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Maximise your carbon reduction & cost savings

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

By David Kipling, CEO – On-Site Energy Ltd

Whilst the news that Governments’ net zero plans remain intact as a result of the invasion of  Ukraine, current energy prices are at unprecedented levels and are a matter of survival for some businesses.

The good news is that by focusing on energy efficiency and onsite energy generation the likelihood is that you will both save money and carbon emissions. Energy savings and carbon reductions go hand-in-hand.

To develop a carbon reduction plan, you first need to understand your current performance whether that is in lighting, motor loads, chilling, heating or the other main uses you have.

This can then be compared to “best in class” performance.  Knowing what the result of implementing best in class solutions is a good start to formulating a plan and to building a business case for investment.  It will also tell you how close to net zero, so the remaining gap can be considered.

Minimising your exposure to the grid by reducing consumption and generating power onsite is the best way to mitigate the risk from volatile grid costs.  On-Site Energy can help with understanding your current carbon and energy performance, identifying the opportunities for efficiency and energy generation, and then delivering them.

We can also help unlock the opportunities by funding them on a zero-capex basis where some of the savings are used to fund the measures.  Your business benefits from lower costs and the full carbon reduction savings, without needing to spend anything.

If you would like to discuss how to implement energy efficiency measures, onsite generation or develop and roll-out a carbon management plan for your business, please contact David Kipling, CEO – On-Site Energy Ltd on 0151 271 0037 or email  david@on-site.energy (www.on-site.energy).

68m more trees required for UK to offset its carbon emissions

960 640 Stuart O'Brien
The UK needs to plant 68.4 million trees to offset its carbon emissions and North Lincolnshire has the highest number to plant with almost 1.5 million trees required annually.
That’s according to a study conducted CompareTheMarket.com, which analyses annual emissions from 379 local authorities (342,004,200 tCO2) in the UK to calculate the number of trees needed every year to counteract their total carbon footprint (68,400,840 trees).
Local authorities that would need to plant the most trees: 

Rank

Local authority

Region

Annual emissions (tCO2)

Annual trees needed to offset carbon footprint

1

North Lincolnshire

Yorkshire and the Humber

7,445,200

1,489,040

2

Neath Port Talbot

Wales

6,505,800

1,301,160

3

Birmingham

West Midlands

4,129,400

825,880

4

Leeds

Yorkshire and the Humber

3,904,900

780,980

5

Cheshire West and Chester

North West

3,620,400

724,080

6

High Peak

East Midlands

2,832,900

566,580

7

Fife

Scotland

2,804,900

560,980

8

Wiltshire

South West

2,694,500

538,900

9

Cornwall

South West

2,690,900

538,180

10

East Riding of Yorkshire

Yorkshire and the Humber

2,660,900

532,180

North Lincolnshire is the local authority that requires the highest number of trees to offset its CO2 emissions as it’s home to the Tata-owned Appleby-Frodingham steel plant, one of the largest and most successful steelworks in Europe. With annual emissions of 7,445,200 tCO2, the area needs to plant 1,489,040 trees to make it carbon neutral.

Neath Port Talbot followed in second place, needing 1,301,160 trees to offset their carbon emissions of 6,505,800 tCO2.

Two of the country’s major cities filled the next two spots as Birmingham and Leeds took third and fourth place respectively.

Local authorities that would need to plant the least trees: 

Rank

Local authority

Region

Emissions (tCO2)

Annual trees needed to offset carbon footprint

1

Isles of Scilly

South West

9,400

1,880

2

Argyll and Bute

Scotland

57,500

11,500

3

Oadby and Wigston

East Midlands

179,300

35,860

4

Highland

Scotland

190,200

38,040

5

Orkney Islands

Scotland

192,400

38,480
You can read the entire entire study here.

Four essential questions behind a credible net zero strategy

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By ENGIE Impact

The Race to Zero is on. More than 1,000 companies, including 82 Global Fortune 500 companies, have announced Net Zero targets, with many joining the race within the last 12 months alone. Yet, in the absence of finalised, widely-accepted Net Zero standards, many are questioning the credibility of corporate Net Zero pledges. Even companies demonstrating climate leadership and setting bold Paris-aligned targets are facing scrutiny. Stakeholders want to know: How real are your commitments? How will you enable change at the pace and scale required to reach Net Zero?

The questions from stakeholders are justified. Often companies don’t realise reaching Net Zero requires significant, strategic business transformation. In the Race to Zero, most companies are at the starting line, coalescing around key definitions to guide their Net Zero transition. While standards are still evolving, ENGIE Impact experts developed a clear and simple framework to help you design and deliver a credible Net Zero target. The approach revolves around asking four essential questions:

  1. Why commit to Net Zero?
  2. When should you reach Net Zero?
  3. Where are your emission boundaries?
  4. What’s your strategy to achieve Net Zero?

How you answer these questions—and disclose your Net Zero strategy and progress—will make all the difference to your credibility. Read more on: https://go.engieimpact.com/net-zero-strategy.   

Global carbon dioxide emissions rebound strongly after Covid dip

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The Covid-19 crisis in 2020 triggered the largest annual drop in global energy-related carbon dioxide emissions since the Second World War, according to IEA data, but the overall decline of about 6% masks wide variations depending on the region and the time of year. 

After hitting a low in April, global emissions rebounded strongly and rose above 2019 levels in December. The latest data show that global emissions were 2%, or 60 million tonnes, higher in December 2020 than they were in the same month a year earlier.

Major economies led the resurgence as a pick-up in economic activity pushed energy demand higher and significant policies measures to boost clean energy were lacking. Many economies are now seeing emissions climbing above pre-crisis levels. 

“The rebound in global carbon emissions toward the end of last year is a stark warning that not enough is being done to accelerate clean energy transitions worldwide. If governments don’t move quickly with the right energy policies, this could put at risk the world’s historic opportunity to make 2019 the definitive peak in global emissions,” said Dr Fatih Birol, the IEA Executive Director. “In March 2020, the IEA urged governments to put clean energy at the heart of their economic stimulus plans to ensure a sustainable recovery. But our numbers show we are returning to carbon-intensive business-as-usual. This year is pivotal for international climate action – and it began with high hopes – but these latest numbers are a sharp reminder of the immense challenge we face in rapidly transforming the global energy system.”

The 2020 trends underscore the challenge of curbing emissions while ensuring economic growth and energy security. Amid a growing number of pledges by countries and companies to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century, the rebound in emissions shows what is likely to happen if those ambitions are not met with rapid and tangible action.

Emissions in China for the whole of 2020 increased by 0.8%, or 75 million tonnes, from 2019 levels driven by China’s economic recovery over the course of the year. China was the first major economy to emerge from the pandemic and lift restrictions, prompting its economic activity and emissions to rebound from April onward. China was the only major economy that grew in 2020. 

In India, emissions rose above 2019 levels from September as economic activity improved and restrictions were relaxed. In Brazil, the rebound of road transport activity after the April low drove a recovery in oil demand, while increases in gas demand in the later months of 2020 pushed emissions above 2019 levels throughout the final quarter.

Emissions in the United States fell by 10% in 2020. But on a monthly basis, after hitting their lowest levels in the spring, they started to bounce back. In December, US emissions were approaching the level seen in the same month in 2019. This was the result of accelerating economic activity as well as the combination of higher natural gas prices and colder weather favouring an increase in coal use.

“If current expectations for a global economic rebound this year are confirmed – and in the absence of major policy changes in the world’s largest economies – global emissions are likely to increase in 2021,” Dr Birol said. “Nonetheless, there are still reasons for optimism. China has set an ambitious carbon-neutrality target; the new US administration has rejoined the Paris Agreement and is putting climate at the heart of its policy-making; the European Union is pushing ahead with its Green Deal and sustainable recovery plans; India’s stunning success with renewables could transform its energy future; and the United Kingdom is building global momentum toward stronger climate action at COP26 in November.”

