Spanish Renewables Company Sets Agressive GHG Standards for Suppliers

Spain’s Abengoa — one of the world’s leading wind and renewable energy technology and project developers — is walking the walk as well as talking the talk when it comes to corporate social and environmental responsibility, sustainability and carbon accounting. More specifically, the Seville-based multinational is using its own Integrated Sustainability Management System (ISMS), along with other tools and services, to identify, measure and account for the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from the production of more than 15 products and services.

This year’s effort to evaluate its carbon footprint is part and parcel of Abengoa producing its own greenhouse gas inventory(GHG), an initiative that began back in 2008. Abengoa’s GHG is externally verified in accordance with the ISO 14064 international standard for GHG management, as well as its own system of corporate social responsibility indicators and environmental management system.

Life cycle analysis for GHG inventory and reporting
Abengoa’s GHG inventory and reporting initiative extends far beyond the organization itself. Reliant on an extensive chain of product and service providers, management is enacting a policy that requires suppliers all along its supply chain to develop their own GHG inventory and reporting systems, according to a company press release.

The process Abengoa’s using is based on the GHG Protocol Life Cycle Analysis and the Publicly Available Specification (PAS) 2050. Developed by the World Resources Institute (WRI) and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), the former is designed to calculate and report the GHG emissions of products and services over their life cycles. In a similar vein, the latter is used to certify GHG emissions during products and services’ production life cycles.

Taking advantage of these in building its own internal GHG accounting system, Abengoa’s “managed to cushion the impact of its activities by measuring and comparing the carbon footprint of its projects and setting itself clear targets for improvement,” management states.

In 2011, Abengoa reduced its CO2 emissions by 361,212 metric tons year-over-year. Moreover, Agengoa’s drive to measure, report on and reduce its carbon footprint is rippling right on down and throughout its extensive supply chain.

Abengoa’s signed agreements with over 20,000 suppliers worldwide to date, “requiring them to disclose their emissions or to undertake to implement a reporting system for their emissions within six months, according to the company.

An independent journalist, researcher and writer, my work roams across the nexus where ecology, technology, political economy and sociology intersect and overlap. The lifelong quest for knowledge of the world and self -- not to mention gainful employment -- has led me near and far afield, from Europe, across the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa and back home to the Americas. LinkedIn: andrew burger Google+: Andrew B Email:

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