at Industries Forum
CONCORD-An expanded greenhouse-gas registry program from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) was presented recently at a workshop sponsored by the Governors Office of Energy and Community Services (ECS) and the Business and Industry Associations WasteCap Resource Conservation, through their joint Industries of the Future program.
More than 30 businesses and energy and environmental consultants at the Industries of the Future technical workshop heard Joanne Morin of the DES Air Resources Division describe the new aspects of the registry-known as the New Hampshire Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions Registry (NH GHG Registry)-as an excellent risk management tool.
"Companies can use the NH GHG Registry to establish a baseline of GHG emissions and/or to quantify specific emission reduction projects," Morin explained. The workshop reviewed the requirements for submitting projects to the NH GHG Registry and highlighted easy-to-use software tools that calculate GHG emissions.
"We know emissions controls and potential trading are coming, because weve seen bills in other states as well as federal legislation proposed," Morin told those gathered at the session. "This program is designed to help New Hampshire businesses get a voluntary jump ahead by establishing an emissions baseline in anticipation of potential cap and trade regulations and by identifying specific emissions reduction projects that could be recognized under future GHG trading regimes."
"By establishing a baseline for emissions now, any reductions New Hampshire companies subsequently make in their emissions can be counted and credited when restrictions come along," said Betsy Blaisdell, energy manager at the Governors Office of Energy and Community Services (ECS).
Mark Toussaint, WasteCap executive director, said his organization wants members to get early information on the NH GHG Registry because "it makes sense from a good management standpoint to chronicle efforts you make in becoming more energy efficient and reducing CO2 and other emissions."
Morin said the NH GHG Registry is designed to offer businesses flexibility to register at various levels: company, facility or project. Company or facility emission inventories tell a business where it is today and what its emission sources are, she said, noting that "an inventory can be an important tool, because it helps identify the potential opportunities for GHG emission reductions."
In addition, the NH GHG Registry offers participants a chance to chronicle the changes they have made and what emissions reductions have been achieved.
"There are obvious payoffs in quantifying and managing the risk," Blaisdell said, "especially if caps are introduced. But this is also an incentive for management to start project reductions in emissions, such as lighting upgrades and other efficiency measures, which end up saving money in the long run." She added that such changes can help companies achieve or maintain ISO ratings.
"Weve also found that process efficiency changes that may start from a desire to be greener often have an important effect on the bottom line and make companies more competitive," Toussaint noted, "and thats something we really want to emphasize."
IOF companies are in three industrial sectors-forest products, metals, and plastics and rubber-whose processes are traditionally energy intensive and, as such, emissions-intensive as well, Blaisdell explains.
"These companies provide about 30 percent of our economic base and we want to help them stay competitive," she said. "If they can take steps to deal with emissions now, it will put them in a better position later on. This is one way the IOF program focuses on keeping these important industries on the cutting edge.
The workshop last week was the first in a series of IOF-sponsored workshops requested by businesses and industry members. Other events are scheduled to discuss ergonomics and green chemicals and polymers. For more information on the registry, visit www.des.state.nh.us. Information on Industries of the Future can be found at www.nhiof.org or www.nhecs.org/sep/iof.html.
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