Global emissions plunged by almost 2 billion tonnes in 2020, the largest absolute decline in history. Most of this – around 1 billion tonnes, which is more than the annual emissions of Japan – was due to lower use of oil for road transport and aviation. As travel and economic activities pick up around the world, oil consumption and its emissions are rising again. The record increase in sales of electric vehicles is insufficient to offset the growth in emissions caused by the uptick in road traffic around the world.

Global emissions from the electricity sector dropped by 450 million tonnes in 2020. This resulted partly from lower electricity demand but also from increases in electricity generation by solar PV and wind. For the world to achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement, notably of limiting global warming to well below 2 °C, a decline in electricity sector emissions of around 500 million tonnes would need to occur every single year. Even greater annual drops in emissions from electricity generation would be required to put the world on a path in line with warming of 1.5 °C.

In order to show a sustainable path forward, the IEA will publish on 18 May the world’s first comprehensive roadmap for the energy sector to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. As part of its focus on leading clean energy transitions worldwide, the IEA is working with the UK’s COP26 Presidency to bring together heads of government and ministers at the IEA-COP26 Net Zero Summit on 31 March to step up international efforts to turn net zero pledges into concrete energy policies and actions.

In April, the IEA will release its Global Energy Review 2021, which will examine this year’s emerging trends in global energy demand and CO2 emissions.

Government pledges £80 million to help cut emissions from homes and industry

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Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng has announced nearly £80 million of government investment to help cut carbon emissions from homes and energy intensive businesses.

The funding will be invested in a wide range of programmes, including pioneering heat network trials and an innovative new programme to bring down the cost of retrofitting residential properties with the latest energy efficiency technologies.

Funds announced include:

  • £30 million towards the first phase of the Industrial Energy Transformation Fund (IETF), which supports energy intensive manufacturers, like car factories and steel plants, to cut their carbon footprint
  • £25 million for heat networks, which reduce carbon and cut heating bills for customers, including one which will harness geothermal water sitting in disused mines to heat 1,250 homes
  • £24 million for innovative projects to help develop energy efficient homes by installing green tech and insulation in houses

Energy Minister Kwasi Kwarteng said: “We want to invest now to ensure we continue to propel the UK towards a stronger, greener future. This new £80 million investment will help to reduce emissions across our economy, which will save people money on energy bills and protect jobs in heavy industry.”

Phase 1 of the IETF is worth an initial £30 million in support of the manufacturing sector. The fund allows companies with high energy use to apply for grants to install technology that reduces their energy bills and cuts carbon emissions.

Worth an eventual £289 million in England, Wales and Northern Ireland up until 2024, the IETF also seeks to help bring down the costs of technologies that reduce energy consumption and emissions in heavy industrial processes.

£25 million will go towards heat networks, including one in Gateshead, which will harness hot geothermal water sitting in disused mines to heat 1,250 homes. With thousands of redundant mine shafts criss-crossing the country, experts say that if the mine shaft technology proves successful and economically viable, it could be scaled up to power around 6 million homes around Britain.

The final £24 million green homes investment will comprise of:

  • £7.7 million to install green technology and insulation in over 300 council houses, to bring down the cost of retrofitting homes – with pilot projects in Cornwall, Nottingham, and Sutton
  • £14.6 million to pilot the roll-out of innovative heat pumps to 750 homes in the South East of Scotland, the South East of England and Newcastle
  • £1.8 million to support the development of innovative green home finance products by lenders.

The announcements today form part of the wider efforts to ensure the UK meets its legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

How can businesses be more sustainable post Covid-19?

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When faced with great change, we often tend to focus on the negative implications, and in doing so, lose sight of the positive opportunities for our lives and our businesses. These not only help us to protect our businesses and our employees, but allow you to make a positive and lasting improvement to the environment.

