Water Journal : Water Journal November 2012-1
carbon footprint refereed paper technical features 80 NOVEMBER 2012 water This facilitates tracking changes over time and potentially benchmarking with other water authorities. Sydney Water also found that the potential for “hybridisation” with detailed data on specific suppliers, while currently complicated to apply, was a valuable capability of the tool. Once further detail on all industries’ carbon cost liabilities is available, there is the potential for detail on the carbon price coverage to be incorporated within the tool. This would simplify analysis and provide a more comprehensive assessment of supply chain carbon cost liabilities. Sydney Water is also using the tool for other uses, including reporting of the organisation’s ecological footprints. Conclusion Sydney Water has completed an extensive analysis of its carbon footprint and has estimated the impact that the carbon price will have on our operations. While carbon pricing will increase costs for the water industry, the carbon footprint methodology provides opportunities to recognise and manage the cost of carbon. This analysis has allowed Sydney Water to: • Estimate the full impact of the carbon price on operational and capital costs; • Examine the significance of direct liability in the context of our total carbon costs; • Support the business case for continuing energy reduction initiatives; • Identify the potential extent of carbon cost pass-through from our supply chain and opportunities to encourage suppliers to reduce their footprint; • Publicly report our carbon footprint and carbon cost exposure to customers and stakeholders. Sydney Water is well placed to manage carbon costs and identify opportunities arising from Australia’s move to a low-carbon future through our new Energy and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Strategy 2020. We will continue to use the Footprint Tool and our Cost of Carbon Abatement Tool to prioritise opportunities to reduce energy use, reduce emissions, reduce costs and measure progress. Future areas of focus include integrating carbon costs in planning decision-making and moving towards sustainable procurement. Sydney Water aims to shrink our footprint and reduce our exposure to long-term carbon price risks. This will ease pressure to increase future water prices as we continue to improve the sustainability of our services and provide value to our customers. Acknowledgements The Authors thank Kristy Drzewucki of the Water Services Association of Australia (WSAA) and Chris Dey, Sydney University Integrated Sustainability Analysis, for their support in customising the Footprint Tool for Australian water authorities. The Authors Freya Hartley (email: freya.hartley@ sydneywater.com.au) is an Environmental Strategist at Sydney Water and project managed the use of ecological and carbon footprint tools to understand Sydney Water’s overall environmental impact and carbon risk exposure. Phil Woods (email: philip.woods@ sydneywater.com.au) is the Principal Eco-Efficiency Analyst at Sydney Water and leads Sydney Water’s effort to identify and assess greenhouse gas mitigation opportunities across the business. References Australian Government (2011): Securing a Clean Energy Future: the Australian Government’s Climate Change Plan, Commonwealth of Australia. Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (2011): National Greenhouse Accounts Factors, Commonwealth of Australia. Energetics (2011): Carbon Price 2011: Australia’s Emissions Intensive Industries, www.energetics.com.au/newsroom/energy_ newsletter/energy-intensity-of-australia Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal of New South Wales (2012): Review of Prices for Sydney Water Corporation’s Water, Sewerage, Stormwater Drainage and other Services – from 1 July 2012 to 30 June 2016 – Water – Final Report. Lenzen M (2000): Errors in Conventional and Input-Output-Based Life-Cycle Inventories, Journal of Industrial Ecology, 4, pp 127–148. Sydney Water (2011): Annual Report 2011. www.sydneywater.com.au Sydney Water (2011): Sydney Water Submission to IPART’s Review of Prices for Sydney Water Corporation’s Water, Sewerage, Stormwater and Other Services. www.ipart.nsw.gov.au Woods P, Hynes R, Jones M, Walters R, Sullivan J, Ferguson M (2011): Carbon Abatement Opportunities at Sydney Water – Applying the Cost of Carbon Abatement Tool. Water Journal, 38:7, pp 78–81. WRI & WBCSD (2011): The Greenhouse Gas Protocol Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Accounting and Reporting Standard, World Resources Institute and World Business Council for Sustainable Development.
Water Journal December 2012
Water Journal September 2012-1