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Economic assessment of our environmental impacts

05/04/2017 - 04:30 PM

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Effects related to greenhouse gas emissions and waste production were assessed.

Atmospheric emissions

Given that they are responsible for global warming and the related adverse effects, it is a well-known fact that greenhouse gas emissions have considerable impact on the environment and society. The cost of impact related to the emission of a unit of emitted greenhouse gas is referred to as “Social Cost of Carbon” (SCC). Several studies have been carried out and various methods have been developed on this regard. However, they do not converge on one value but on a rather wide range of values due to the inconsistency parameters taken into account.

For this reason, it was decided to take the influential study conducted by Sir Nicholas Stern for the Government of the United Kingdom and published 2006 [1] as the initial reference. The study in question offers an in-depth analysis of the economic impact of climate change and the processing of the same developed by Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) of the United Kingdom, published in 2007 [2].

The Stern Review estimated a Social Cost of Carbon amounting to 30 USD/tCO2e [3] in 2000, equivalent to € 31.85. Applying the inflation rate in Italy with respect to 2000 [4], the Social Cost of Carbon attributed to one ton of CO2e emitted in 2016 is equivalent to € 41.44. This is the value applied when assessing the economic impact, illustrated in the tables below.

[1] Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change.

[2] The Social Cost of Carbon and the Shadow Price of Carbon: what they are and how to use them in economic appraisal in the UK.

[3] Stern Review, Capitolo 13. The estimate is based on an objective of limiting the concentration of  CO2 in the atmosphere to 550 ppm..

[4] Source: ISTAT (the Italian National Institute for Statistics).

Assessment applied to the Group
Scope   Emissions [tCO2e] Economic impact [€]
Scope 1 145.152 6.015.082
Scope 2

 770.216

31.917.772
Scope 3*

70.373

2.916.245
Scope 1+2+3

985.741

40.849.099
* Scope 3 emissions solely comprise employee commuting between home and worksite as well as personnel business trips by aeroplane and train.
Assessment applied to BU Domestic only
Scope   Emissions [tCO2e] Economic impact [€]
Scope 1 142.183 5.892.071
Scope 2

716.315

29.684.097
Scope 3*

63.052

2.612.879
Scope 1+2+3

921.550

37.189.047
* Scope 3 emissions solely comprise employee commuting between home and worksite as well as personnel business trips by aeroplane and train.  

Waste

TIM recycles/recovers most of its industrial waste: the amount of waste recycled or recovered in 2016 amounted to 99.29% of the waste produced in Italy, and 96.2% of the group’s waste. Waste generally has an economic impact on the environment and society, due to the pollution produced by the treatment it undergoes. This impact was assessed taking into account the amount of waste disposed through conventional methods, i.e. landfill waste disposal, incineration and incineration with energy recovery. Specific figures on the amounts processed regarding each of the three methods in Italy are not available. However, according to statistical figures published by Eurostat [1], landfill waste disposal  is the solution most used for disposing waste not meant to be recycled/recovered (70%) followed by incineration with energy recovery (7%) and then incineration without energy recovery (23%). All waste not meant to be recycled/recovered in Brazil was disposed in landfill sites.

Coefficients deriving from a study published in 2008 [2] - in which the results obtained in ExternE projects of the European Union – which were corrected by applying the Euro zone inflation rates with respect to 2008, were applied to these statistics.

The coefficients applied consider several impacts including greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants as well as the related hazards, including impact on health, crops, global warming and problems such as unpleasant smell. The values of the aforementioned coefficients amount to 15.14,  24.35 and 13.82 € per one ton of waste respectively disposed through landfill waste disposal, incineration without energy recovery and incineration with energy recovery.

The economic impact evaluated concerning Italy, with reference to 2016, amounts to 1,478 €. A € 6,014  economic impact amount would be obtained were the same method to be applied to Brazil too.

[1] 2014 figures, December 2016 excerpt.

[2] A, Rabl, J. V. Spadaro, A. Zoughaib: Environmental Impacts and Costs of Solid Waste: a Comparison of Landfill and Incineration. Published in Waste Management & Research, vol.26, 147-162 (2008).