Amongst the tragedy and widespread disruption caused by Covid-19, there’s been one glimmer of hope – namely the future of our planet. Carbon emissions have dropped dramatically across the globe, with some reports showing that CO2 levels are 36% lower since lockdown started. But now, as restrictions start to lift, experts have warned that this won’t last unless we start investing in clean energy and continue to galvanise behavioural change across every sector.

But where do we go from here? And what role could SME owners play in ensuring that any environmental gains made during the last few months haven’t been in vain?

Here, Opus Energy, the renewable energy provider to small and medium sized businesses, shares some ideas on how we can take the lessons we’ve learnt from the pandemic and implement them over the long term to reduce our carbon footprint.

Limit the travel of your employees where possible

We have all seen the inspirational images from across the globe of reduced CO2 levels and even wildlife remerging in places we thought they were lost, and it’s disheartening to think that it could all be lost as soon as we begin to mobilise again. As a business owner, it may feel as though this is out of your hands, but as small and medium sized enterprises are the employers of 60% of the UK’s population, supporting your employees to make greener transport choices will make a real impact on the country’s pollution levels.

Even better, if your employees can continue to work from home, consider offering days where your team can do so. Since March, we have seen that businesses can continue to thrive with teams virtually working, and that has been reflected in the reduction in traffic.

There’s no getting away from the fact that transportation constitutes a huge percentage of the UK’s total carbon emissions, with research showing that work-related travel accounts for over a third (37%) of total emissions from passenger transport – 24% from commuting and 13% from travel in the course of business. So, if letting your employees work from home is a viable option, this is definitely something to consider.

Be an advocate for cleaner transport 

For some businesses, it’s not possible for employees to work from home, and as they begin to filter back into the workplace, it’s important to continue the gains we’ve made on reducing the environmental impact.

Public transport or carpooling are usually the go-to option for greener travel, but as we continue to combat Covid-19, social distancing measures will likely impact these forms of travel. With this in mind, options such as cycle to work schemes can work for employees that have a shorter commute, and are a great employee benefit to consider – and carbon neutral. The cycle to work scheme also has tax benefits for your business, as employers can save 13.8% on National Insurance Contributions.

If you have a fleet of vehicles though, consider making the switch to electric. While this might not be available to you immediately due to budget restraints, in the near future, it’s a positive option to explore, particularly as the sale of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars will be banned from 2035 under new Government regulation.

If you offer company cars, incentivise the electric options, for example, installing charging points. We know that range and charging anxiety are still key factors holding drivers back from selecting an electric vehicle, so having the infrastructure in place to allow your employees to charge their vehicles during the day will go a long way to settling that feeling. Electric vehicles solve two problems at once: reducing exhaust-related emissions and reducing the use of fossil-derived fuels – meaning we can keep air pollution down to a safe level.

We saw during the lockdown period the impact that the reduction of traffic had on air pollution across our towns and cities. This showed us that that not only is it possible to reverse the damage, but that we need work together to keep these new-found levels down, and advocating the use of cleaner, more green transport is a huge step in achieving and maintaining this.

Flexibility is key 

Covid-19 has shown us that flexible working means more than just letting your employees work from home: it’s about fostering working relationships built on mutual trust and autonomy, and not being afraid of making bold changes to your business. It’s important for business owners to acknowledge this and to continue to allow their employees flexible working where possible. Not only will this be appreciated by your current employees, but would-be applicants will now, more than ever, be looking for flexibility from employers. It could also help you reduce your energy consumption.  

When the time comes to reintroduce your employees back into your working environment, you should talk to your staff about their needs as many people’s circumstances will have changed. You should also look at how you will allow for social distancing measures, as the safety of your team needs to be at the forefront of all your decisions.

Staggering shifts may be a viable option here. Having half the team work from your premises one week and the other team the next, or even adjusting your opening hours, will go a long way in supporting your team as they return to work. As well as this, adequate space between employees is vital. You’ll need to be smart about your layout, as relocating people to opposite ends of the property or across several floors will only increase your overall electricity consumption.

