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Will Ontario’s new Cap and Trade legislation reduce our carbon footprint?

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After all the hot air, CMMS will do the heavy lifting.

Ontario is joining Quebec and California in a Cap and Trade carbon emission reduction commitment amidst skepticism from critics. What does it mean for you?

The agreement details are undefined, but we do know that after all the debate is over, it will be Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) that will actually lower the carbon footprint of industries and businesses and help them achieve and measure the carbon credits that are traded.

What is Cap and Trade?

Under the new cap and trade system most industries and businesses will have their carbon emissions capped, and those that want to burn more fossil fuels can buy carbon credits from those that find efficiencies and burn less. Government will skim off a piece of the action, which Premier Wynne said will “be reinvested in green technology and green infrastructure”, such as public transit.

The petroleum industry and others prefer a straight carbon tax, such as BC’s $30 a ton carbon tax, which was offset by lower personal income taxes to be revenue neutral and shift taxation from income to carbon fuels. Cap and trade systems can be revenue neutral too, but this one won’t be.

Critics question whether this system will have enough broad coverage and stringent allocation standards to be effective, and wonder where the revenue will really go. Wynne counters that “we must do something.”

She’s right, but lost in the news was “who is going to actually do the something.” It will be CMMS that will be “doing the something”.

Are Cap and Trade and carbon tax really that different?

Wynne calls the plan “a market solution, not a regulatory one”, but cap and trade agreements are complex and require significant government involvement.

Under an auctioned cap and trade, elected officials use a complex permit system to set the quantity of carbon emitted, and the market sets the price.

With a carbon tax, elected officials simply set the price of carbon, and the market determines the quantity emitted.

Overall, both systems attempt to reduce emissions, have numerous complex pros and cons, and depend on excellent design and administration to succeed. While cap and trade systems have reduced acid rain and generated other positive effects, they are very complex to supervise properly, and very difficult to measure results from.

Many of the results gained in greenhouse gas emission reductions will be achieved and measured by Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS).

How CMMS can benefit you either way

Whether you wind up being a buyer or seller of carbon credits, whether your industry gains an exemption, or whether your business is not even covered by the agreement, one simple law of nature still applies:

Reducing your carbon footprint and your greenhouse gas emissions will save you money. Like all good laws of nature, the inverse is also true. Reducing your maintenance costs will reduce your carbon footprint. Efficiency is sustainability. Sustainability is efficiency. It is not rocket science that tells us that saving resources and energy with a CMMS will mitigate climate change, however; if Einstein had been a maintenance systems supervisor, his famous formula would have been.

Sustainability = Efficiencycmms

CMMS is the driver that propels maintenance efficiency, which saves the money, which reduces the carbon footprint.

Five ways CMMS reduces your carbon footprint:

  1. Real-time equipment monitoring of sensor data can be used to reduce catastrophic failures and environmental damage.
  2. Cloud-based work order software streamlines maintenance site trips and drives efficiency and productivity.
  3. Prolonging asset life postpones manufacturing new equipment.
  4. Preventative maintenance reduces equipment failure and out-of-spec production, in turn reducing scrap or re-works.
  5. Well maintained assets, improves their efficiency reducing their resource intensity.

And now that you’ve done a great job on maintenance, your CMMS can generate the reports that document your carbon footprint reductions and cost savings. Not a bad return on your investment!

  1. Striving for a Carbon Neutral Business: A Perfect Match for CMMS
  2. Carbon Emissions Legislation Adds Another Reason to Reduce Malfunctions, Material Waste & Defects

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