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Programme design and delivery

We design and manage complex projects and collaborations that overcome financial and behavioural barriers to deliver real results.

We have extensive expertise in designing, implementing and evaluating policies, programmes and projects, primarily related to renewable energy generation and energy efficiency. As an independent, impartial and mission-driven organisation we have the ability to convene diverse and often competing actors to come together, foster active dialogues and - crucially - to collaborate. Examples such as the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), Technology Innovation Needs Assessments (TINAs) and Mission Innovation are a testament to this ability.

We have developed a programme planning and project management approach that enables us to provide cost-effective, contracted programmatic services that deliver high quality advice, expertise and customer-focused outcomes.

Examples of current programmes are below:

Low Carbon Cities

For over ten years the Carbon Trust has been developing and fine tuning its approach to the delivery of significant carbon, resource and financial savings through transformational sustainable city strategies. Our vision is that of collaborative area-wide carbon reduction strategies led by local and subnational governments, actively supported by the private and public sectors and owned by the entire community. Smart cities must also be sustainable cities in order to prosper in the long term.

Our Low Carbon Cities programme provides expert advice to cities and municipalities by providing tools, training, inspiration and structure to develop a roadmap to achieving carbon and efficiency savings, while also promoting low carbon growth. Municipalities have planning, social housing, community engagement, taxation and educational powers vital to a successful and prosperous low carbon transition, and our programme helps them make best use of these. We have also helped hundreds of municipalities around the world to lead by example by cutting energy use and emissions from their own buildings and operations.

This has given us clear step-by-step pathways for our large and complex state government organisation. The purpose-designed methodology and tools are helping us to make high level (and sometimes abstract) carbon reduction targets credible and achievable.

Project Leader, Jalisco State Government

We have developed a 5 Step Low Carbon Cities Programme methodology and associated tools, now adapted to the Global Protocol for Community Scale Emissions. We have worked with Bristol, Leeds and Manchester to help them through the five step process to develop a strategy for cutting carbon and costs across city regions.  With the assistance of the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, we are now working with a range of states including Jalisco, Tabasco and Baja California in Mexico, and several municipalities in Malaysia including KL City Hall.

Offshore Wind Accelerator

Since 2008 we have run one of the world’s biggest and most successful collaborative innovation programmes, the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), to unlock opportunities in a hugely promising but technically challenging source of renewable energy. This has brought together nine major offshore wind developers with the UK and Scottish governments, to collectively share the risks, rewards and costs of researching, developing and deploying new technologies.

The OWA focuses on everything except the turbine – an area where individual manufacturers are making progress without additional support. The programme targets areas with the greatest potential for cost reduction, such as access systems, cable installation, electrical systems, foundations, wind measurement and wake effects, and environmental impacts, which collectively account for up to 70% of overall costs.


Over £84m has been invested through the OWA to deliver in excess of 10% cost savings for the industry


We cut the cost of wind measurement by a factor of 12 through the demonstration of innovative floating LiDAR technology

Scottish Government support for the OWA has helped develop new ideas in key areas of importance to companies operating in Scottish waters.

Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Scottish Government

Offshore Wind Accelerator

ORJIP - Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme 

The Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme (ORJIP) is a joint industry project involving the Carbon Trust, the Department of Energy and Climate Change, Marine Scotland, The Crown Estate and offshore wind developers.

The objective of ORJIP is to reduce the consenting risk for offshore wind farm developments in the UK, including:

  • Risk of not getting consent
  • Risk of delay in getting consent
  • Risk of getting consent with conditions that reduce viability of the project

We are engaging closely with Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies (SNCBs) and scientific and technical experts to solve the consenting issues.

The programme is being managed by Carbon Trust, building on the successful Offshore Wind Accelerator collaborative R&D programme.