If you haven’t done so already, you might want to look into installing motion-sensor technology to your office appliances. This can be an effective way to cut your electricity consumption, especially if there are going to be times where there isn’t anyone in the premises or large parts of the building.

Utilising smart meters will help you monitor your electricity consumption during this time. The near real-time data they provide on business energy usage means that you can spot key trends and identify areas for improvement, as well as address any issues swiftly and appropriately. Ultimately, evaluating your habits and identifying opportunities for intelligent change can make a huge difference to your bottom line.

The power of collective action

Although the sharp reduction in emissions we have seen during the lockdown may be temporary, it’s shown us what is possible and what can be achieved through collective action. Together, we should try and continue to reduce our emissions and not slip into old harmful habits.

Rotherham Hospital to cut 49,620 tonnes of carbon with Veolia EPC

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Veolia is working with Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust to deliver a 20 year Energy Performance Contract (EPC) that will target savings of over £1 million per year at the 500 bed Rotherham Hospital.

Backed by the necessary investment and payback through the Carbon and Energy Fund Procurement framework, the EPC will now upgrade energy provision, reduce CO2 emissions by 49,620 tonnes and build long term energy resilience.

The projects will cover the design, delivery, installation, commissioning and subsequent operation of combined heat and power plant, replacement of seven 40 year old boilers, and installation of a chiller plant to provide effective air conditioning.

The contract will also upgrade the lighting to take advantage of the latest low energy and LED technology through the installation of 7,000 new fittings. Further energy saving measures will include insulation on pipes and valves, and a battery energy storage system. These energy saving measures will be guaranteed by Veolia who will also provide a comprehensive 20 year maintenance service. 

Gavin Graveson, Executive Vice-President, Veolia UK & Ireland, said: “Energy performance contracts have shown that they make a major contribution to meeting The NHS Carbon Reduction Strategy for England (CRS) and the ambition for the NHS to help drive change towards a low carbon society. Better still this also helps the NHS to become more sustainable and focus budgets on patient care. We look forward to working with the Trust and helping them meet the Department of Health’s Sustainable Development Unit model for NHS organisations.”

The Rotherham NHS Foundation Trust is an Associate Teaching Hospital of the University of Sheffield and has an active research programme delivered through local, regional, national and international research networks and consortia. The Urgent and Emergency Care Centre deals with around 105,000 attendances per and there are approximately 30,000 day cases, 40,000 inpatients and 250,000 outpatient attendances at the Trust each year. 

Veolia currently provides the services that cover around 43,000 UK hospital beds and support the energy requirements for around 8.1 million inpatients each year. It claims this increases sustainability of the healthcare sector by annually saving over 120,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.

Coal phase out forms key part of government’s Net Zero strategy

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The deadline for the phase-out of coal from Britain’s energy system is planned to be brought forward a year to 1 October 2024, as outlined by the prime minister in a speech to launch COP26.

The government will consult on bringing the deadline for ending unabated coal forward from 2025 to 2024, part of its drive to go further and faster on decarbonising the power sector, as it works towards net zero by 2050.

New statistics show the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions fell by 2.1% between 2017 and 2018, thanks in large part to the rapid decline of coal-powered electricity generation. Last year more than half of the UK’s electricity came from low-carbon sources.

This means the UK has cut its emissions by 43% since 1990 while growing the economy by more than two thirds – which the government says is the best performance of any G7 nation.

Business and Energy Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “The UK has a proud record in tackling climate change and making the most of the enormous economic potential of clean technologies. This is my number one priority, and we will raise our ambition in this year of climate action. Coal-generated energy will soon be a distant memory as we plan to decarbonise every sector of our economy, enabling a greener future for all our children.”

The government will also bring forward an end to the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2035, or earlier if a faster transition is feasible, subject to consultation, as well as include hybrids for the first time.

