Data is Key to New Building Climate Regulation Requirements

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Most companies aren’t prepared to comply with complicated climate-related regulations. Here’s how FM:Systems can help facility managers comply with the upcoming regulatory requirements.

Late last year, California passed two laws: the Climate Corporate Data Accountability Act (CCDA) and the Climate-Related Financial Risk Act (CRFRA). Both laws require organizations doing business in the state to disclose their climate-related risks and data related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

While the new laws don’t come into force until 2026, businesses will be required to supply data collected in 2025, meaning that organizations actually have less than a year to get their climate-related data house in order. Complicating matters is that regulations will compel businesses, including property owners, to split energy and emissions data into three categories based on the organization’s relationship to the source of the emissions. These categories, or scopes, are:

  • Scope 1 – emissions that are created directly by an organization, for example from burning fuel in a furnace
  • Scope 2 – emissions that come from the production of the purchased energy a business consumes
  • Scope 3 – all other sources of emissions that a company is indirectly responsible for, such as employee commuting

For many corporations, the majority of their GHG emissions fall into scope 3, which just so happens to also be the most difficult category to track and modulate. That’s one reason why scope 3 requirements have been the focus of intense pushback from interested parties opposed to the California laws and similar regulations already passed or proposed in other states and municipalities.

The takeaway? Even if you don’t own, operate, maintain or occupy property in California, you need to be developing the ability to not only collect accurate and auditable GHG emissions data, but to differentiate the emissions you produce directly from those you’re responsible for indirectly.

That’s a tall order, especially when you consider that only 10% of companies globally have fully integrated their buildings’ systems and equipment to facilitate this kind of granular analysis and reporting, according to a study by Johnson Controls. That gap means that property owners will be relying on their facility managers to take the lead on the data collection, management and reporting that will be required to comply with these regulations.

How Can FM:Systems Help Facility Managers Comply With New Climate-Related Building Regulations?

Sustainability software management tools that:

  • Analyze building environmental impacts, including energy consumption and GHG emissions
  • Forecast the financial and environmental impacts of sustainability projects, with metrics like net present value (NPV), internal rate of return, ROI and payback period
  • Manage building assessments and certifications using energy rating systems, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), Green Globes, and BRE Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).

With FM:Systems sustainability software, facilities teams can quickly differentiate scope 3 emissions from direct and energy-related sources by giving them the ability to link with other workplace management modules and incorporate supplier data. In addition, easy-to-read energy and sustainability software dashboards make it easier to access information and create reports.

FMS:Insights

FMS:Insights is our multi-data point analysis platform that automates data gathering, analytics, and reporting to provide powerful, objective intelligence on workplace utilization, employee mobility, bookings data, indoor environmental data, and more. Future enhancements to FMS:Insights will include giving users the ability to view energy consumption information linked to utilization and occupancy data, so FM’s can better understand how the use of their space affects emissions.

FMS:Connect

FMS:Connect is our API that enables fast and secure bidirectional data transfers between FM:Systems solutions and a range of external applications. With FMS:Connect, organizations using FMS:Workplace, our cornerstone workplace management solution, can seamlessly integrate up-to-date data with other applications, making it easier to gain a comprehensive viewpoint of operational and maintenance data that may impact regulatory compliance reporting. Being able to access and manipulate information from different sources all in one place eliminates the need for users to navigate between applications, reducing time spent on data management, and enhancing overall performance and efficiency.
Considering that carbon emissions hit an all-time high in 2022 and the built environment accounts for around 40% of global GHG emissions, climate-related reporting requirements impacting real estate stakeholders are not going away. In fact, the number of U.S. jurisdictions adopting building performance standards has nearly doubled since 2020, according to a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. The time to prepare for compliance with regulations was “yesterday.” FM:Systems can help.

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