Low Carbon Workplace

In 2010 we established the Low Carbon Workplace partnership to break the ‘circle of inertia’ that has held back energy efficiency improvements in commercial buildings. We partnered with Columbia Threadneedle Investments, the global asset management group, and Stanhope Plc, a leading UK property developer, to create a new business model for low carbon property development. Through the Low Carbon Workplace Fund, the partnership buys and refurbishes office buildings to high energy efficiency standards, and then lets them to commercial tenants. What is unique about the model is that we ask tenants to commit to minimising energy consumption and carbon emissions. We then provide them with ongoing support to ensure that the day-to-day performance of our buildings matches up to the design intentions.


The Low Carbon Workplace fund currently owns eight buildings and is valued at over £250 million.


Low Carbon Workplace offices are up to 70% more energy efficient than typical offices.

The Low Carbon Workplace concept is economically viable, socially responsible, repeatable, scalable and profitable. It is a great example of the private sector taking the initiative and developing new commercial models that unlock the value in low carbon refurbishment.

Don Jordison, Managing Director, Property, Columbia Threadneedle Investments

Low Carbon Workplace

Green Business Directory and Accredited Supplier Scheme

The Carbon Trust Accredited Supplier scheme is the market-leading scheme for high quality energy efficient equipment and renewable technology suppliers. It provides independent validation and recognition of a supplier's skills and services - a much needed and trusted quality standard in a crowded and fast growing market place.

Accredited Suppliers must meet or exceed criteria set by the Carbon Trust designed to examine their capability to deliver thoughtful, well-designed energy efficient and renewable energy systems. Accredited Suppliers are listed online in the Carbon Trust Green Business Directory.

Green Business Directory 

Green Business Fund

The Green Business Fund is operated by the Carbon Trust to allow financiers and funders (for example utilities, financial service providers, government bodies and philanthropics) to contribute cost effectively to the acceleration of a sustainable, low carbon economy which is a key factor in addressing the environmental impacts of climate change.  It focuses on areas of particular market failure, such as the small business market globally, where incentives often have to be utilised to encourage action.   It currently serves smaller businesses in England, Wales and Scotland with energy efficiency advice, energy reduction surveys, energy reduction opportunity reports and a capital contribution towards the purchase of qualifying energy efficient equipment. There is scope for the fund to serve other geographies internationally should the appropriate funding be made available by a suitable funding body.


The application process was very well laid out and straightforward with easy to follow guides. Once we had made the application the response was swift, we had approval within 2 weeks and the money in our bank within 2 weeks of commissioning of the project. All in all, a great scheme.

Mark Johnston, Finance Director, Sovereign Group

Carbon Trust Green Business Fund

0% energy efficiency loans

One of the main barriers to businesses implementing energy efficiency or renewable energy projects is the availability of finance. The Carbon Trust helps to overcome that hurdle by providing interest free, unsecured loans to business in Northern Ireland and Wales for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

To date the Carbon Trust has disbursed over £200 million of interest free loans to UK small and medium businesses to help them finance energy efficient equipment, and provided energy surveys to over 35,000 organisations.

So far we've helped these organisations introduce £1.6bn worth of energy efficient equipment into their businesses, resulting in a £5.5bn reduction in energy costs, playing a significant part in much needed carbon emission reduction.

Northern Ireland 0% energy efficiency loans

Wales 0% energy efficiency loans

START2ACT for small businesses

Funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, the START2ACT programme aims to support young SMEs and startups to save energy and cut costs at their workplace. To achieve this, the programme offers free-of-charge mentoring and training activities in nine European countries: Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the UK. The Carbon Trust is the implementation partner for the UK, offering

  • A series of START2ACT breakfast events around the UK for employees from young SMEs to learn about how to reduce energy consumption at work
  • One-to-one energy efficiency training, to include three on-site visits to the business over the course of a year. During these visits the Carbon Trust trainer will work together with the organisation to identify and implement energy saving measures over time
  • Mentoring sessions for startups to discuss how to increase energy efficiency in all areas of business development
  • From April 2017, an open-access interactive online platform will be launched with a variety of energy efficiency resources for SMEs and startups


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 696069.

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