Coal is the most carbon intensive fossil fuel and is responsible for harmful air pollution. Last year Great Britain went 3,700 hours without using coal for power, nearly 5 times more than the whole of 2017. There are currently 4 active coal generators, one of which has announced closure in March 2020.

Britain was one of the first countries in the world to commit to ending unabated coal generation. Existing policies are already cutting our reliance on coal from around 40% in 2012 to less than 3% in 2019. The contribution of renewables is now at record levels, standing at 33%.

New Net-Zero Assets Alliance signatories push initiative to $3.9 trillion

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

AXA, Aviva, CNP Assurances and Fonds de Réserve pour les Retraites (FRR) have joined the UN-convened Net-Zero Asset Owner Alliance, raising total assets under management targeting carbon neutrality by 2050 to more than $3.9 trillion.

The Alliance is a group of the world’s largest pension funds and insurers committing to fully decarbonise their portfolios to avoid a global temperature increase above 1.5°C. Launched in September at the Climate Action Summit, it was initiated by Allianz, Caisse des Dépôts (CDC), La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ), Folksam Group, PensionDanmark, and Swiss Re, who were joined by Alecta, AMF, CalPERS, Nordea Life and Pension, Storebrand and Zurich as founding members.

Eric Usher, Head of the UNEP Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), said: “The addition of four significant asset owners signals growing commitment by investors to align their portfolios with the ambitious 1.5°C target that goes beyond even the level of ambition reflected in the Paris Agreement. Concerted investor action led by the Alliance signals to financial markets that making entire portfolios net zero carbon is now clearly on the agenda.”

Now 16-strong, the Alliance actively encourages additional investors to join by committing to a net-zero portfolio by 2050 in support of a global economy that delivers emissions reductions in line with scientifically determined targets.

This is see as critical in light of recent evidence from UN Environment Programme’s Emissions Gap Report, which found collective ambition must increase more than fivefold over current levels to deliver the cuts needed over the next decade to achieve the 1.5°C goal. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has warned that going beyond 1.5°C will increase the frequency and intensity of climate impacts, such as the heatwaves and storms witnessed across the globe in the last few years. In the report, UNEP said the world must deliver deep cuts to emissions – over 7 per cent each year for the next decade.

The Alliance will also use its powerful voice to engage with governments and ask them to urgently increase their Nationally Determined Contributions ambitions. According to the Emissions Gap report, G20 nations collectively account for 78 per cent of all emissions, but seven of them do not yet have policies in place to achieve their current NDCs, let alone strategies for transformative climate commitments at the breadth and scale necessary.

Convener of Mission 2020 Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), said: “Reaching net zero emissions by 2050 is a global imperative made clear by science, with huge benefits for all of society.

“We are all better off when finance is flowing towards a liveable future, and today’s announcement makes clear that investors are committed to that pathway. That the world’s asset owners are collaborating unequivocally to limit warming to 1.5°C should be a real boost for all governments preparing to step up their own commitments under Paris in 2020,” she added.

PRI CEO Fiona Reynolds said: “Asset Owners have a key role to play in driving much needed ambition to address the climate emergency. In joining the Alliance, the new members stand alongside founding asset owners in committing to achieve carbon neutral portfolios by 2050. We hope that the leadership shown by members of the Alliance will compel other investors to act urgently to align their portfolios with a 1.5°C scenario and to play their role in meeting the Paris Agreement.”

By joining the Alliance, members hold themselves accountable on progress by setting and publicly reporting on intermediate targets in line with the Paris Agreement. The Alliance has already begun the process of establishing a work plan for 2020.

The Alliance says members will ramp up engagement with the companies in which they are invested, working together with initiatives such as the UN Global Compact Business Ambition for 1.5°C, the Investor Agenda, the Science Based Targets initiative and Climate Action 100+.

