Rubicon engaged Quantis, a sustainability consulting group, to conduct a materiality assessment from July – November 2020. Quantis guided Rubicon through a stakeholder mapping exercise to identify the stakeholders to include based on their influence and interest in Rubicon’s ESG strategy. Quantis created a survey to send to participants and conducted in-depth interviews to gather additional insights. Then, Quantis synthesized all of the information to determine Rubicon’s key material topics.
In 2017 and 2020, Rubicon partnered with Trucost, part of S&P Global, to verify the methodology Rubicon employs to determine landfill diversion rates and how much carbon our customers avoid by choosing non-landfill diversion solutions.
Rubicon considers Scope 3 Category 1 to include the emissions associated with the transportation and disposal of its commercial customers’ waste and recycling. Rubicon currently calculates the emissions associated with the transportation and disposal of waste and recycling using an assumed average distance traveled and typical practices at materials recovery facilities (MRFs) and landfills using the EPA’s GHG Emission Factors Hub. Rubicon is continually exploring methods to improve the accuracy and preciseness of this calculation and will include any necessary changes in future reports.
Rubicon’s 2019 and 2020 greenhouse gas emissions data have received limited assurance by Stacks Data.
Rubicon uses the GHG Protocol Corporate Accounting and Reporting Standard for compiling data and calculating Scope 1 and 2 emissions data. Rubicon receives total building energy usage from its landlords and calculates its portion based on square footage. Rubicon calculates emissions from the following GHGs: CO2 (carbon dioxide), N2O (nitrous oxide), and CH4 (methane) and uses the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5 – 100 years) greenhouse warming potential (GWP). Rubicon also uses the EPA’s GHG Emission Factors Hub for natural gas emissions factors and the EPA’s eGrid for electricity emissions factors.
For 2020, Rubicon purchased 400 MWh of Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs). A REC represents the environmental benefits of 1 megawatt hour (MWh) of renewable electricity.
For Scope 3 emissions, Rubicon uses the GHG Protocol’s Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) standard to compile data and calculate Scope 3 emissions.
For 2020, Rubicon calculated additional Scope 3 categories. Rubicon added the emissions associated with purchased goods and services using internal spend data. Additionally, Rubicon added the emissions associated with teleworking due to the impact of COVID-19 on operations. Rubicon used EcoAct’s whitepaper “Homeworking Emissions” to guide its methodology. Rubicon assumed base case assumptions.
The annual emissions from a refuse truck was calculated using national averages for refuse trucks from the U.S. Department of Energy and the assumptions found within the EPA’s methodologies for calculating the emissions associated with waste disposal.
The carbon emissions avoided from diversion were calculated using the EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM) v15 methodology and emissions factors.
The emissions avoided were calculated using EPA WARM and the equivalency was calculated using the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator.