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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Bridging the gap to net-zero: Developing a roadmap to reduce Scope 1 greenhouse gas emissions for industry

It is well accepted that anthropogenic activities and their associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are causing global warming. Activities from industry directly contribute to a quarter of global GHG Scope 1 emissions. Light industry is a complex and diverse sector, with insufficient research and progress in decarbonisation. Accordingly, this research aims to create a roadmap to decarbonise the light industrial sector. Emerson, a global technology, software, and manufacturing company, is used as a case study. This research begins with a review of existing industry decarbonisation frameworks, roadmaps, and technologies. Emerson’s global fuel use and Scope 1 emissions are mapped in Sankey diagrams to identify key processes, sites, areas, business groups, and fuels contributing to Scope 1 emissions. Building on this, a decarbonisation roadmap for one representative site is developed, using a bottom-up approach including opportunity identification, and GHG reduction potential and costs modelling with a marginal abatement cost curve. Interviews and site visits provide insight on facilities, priorities, and challenges.

These findings are holistically applied to Emerson, and then to the wider light industry sector in a decarbonisation framework. Results indicate light industry manufacturing emissions can be greatly reduced through equipment electrification and potentially fuel switching, and to a lesser extent through energy efficiency. High capital investments and higher comparative energy costs make decarbonisation economically unattractive in the short term, implying a reliance on co-developments.


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.