Convened by UNEP’s Finance Initiative and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), the Alliance is supported by WWF and is part of the Mission 2020 campaign, an initiative led by Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

Grosvenor commits to net zero carbon operational emissions goal

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Major London Property owner Grosvenor Britain & Ireland (GBI) has committed to achieving net zero carbon operational emissions from all its directly managed buildings, including historic listed buildings by 2030.

The business will also report on, and seek to significantly reduce, its embodied carbon emissions – carbon created through associated supply chain and tenant activities. 

To achieve these targets, GBI will eliminate carbon emissions under its control and sustainably design and construct and operate net zero ready buildings, enabling occupiers to reduce or eradicate carbon emissions from their own operations. 

Grosvenor’s portfolio includes its historic London estate of Mayfair and Belgravia encompassing landmarks such as Eaton Square, Grosvenor Square, Mount Street and Victoria Coach Station.

It has also launched a Supply Chain Charter, which commits the business, together with its suppliers, to higher environmental and ethical standards, deepening GBI’s broader contribution to the communities it is active in. 

Key highlights of the commitment include:-

·     Becoming zero carbon:

o  By 2030, GBI will achieve net zero carbon operational emissions from all its directly managed buildings, including listed buildings.

o  GBI will report on, and seek to significantly reduce, the carbon emissions embodied in its supply chain, developments and tenant activity by 2030.

o  The business’ portfolio, including 147 acres of public realm on its London estate, will aspire to be climate positive+ by 2050.

·     Becoming zero waste:

o  GBI will eradicate all waste from buildings and developments in its control by 2030.

o  By working with customers and stakeholders, the business will aspire to eliminate waste from communities where it operates by 2050.

·     Valuing nature:

o  By 2030, GBI’s portfolio will have achieved a significant net biodiversity gain, responding to the need to halt the decline of the UK’s wildlife and restore ecosystems.

o  The business will fully map the materials in its supply chain by 2025 to ensure sustainable provenance.

o  GBI aspires to be water neutral by 2050.

Craig McWilliam, CEO, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland, said: “Recent events simply reinforce our view that companies need to have a wholesale rethink on how they use their influence to halt the worsening impacts of climate change. As one of London’s largest property companies and with a growing business bringing forward large scale housing developments, we recognise the far-reaching impact a change in our behaviour can have.

“While we are on track to halve carbon emissions on our London estate by 2023, many of the tools and technologies needed to help us meet these targets are yet to be developed and tested. To be successful, our commitments will require us to work collaboratively and innovate. 

“Through these targets and by working with our supply chain and tenants we can, for example, stimulate the design, construction and operation of zero carbon neighbourhoods at scale.”

In addition, it is bringing forward housing developments in London, Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire, including a pipeline of 15,000 homes across new neighbourhoods delivered through its Strategic Land business. 

Supply Chain Charter Launch

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has also unveiled a Supply Chain Charter, which commits the business together, with its suppliers, to higher environmental and ethical standards including: 

·       No diesel to be used on the London estate by 2025 and prioritisation of electric equipment.

·       Make a presumption in favour of sustainably sourced materials in design and procurement.

·       Help the business fundamentally change the way its buildings and public realm are designed, constructed and operated.

·       Payment of the Local Living Wage to staff, including apprentices and interns. In 2014, GBI was one of the first UK property companies to pay the London Living Wage to staff and suppliers. 

·       Exclusion of zero-hours contracts, unless requested by the employee.

·       Committing to prompt and fair payment of their own supply chain.

·       Help create inclusive and equitable opportunities for employment in the communities in which GBI is active.

McWilliam added: “If we are truly serious about delivering and accelerating positive change we must partner with those who share our values and ambitions.

“By pushing ourselves to go further, faster these stretching targets will help deliver a better future for the communities we operate in today and future generations. We cannot achieve the change needed alone – together we can achieve more.” 

GBI has more than 1,800 suppliers and will expect all to adhere to, and cascade, relevant charter commitments.  The business says it will work with its partners, and has established a supporting network of expert organisations who will provide advice at no additional cost, to help them achieve the charter’s aims.

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