Composites Sustainability – Insider – November 23, 2022

ACMA Joins European Counterparts to Discuss the Challenges of Recycling ACMA’s CEO, Cindy Squires, participated virtually in a panel at …

ACMA Joins European Counterparts to Discuss the Challenges of Recycling

ACMA’s CEO, Cindy Squires, participated virtually in a panel at a conference hosted by Composites UK entitled Recomp – Reuse and Recycling of Composites.  The event focused on available options for sustainable management of waste and end-of-life composite materials.  Bringing together composites manufacturers, companies involved in recycling, and leading academics and researchers, the in-person portion of the event was hosted at the Advanced manufacturing Research Centre outside Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

Ms. Squires participated in the opening session titled “the Composites End-of-Life Challenge” with other participants from the UK National Composite Center and the European Composites Industry Association.  Her presentation focused on ACMA’s efforts under the Climate Impact Project, ACMA’s sustainability forums, and efforts by the Composites Growth Initiative to address this growing issue.

ACMA’s next sustainability forum will occur on February 14, 2023 as part of our Infrastructure and Sustainability Fly-In.  Please contact Dan Neumann or John Schweitzer for more information.

Proposed Rule Would Require Climate Disclosure by Most Federal Contractors 

Changes to the Federal Acquisition Regulation proposed in the November 14 Federal Register would require suppliers of goods and services to the federal government to calculate and disclose the emission of climate warming gases associated with their operations.  

The burden of climate impact reporting will be significant, particularly for companies not already collecting emission data. Medium sized contractors would be required to report emissions associated with company owned operations and purchased electricity, while most larger contractors will also have to report supply chain emissions and climate impacts associated with use and disposal of their products. 

The reporting requirements could be finalized as early as late 2023 and contractors would then have one year to comply.  Comments are due January 13, 2023. 

The proposed requirements are shown in the table.  

Category Annual value of federal contracts Disclosure required for… Disclosure required for climate-related financial risk? Science-based emission reduction targets required? 
Major Contractors* More than $50M Scope 1, 2 and relevant Scope 3 emissions Yes Yes 
Significant Contractors Less than $50M and more than $7.5M Scope 1 and 2 emissions No No 
Other Contractors Less than $7.5M No reporting required No No 

* Major Contractors that are small companies can opt to report under the requirements for Significant Contractors. 

Scope 1 emissions are those occurring as a result of company-owned operations, while Scope 2 result from the generation of electricity, heating, cooling or steam purchased by the company. Scope 3 emissions are from the company’s supply chain and during downstream use and disposal of its products. 

Note that small companies supplying products to Major Contractors may need to account for climate impacts to support their customers’ reporting of relevant Scope 3 emissions. Guidance for determining which of a reporting company’s Scope 3 emissions are to be considered relevant is provided in the Greenhouse Gas Protocol’s Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard. 

ACMA members potentially impacted by the proposed rule should contact John Schweitzer at ACMA.

One year into implementation, Infrastructure Law has funded 6,900 projects 

According to a November 15 White House fact sheet, implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law signed into law one year ago has resulted in $185 billion (about $570 per person in the U.S.) in funding for projects in 4,000 communities across all 50 states. Many of these projects involve applications for which composites have long been the material of choice.  

For example, according to the White House, 

  • Over 2,800 highway bridge projects have been launched 
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is spending $3.9 billion for 16 projects to improve harbors and waterways 
  • EPA announced $9 billion in funding for states and municipalities to upgrade drinking water and wastewater infrastructure 
  • The Energy Department launched a $10.5 billion program to strengthen and modernize the resilience and reliability of the power grid 
  • Composite equipment will be needed for the Administration’s hydrogen economy program 
  • The Accelerating Infrastructure Action Plan includes commitments for over 20 federal agencies to speed up progress and deliver projects on time. 

Location of BIL-funded projects (larger map).