We live in an era undeniably marked by the effects of climate change. Companies, organizations, and even individuals will have to grapple with approaching our changing environment. Nothing has made this more abundantly clear than the latest report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The findings are simple: human activity has a fundamental impact on the climate, and methane (CH4) emissions are an area of utmost concern.
Methane is more than 80x more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2). As a result, its atmospheric levels have increased by 156% since the 1700s. It causes more than one million premature deaths every year. If that sounds bad, it is because we must act now. But it’s not all bad news. Compared to carbon dioxide, methane stays in the atmosphere for a relatively short time (approximately a decade compared to CO2’s 20-50 years). This means that if we take immediate action, we can significantly impact and alter the course of climate change in our lifetime.
But making an impact on the levels of methane in our atmosphere means measuring them. This is why I’ve started a company devoted to accurate accounting in the energy supply chain. Many of the current methods of measuring methane are not sufficient in this era of technology and reporting. Nearly all measurements of methane occur from estimates conducted periodically via an EPA-mandated process: trained technicians scan for potential leaks using cameras or other sensors.
The cameras do a great job of detecting the presence of leaks. Still, they can’t tell you how much has leaked. Instead, static estimation formulas are applied to estimate the amount of methane leaked, depending on the equipment it came from. The downside of this process is 1) that this process only occurs intermittently, and 2) the resulting estimates aren’t accurate. On the other hand, we can capture and quantify all emissions (yes, even the small & intermittent ones, which add up fast!).
We care about data and technology and fundamentally about doing business the right way.
That’s why Project Canary doesn’t just measure methane. We’ve developed a certification process beyond methane to ensure that the companies we work with are doing what’s suitable for the climate, what’s right for workers, and what’s right for communities. Our certifications mean that the companies we work with are responsible stewards of land, air, water, and the communities in which they operate. Coupled with our continuous monitoring technology that ensures we can accurately measure methane and TVOCs, we’re working to drive a holistic approach to climate responsibility. We hope you’ll join us in this mission.