Big Box Retailer Embraces Carbon Reduction in Their… | ENGIE Impact

Big Box Retailer Embraces Carbon Reduction in Their Business Strategy

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Driven by a long-standing commitment to be an environmental steward, a global Fortune 500 big box retailer was determined to incorporate sustainability into their business strategy and operations. To drive momentum, their internal sustainability team realized they needed a business case to get executive buy-in and illustrate how carbon reduction initiatives are beneficial to their bottom line by managing climate-related risk and bolstering their reputation with employees, customers and the market.

Building a Business Case for Carbon Reduction

Already a long-standing partner of ENGIE Impact, the big box retailer trusted the ENGIE Impact team to leverage their monthly bill data to help develop a business case and identify areas of opportunities to reduce carbon emissions that also produce cost savings. Through a thorough analysis, it was identified that distribution centers were accounting for a large share of the big box retailer’s overall emissions, yet it was more beneficial to the company to focus on energy savings through rebates at their retail stores, producing a higher level of savings. Ultimately, the analysis and business case helped the big box retailer prioritize energy efficiency initiatives for their retail space like rebates and retrofits that both aided in carbon reduction and cost savings before tackling opportunities with their distribution centers.

With executives in support of investing in sustainability initiatives, the big box retailer’s sustainability team wanted to focus on driving change rather than calculating emissions and analyzing year-over-year trends. They did not have the resources or depth of knowledge needed to calculate emissions, determine which datasets to analyze, know how to format the data to make it more digestible and how use of sold products emissions might change in the future. Again, they looked to ENGIE Impact as their partner of choice.

Measuring and Analyzing Carbon Emissions

Calculating carbon emissions and ensuring the data and metrics are compatible with reporting standards takes time and meticulous attention to detail. Focused on implementing initiatives and planning for future projects, the big box retailer looked to ENGIE Impact to:

  1. Create a Greenhouse Gas Inventory which provides calendar year emissions and usage for Scope 1, 2 & 3, changes in emissions from baseline, a year-over-year comparison, a breakdown of emissions by location, building type and emission category and makes sure the calculations can be accessed for CDP reporting.
  2. Calculate their Scope 2 Market-Based Figure and advise them on how many Renewable Energy Credits and in which regions they should purchase them to have the largest impact on their emissions and assist in creating a methodology to adopt an emissionality principle.
  3. Support the Verification Process by interacting with the verifier directly to answer any questions around the accuracy of the data, the methodology used to calculate the emissions and make any necessary adjustments to the final numbers. In addition, provide an analysis on Emission Factor Projections based on potential future climate scenarios to understand how they would impact their overall emissions.

The Benefits of Managing Carbon

The partnership enabled the big box retailer to gain visibility into their current emissions, understand how much their emissions increased or decreased due to the change in grid electricity emission factors and provided more assurance in their emissions analysis. By having the emissions data analyzed and organized in a specific way, the big box retailer has insights into if they:

  • are on pace to their goal
  • need a true-up in unbundled REC purchases
  • have to pivot their sustainability strategy and re-align it to their business strategy

As a company that has been proactive in managing carbon and implementing sustainability initiatives for over 20 years, this big box retailer is truly an industry leader focused on being a good environmental steward for their business and communities they operate in.

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