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net-zero emissions

The Carbon Trust unveils framework to help businesses transition to net-zero emissions

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

The Carbon Trust has launched a service that it says will help businesses transition to a net zero economy by assessing and developing their strategic response to climate change.

The Carbon Trust Climate Leadership Framework helps senior management understand how their company is currently performing on climate change, identifies the opportunities for measureable improvements via a low carbon roadmap and guides their strategic planning.

The Carbon Trust has identified a growing demand from companies for expert evaluation and guidance on their overall strategic approach to climate change.

To meet this demand and ensure that companies are equipped to take comprehensive action towards net zero, the organisations says it has spent over a year developing this new framework.  

Hugh Jones, Managing Director – Business Services, the Carbon Trust said: “Organisations are more aware than ever of the need for bold action on climate change.  The recent publication of the Committee on Climate Change’s Net Zero report and heightened public and political awareness of climate change issues have highlighted the need to transition to sustainable, low carbon economies across the world. This framework enables businesses to play their full part and ultimately become climate leaders.”

The framework has been tested and refined in partnership with five businesses over the past six months to ensure it provides a straightforward process to produce robust, relevant and actionable insights for company leaders.

Using the framework, the Carbon Trust works with each client to assess its own operations, its upstream and downstream value chain, and the avoided emissions brought about by the use of its products or services.

Within each of these three perspectives, the following activities are examined:

  • Target setting: is the company setting sufficiently ambitious targets in the right areas?
  • Implementation: does the company have an implementation plan that clearly lays out the actions it will take to achieve its targets?
  • Contextual analysis: does the business fully understand the climate change issues it is facing, including the opportunities and risks it faces in the transition to a net zero economy?
  • Innovation: is there a structured approach to developing and delivering the changes necessary to transform the company beyond its current short to medium term target horizon so it can succeed in a net zero carbon economy?
  • Influencing: is the business engaging key stakeholders in initiatives to address the barriers to achieving further emissions reductions beyond its current short to medium term target horizon?

Once its assessment is completed, each company agrees and receives a scorecard showing its current state of progress and a bespoke roadmap containing practical next steps in order to make progress towards becoming a climate leader and achieving net zero emissions.

Jones added: “Businesses may already be addressing some of their climate change impacts but this framework helps evaluate their overall performance, strategically positions existing schemes and initiatives for them and, crucially, provides a tailored company-wide roadmap for improvement. 

Experience from working with companies on its development has shown that it is extremely effective at facilitating company-wide understanding and ownership of climate change impacts and stimulating long term strategic planning.”

The Climate Leadership Framework has already been taken up by five companies working with the Carbon Trust – Pearson, Quorn Foods, SGN, Sky and Marshalls.

Image by Foto-Rabe from Pixabay

‘More nuclear power required’ to achieve net-zero emissions

960 640 Stuart O'Brien

Britain’s largest business group, the CBI, has called upon the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to build new nuclear power stations and scale up carbon capture technology and infrastructure to reach the Government’s target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

In a letter to the Rt Hon Greg Clark, the CBI sets out a series of priorities to decarbonise the UK economy and calls on the Government to use a forthcoming Energy White Paper to give more clarity on its vision.

The priorities include:

  • Progressing large-scale nuclear projects and supporting innovative nuclear technologies, such as Small Modular Reactors
  • Technology trials to determine the best, localised solutions to fully decarbonise heat in homes, offices and industrial processes
  • A clear mix of incentives for consumers and businesses to buy electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, alongside comprehensive nationwide infrastructure ready for future demand
  • Rationalising the tax and business rates system to ensure green energy is encouraged, not penalised
  • Hosting COP 26 to showcase to the world the UK’s expertise in green technology and commitment to leading on climate change action

“Business is right behind the need for the UK to have a net-zero economy by 2050 and build on our global leadership in cutting greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist.

“To deliver the Government’s admirable net-zero policy by 2050, it is mission critical that business, politicians and the public work together to devise and make the necessary changes.

“Firms want to see a whole host of stable, long-term policies enacted – from building new nuclear power stations to scaling-up carbon capture and storage technology and infrastructure – that send markets a robust signal: the UK is open for green business, and is a world leader in tackling climate change.”

Image by Stefan Kuhn from Pixabay