Embracing responsible emissions management can transform how organizations impact the health and profitability of their assets. This opportunity is undeniable. An IBM CEO study, based on interviews with 3,000 CEOs worldwide, reveals that CEOs who successfully integrate sustainability and digital transformation report a higher average operating margin than their peers. Additionally, more than 80% of the interviewed CEOs say sustainability investments will drive better business results in the next five years. This study underscores the transformative potential of aligning businesses with sustainable practices.
As leaders in asset management operations, you must help your company deliver on the bottom line. Let’s explore how the IBM® Maximo® Application Suite (MAS) can help you optimize the efficiency of your assets through operational emissions management.
Unlocking the benefits of emissions management
Emissions management is not only about tracking greenhouse gases; it also involves controlling and overseeing a wide range of emissions released into the atmosphere during industrial processes. Emissions can be intentional, such as exhaust gases from a power plant, or they can be unintentional, like pollutants from manufacturing. These processes result in byproducts, including leaks, effluents, waste oil and hazardous waste.
To manage these byproducts effectively, focus on optimizing your assets and identifying emerging issues early on. Well-maintained assets produce fewer byproducts and last longer. Additionally, minimizing waste and hazardous materials promotes a safer and cleaner environment.
Besides environmental responsibility, emissions management boosts the bottom line through operational efficiency, regulatory compliance, safer working environments and an enhanced corporate image. Let’s explore each of these aspects in more detail.
Strategic planning and operational efficiency
Strategic maintenance planning drives significant cost savings. Efficient assets have longer lifespans, improved performance and help to ensure uninterrupted production. For example, Sund & Baelt automated their inspection work to monitor and manage its critical infrastructures to help them reduce time and costs. With a better understanding of asset health and the risks to address with proactive maintenance, Sund & Baelt estimates that they can increase the lifetime of bridges, tunnels and other assets while decreasing their total carbon footprint. Establishing common sustainability goals also encourages collaboration among typically siloed departments, like operations, safety, and maintenance. Fostering this collaboration better positions you to lead future asset management programs and achieving these objectives enhances your organization’s operational health.
Compliance and fines
Regulatory bodies like the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) set stringent standards for companies to meet. Emissions management is pivotal in enabling compliance, as it helps organizations trace and resolve issues. This approach fosters greater accountability, driving a culture of responsibility and transparency within the company. Non-compliance leads to rapid accumulation of fines, emphasizing the importance of adhering to regulations. For example, to help protect the stratospheric ozone and reduce the risks of climate change, the EPA has levied millions of dollars of fines to companies that mismanage emissions under the Clean Air Act. In 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act amended the Clean Air Act and introduced new fines for methane leaks starting at USD 900 per metric ton of methane emissions in 2024, rising to USD 1,500 by 2026. According to the Congressional Research Service, this affects over 2,000 facilities in the petroleum and natural gas industry, and is expected to see fines of USD 1.1 billion levied in 2026, rising to USD 1.8 billion in 2028. This would result in an average facility facing annual fines totaling USD 800,000.
Operational health and working environment
Emissions management efforts can help establish a safe working environment across your organization. Reducing exposure to hazardous substances promotes better air quality reducing health risks and positively impacting the well-being of workers. Complying with occupational health and safety standards creates a workplace that prioritizes employee safety and meets regulatory requirements. Managing and monitoring emissions further reduce the likelihood of accidents and incidents. Additionally, emissions management includes developing strategies for handling emergencies related to hazardous materials. As stated by VPI, “There are always inherent dangers, but you can make them safe places to work by employing a robust and efficient maintenance strategy and safety systems of work.” Having a robust operations maintenance strategy in place enhances the organization’s ability to respond effectively to unexpected incidents, safeguarding employees.
An efficient, sustainable, and responsible enterprise reaps the benefits of a healthy culture. This approach attracts top talent and becomes appealing to investors. With more buyers favoring sustainable and responsible vendors, you’ll see an increase in sales to this market.
Enterprises demonstrating clear progress in sustainability commitments often receive more support from governing bodies. The Inflation Reduction Act, for example, offers significant tax credits for companies that can capture, and store carbon dioxide emitted from industrial operations. This external validation reinforces the need for effective emissions management. It emphasizes the multifaceted benefits to businesses, society and the environment.
In short, emissions management involves taking charge, reducing waste and making your business more efficient, performant and healthy.
Better manage emissions with MAS
MAS is a comprehensive suite of applications designed to improve asset health and reliability. How can MAS help you better manage emissions?
Driving a reliability and sustainability culture starts with designing the optimal strategy for your asset operations, placing emphasis on the reliability and sustainability of your critical assets. With Maximo Reliability Strategies, cross-functional teams can accelerate failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) for assets prone to emission issues. Asset operations teams can then apply reliability-centered maintenance strategies to ensure your assets are managed to the highest standards of reliability.
Key components in MAS, including Maximo® Health, Maximo® Manage and Health, Safety and Environmental Management (HSE), play a pivotal role in emissions management. These applications provide operational data capture, governance, safety measures and incident management. Specifically, the HSE component offers occupational health incident tracking, process safety, permits, consents, identification of environmental emissions, ISO14000 requirements compliance and investigations.
Ensuring the optimal health of your assets needs a team with a high-performance culture empowered with the tools to realize their vision. To enhance your emissions management strategy, apply Asset Performance Management (APM) within MAS by using components like Maximo® Monitor and Maximo® Predict, which are powered by industry leading algorithms and AI through IBM watsonx services. With APM, you can take a proactive and prescriptive approach to emissions management, leading to even greater efficiency gains and asset health.
Envizi and MAS: Better together
The IBM® Envizi™ ESG Suite offers key capabilities for a comprehensive emissions management solution, complementing the operational excellence that MAS enables.
Envizi delivers top-down management reporting, while MAS offers bottom-up operational asset management. Envizi provides enterprise and site-level reporting, whereas MAS adds asset-level reporting for full traceability and accountability. With both solutions, you get visibility across the problem spectrum, from the enterprise to the asset level, whether through Envizi or MAS. Furthermore, you can address issues surfaced by Envizi or MAS directly at the asset level or even prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.
With these two solutions, asset management leaders can accurately gauge their organizations’ performance and the operationalization of their sustainability goals.
Leading enterprises are actively promoting sustainability, resilience and responsible asset operations. It’s not just a choice; it’s a strategic imperative for achieving net zero targets.
Optimizing the operational efficiency of assets enables you to predict and prevent issues, reduce emissions, help ensure compliance and create a safer and healthier work environment throughout your enterprise.
The case for effective emissions management is compelling, driven by factors like regulatory compliance, employee satisfaction, a positive corporate culture and an enhanced reputation. Ultimately, it’s about protecting our future and your enterprise’s bottom line.
By investing in emissions management technologies like MAS to minimize environmental impact, and integrating them with solutions like Envizi, you pave the way for a sustainable future, leading to a more prosperous and greener future for your enterprise and the planet alike.
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