The Future of Sustainability and the Inflation Reduction Act
I'm currently on holiday at my parent’s house in France where they are surrounded by farmland, you can see from the photo the arid landscape of their lawn and wheat field at the bottom of their garden. Like France, England is in the midst of a heatwave and drought. While immediate thoughts are of hosepipe bans and reducing the number of showers we have, it is in fact next year's crops which are under threat from the dry weather conditions. It doesn’t stop there; cattle are at risk of being fed winter stocks of hay because no grass is growing for them to eat right now.
Many of our government clients in the UK have declared a climate emergency. Our software doesn’t stop at recording the emissions of their operations, we also work with them to find ways to create more sustainable operation workflows. For example, we have assisted some clients in putting smart measures in place to protect their citizens from extreme weather events like the heatwaves and flooding we have been experiencing in recent months. We provide data on the net-gain they achieve from recording and tracking their biodiversity, now and projecting into the next 5, 10, 30 years. Trees help not just but storing CO2 emissions but provide shade, reducing temperatures in cities and temper heavy rainfall.
This week the U.S. Senate passed the Inflation Reduction Act, which is heralded as the most significant piece of climate legislation enacted in U.S. history. There is criticism that the act doesn’t go far enough to address climate change with investment in fossil fuels continuing. However, where it is not perfect, it is a significant step in the right direction for incentivising business and individuals to contribute to the reduction in Greenhouse Gas emissions and making sure the world’s temperatures are kept below 1.5 degrees. Ani Dasgupta, President & CEO, World Resources Institute has said, “Every corner of the country will benefit from this legislation, from farmers planting drought-resistant crops in America’s breadbasket, to new clean manufacturing jobs in the Rustbelt, to clean energy technology production in the South and West.” When signed into law, the act will provide $370 billion to reduce GHG emissions to 40 percent below their 2005 levels by the end of this decade – this supports Biden’s pledge to halve Greenhouse Gas emissions by 2030 and be net zero by 2050.
There will be investment in the production of renewable/clean technology such as solar panels, wind turbines and up to $7500 in tax credit for households buying electric cars. Infrastructure to support electric vehicles will need to be considered and certainly our customers in the UK are restricted by the speed in which the EV chargers are being installed. We are working with clients to provide a vehicle replacement plan from diesel vehicles to hybrid or fully electric over the next 10-20 years and how the cost of the vehicles and electricity stacks up against the savings in emissions. Our software is helping clients demonstrate how they will halve emissions by 2030 and how much it will cost – it provides the business case for funding and a realistic strategy on how to achieve net-zero targets.
In the conversations we are having with clients, there is a desire to do more to help the environment and counteract climate change. We routinely hear the wish to have a way to accurately record the impact of the fleet, equipment and materials they are using as well as making greener choices more visible to the people building the work orders. Whether you are an inspector, works scheduler or asset owner, everyone wants to contribute to the reduction of GHG emissions in our communities. I’m very proud to say that our software is enabling this to happen. At Brightly, we are building a bright future, together.