ACT Assessment methodologies
Below are the final sectoral ACT Assessment methodologies. We will ask you to fill a small form providing your details to access these documents.
The transport sector represents about one quarter of all energy-related emissions, and poses great challenges in terms of climate mitigation.
Automobile transportation has become the dominant mode of passenger transport, and its consequent importance to decarbonization scenarios is crucial. Despite complex multi-tiered industrial supply chains, there is a defined main activity with corresponding emissions data, which are the fleet emissions of cars sold. This allows the ACT assessment for the auto manufacturing sector to focus on quantitative indicators (gCO2/p.km and share of low carbon vehicles). Other qualitative indicators (in the Management, Suppliers, Clients, Policy Engagement and Business Model modules) are also considered due to the complexity and economic importance of the sector, its changing business models, and the significance of these when considering the low carbon alignment of the auto industry.
The Electric Utility sector is key for achieving global climate goals as it is responsible for a quarter of global emissions, and the transition of other sectors is also reliant on its decarbonisation. Although many technological advances have been made in low-carbon electricity production, most current power plants are still fueled by fossil fuels and many of them are far from retirement. Since current and new installed capacity will lock in emissions for years, successful transition planning requires investment decisions to be made now. For these reasons, the ACT Electricity sector methodology focuses on Material Investment (i.e. present and projected electricity production portfolio) and Targets. It will also consider factors such as R&D in low-carbon technologies, and qualitative information such as the company’s climate action management. Electric utilities have a well-defined primary activity (i.e. electricity production), which allows the use of one carbon intensity indicator based on physical production (i.e. gCO2/kWh).
The Retail sector represents the central interface in the economy, where manufactured products reach their end consumers. The majority of emissions attributable to the Retail sector are not emitted through a company’s own operations, but rather throughout the value chain. A low-carbon transition towards a 2°C alignment (or beyond) by 2050 will require a transformation not only of the Retail sector’s direct operations, but of its entire value chain from upstream production to downstream use and disposal of products including logistics. The assessment will also consider qualitative factors such as the management approach to climate change and the influence on suppliers and clients.
The transport sector accounts for 20% of the global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, composed almost entirely of CO2 from the combustion of oil. Emissions have increased by over 30% since 2000, largely as a result of an increase in the vehicle stock by 300 million over this period.
The ACT transport methodology covers the rail, road, water and air transport for passengers and freight. It focuses on quantitative indicators using gCO2e/p.km or gCO2e/t.km metrics and share of low carbon vehicles for example. Other qualitative indicators (in the Management, Suppliers, Clients, Policy Engagement and Business Model modules) are also considered due to the complexity and economic importance of the sector, its changing business models, and the significance of these when considering the low carbon alignment of the transport sector.
This present document introduces the ACT construction methodology. Particular emphasis will be placed on the GHG emissions released during the construction phase (including raw materials) and operational emissions caused by the building use, which represents from 43% to 58% of total emissions over a new building’s lifetime . More recent French data (2017-20192) show that GHG emissions from in-use energy, considering all end-uses, represent 50% or less of the total GHG emissions of the building life cycle. The assessment methodology also considers factors such as: market share of low-carbon buildings, R&D expenses in Climate Change Mitigation Technologies as well as low carbon transition plan.
The position of the building industry in the economy makes it difficult to grasp the reality of it. Indeed, the sector covers different activities (real estate development, construction work, building management, etc.) operated by diverse companies. Therefore, assessing the building sector emissions requires a life-cycle approach, integrating all parts of the supply chain. This makes the building sector suitable for analysis via a SDA  and allows the ACT assessment to focus on quantitative indicators. Nevertheless, due to the complexity of the sector and its economic importance, other qualitative indicators (e.g. business models…), are also highly significant when considering the alignment with a low-carbon future and should not be neglected or underweighted.
document introduces the ACT Iron & Steel methodology. Among heavy industries, the iron and
steel sector ranks first when it comes to CO2 emissions, and second
when it comes to energy consumption. Steel production is highly energy-
and emissions-intensive, accounting for around 8% of global energy demand and
7% (2.6 Gt CO2) of
total emissions from the energy system.
The use of steel is associated with economic growth. In 2019, the amount of steel used globally reached 1768 Mt with the four main markets being building and infrastructure (52%), mechanical equipment (16%), automotive (12%) and metal products (10%). According to the IEA, global demand for steel is projected to increase by more than a third through to 2050 as a result of growth in these markets.
Upcoming ACT Assessment methodologies
We are currently pilote testing these methods with companies. Once their feedback integrated, the methodologies will be finalised (Summer 2022 for sectoral methodologies, end of 2022 for adaptation methodology).
This present document introduces the ACT Aluminium methodology adapted for aluminium production.
