Truvalue Labs, a provider of artificial intelligence-driven environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, released a new report that discusses the top four companies in California that collectively emitted more than a quarter of all methane from California facilities (26.8 percent) during a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) study, with a warming effect equivalent to adding 725,000-plus cars to the road.
The report analyzes data from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab, which flew over sites with support from the California Air Resources Board.
Truvalue Labs’ report is the first in a series of research briefs discussing the regulatory outlook for these companies, their track record on methane as shown in Truvalue Labs data and what investors can do to encourage improvement. The four companies listed below are in the “2% Club,” meaning during the study, they were individually responsible for at least 2 percent of the state’s total emissions from point sources (facility/infrastructure emissions):
“This new data from NASA provides investors with a compelling opportunity to assess methane emissions from companies they hold a stake in,” said Product Manager Eliot Caroom in a statement. “Transparent, timely ESG data from Truvalue Labs puts unstructured data into context for asset managers so they can either manage risk or engage companies. Encouraging these types of real-time actions is the goal of our platform, which goes beyond annual ratings.”
With global warming at the forefront of policy conversations, companies that are proactive in improving emissions or those that are part of the solution will be positioned to outperform competitors on the following “Social License to Operate” factors:
- Public opinion and reputation (buying or expanding landfills often needs public approval from local government and regulators)
- Recruiting talented employees
- Adverse or favorable regulatory treatment
Truvalue Labs’ report includes an analysis of why methane matters to global warming and outlines the challenges and politics involved in reassessing regulations. Interviews with the California Air Resources Board and NASA authors shine a light on the regulatory outlook as the state considers ongoing monitoring of methane using low-orbit satellites, plus the top-emitting companies’ early responses to their emissions.
According to the report, here is a preview of the brief that will be published in coming weeks on Republic Services, Waste Connections and the waste management industry:
The waste management industry presents an interesting example of methane emissions and the challenges of reducing them. Many waste management companies are already capturing methane for use in power plants and even to power fleets of renewable natural gas (RNG) trucks. But the leaks found by NASA show uneven application of best practices—some of which were addressed, NASA said, as in the case of Republic Services and Sunshine Canyon. Truvalue Labs spoke with the former head of Republic Services’ renewable energy program about the top-emitting landfills, and the challenges of capturing methane at those sites.
This is the first in a series of briefs that will explore the fundamental outlook for top methane-emitting companies and industries in California, including oil and gas firms, waste management and the dairy industry. Read the full report here.