade energy audit, developing an energy investment plan, implementing an energy management policy, investments in team training and appointing a dedicated Energy Manager to spearhead these efforts. The compliance has helped EABL achieve substantial energy savings, surpassing electricity and Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) consumption targets. The savings amounted to more than 50% of the energy conservation measures identified in the initial audit.
  •       Renewable Energy: EABL is transitioning to renewable energy sources to reduce its scope one emissions. Fuel oil at its plants is powered by sustainable agricultural materials such as bamboo, macadamia husks and bagasse.   

This is spread across Kisumu (3,500 tonnes/year) CO2 savings, Nairobi (25,000 tonnes/year) CO2 savings, and Kampala (11,000 tonnes/year) CO2 saving. This is expected to contribute a carbon saving of about 39,500M annually. The four biomass steam boilers in our Kisumu and Tusker plants help reduce our carbon emissions by 95% annually.

The biomass boilers utilise locally available and sustainable biomass sources, such as agricultural residues, forest residues, and dedicated energy crops. Raw materials such as bamboo, macadamia husks and bagasse are fed automatically or semi-automatically into a combustion chamber where they are ignited.

Scope 2 Emissions (Indirect Emissions from Purchased Energy):

  •       Renewable Energy Procurement: EABL is actively seeking renewable energy sources for its electricity consumption to address its scope 2 emissions. They enter into Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with renewable energy providers or invest in on-site renewable energy systems, such as solar panels, to generate clean electricity for their operations.

Scope 3 Emissions (Indirect Emissions in the Value Chain):

  • Supply Chain Engagement: EABL is working with suppliers and partners to address scope 3 emissions in its value chain. They collaborate to improve sustainability practices and reduce emissions throughout the supply chain. This may include promoting sustainable agricultural practices among farmers, optimizing transportation logistics, and implementing waste management and recycling programs.
  • Packaging Innovations: EABL is focused on sustainable packaging solutions to reduce its scope 3 emissions. They explore options such as lightweight packaging materials, increasing the use of recycled content, and promoting recyclability to minimize the carbon footprint associated with packaging and waste.
  • Stakeholder Engagement: EABL engages with various stakeholders, including customers, distributors, and employees, to raise awareness about sustainability and encourage sustainable practices. This engagement aims to drive behaviour change and reduce indirect emissions associated with consumer use and disposal of their products.