Aluminium is the second most-used metal in the world in terms of metric tonnes produced after iron, hence the most used non-ferrous metal worldwide. The aluminium industry is currently responsible for 2% of global GHG emissions and generates about 1.1 billion tonnes of CO2e annually. Primary aluminium production is highly energy-intensive, with electricity making up a large share of the energy consumed. Aluminium is a key metal, especially in the context of the energy transition thanks to its qualities (lightness, strength, durability, electrical and thermal conductivity, formability and recyclability). Aluminium can be used for lightweight vehicles, solar energy (solar energy systems use aluminium for various components, including for mounting and framing solar PV panels and for reflectors in concentrating solar power systems) and in the electric power grid and electrical cables along with copper. Aluminium demand is thus expected to grow and reach 174 Mt of aluminium in 2050 (86 Mt for primary aluminium production, 88 Mt for recycled aluminium production).
This present document introduces the ACT Glass methodology adapted for glass production.
Glass adopts many guises and almost every area of our lives involves products with glass at their heart: from transport to homes and workplaces, from food production to health, leisure activities and communications, from museums to art galleries. Glass production requires high temperature and therefore energy, so it is necessary to make a proposition to assess sustainable strategy of companies within this sector. Glass sector GHG emissions is ranked after Cement, Iron and steel, Aluminium and Chemicals. The GHG emissions of this sector are commonly included in the mineral non-metallic sector emissions.
This present document introduces the ACT Pulp & Paper methodology adapted for pulp & paper production.
The pulp and paper sector has an important role to play in global decarbonization and represents an interesting target for ACT. This sector accounted for 5.6% of industrial energy consumption in 2014 making the pulp and paper industry the 4th most energy consuming industry. Although energy efficiency measures contributed to reduce emissions from the sector, progresses and additional efforts are needed to be on track with Paris mitigation objectives. This sector presents a high energy consumption, mostly concentrated in two steps of the industrial process, pulping and paper drying Direct emissions from the sector mainly comes from combustion in boilers and lime kilns and energy for dyers. Apart from the direct CO2CO2 emissions generated at the pulp and paper mills, additional emissions are associated with the off-site production of energy (i.e. steam and electricity) that is purchased and transferred to the mills. The pulp and paper industry have an easy access to biomass resources, which allows the sector to produce a third of its own energy needs according to IEA.
This present document introduces the ACT Chemicals methodology. Among heavy industries, the chemical sector accounts for 18% of the heavy industries emissions, which amounts to 1.5 GtCO2 worldwide
which corresponds to about 4% of global CO2 emissions.
Direct CO2 emissions from the production of seven primary chemicals amounted to 880 MtCO2 in 2018, a nearly 4% increase from the previous year, which was driven by growth in production. Despite being the largest industrial energy consumer – accounting for 15% of total primary demand for oil on a volumetric basis and 9% of gas demand, it is the third industry subsector in terms of direct CO2 emissions behind the cement and iron & steel industries. This is largely because around half of the chemical subsector’s energy input is consumed as feedstock – where fuel is used as raw material input rather than as a source of energy.
The land sector is responsible for 10-12 Gt CO2e/year of net GHG emissions – approximately a quarter of global GHG emissions. Half of these are driven by agriculture, while the rest derive from land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). The largest contributions from agriculture arise from enteric fermentation, manure from ruminant livestock production, crop-related fertilization practices and soil GHG emissions. In addition, some 5% of emissions related to food production come after the farm gate, up to but not including retail. Therefore, it is clear that in order to decarbonise the Agriculture and Agrifood sector, the largest GHG emissions reduction will need to be achieved at the agricultural production phase.
The objective of the methodology is to assess most companies in the Agriculture and Agrifood sector. Three subsectors of the food value chain are included within this single methodology: agriculture, agrifood, and food and beverage services. This methodology also contains a fourth weighting scheme for integrated companies which have activities in agricultural production and in food processing.
The Article 7 of the Paris agreement defines the global goal of “enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerabilities to climate change”.
To support this goal, the ACT Initiative has developed the ACT Adaptation methodology. By providing this climate adaptation accountability framework for companies from all sectors, it aims at assessing the quality and comprehensiveness of company’s adaptation strategy, from their physical risk analysis to their governance.
This second draft of the methodology has been reviewed by two independant third parties. It is currently under experimentation.
Can't find a sector covering your business' activities?
- Extraction activities: Mining & Quarrying.
- Industry: Specific methodologies have been developed for some industries (see ACT sectoral methodologies). Therefore, ACT Generic methodology focuses on other types of industries such as manufacturing, wholesale and repair of vehicles and infrastructure construction.
- Waste and water management: water transportation and utilities as well as solid waste management.
- Services with high GHG impact: Financial and insurance, accommodation and food service, information and communication, human health & social work, arts, entertainment and recreation.
- Services with low impact: Education, professional, scientific and technical activities, administrative and support activities, public administration and defence, compulsory social security, activities of households as employers, extraterritorial and other services.
Don't have a company climate strategy to assess yet?
ACT Step by Step has been developed based on feedback from companies using ACT Assessment methodologies while having little to no transition plan in place. Indeed, they found that the 360° forward-looking approach would suits a method to develop a low-carbon strategy and transition plan step by step starting from current practice and supporting progress all the way until a potential ACT Assessment to reward a good performance.
Therefore, ACT Step by Step builds on learnings from ACT Assessment and feedback from businesses and consultants supporting companies with low-carbon transition planning. A pragmatic approach, it is builds capacity within companies willing to improve their decarbonisation strategy according to sector specific challenges.