Global offshore wind industry joins forces with the Carbon Trust to decarbonise and scale up sustainably

Offshore wind turbine

The developers design, build and operate wind farms globally, including across Europe, North America and Asia, and collectively represent around a quarter of global installed capacity. 

They will work in collaboration with the Carbon Trust as part of the new Offshore Wind Sustainability Joint Industry Programme to develop the first industry-backed methodology and guidance to measure and address the carbon emissions associated with offshore wind farms throughout their lifecycle, including emissions from the manufacturing of materials and installation of wind farms.

The aim of this work is to help the global offshore wind industry scale as sustainably as possible and continue its important contribution towards meeting the world’s Net Zero target by 2050 and limiting the most extreme impacts of climate change. A standardised methodology will ensure the scale of installation needed is delivered in a low carbon way and encourage comparability across developers and assets.

This programme is the fifth addition to the Carbon Trust’s renewable energy innovation platform which consists of a portfolio of R&D activities including the Offshore Wind Accelerator (OWA), the Floating Wind Joint Industry Programme,  the Integrator and the Offshore Renewables Joint Industry Programme.

By the end of 2021, 55GW of offshore wind capacity was installed globally, with over a third of this being installed within 2021.1 However, according to the IEA, an additional 70-80GW will need to be installed every year from 2030 in order to achieve Net Zero by 2050.2

As demand for renewable energy grows, the offshore wind industry needs to scale up rapidly to meet this level of ambition, and this must be done in a sustainable way. Building on the decarbonisation efforts at an individual wind farm level, a collaborative industry effort will be key to creating a consistent approach to account for carbon impacts, increase transparency of supply chain emissions and accelerate engagement across the value chain. This will support the delivery of the scale of installation needed, with the benefit of a strong understanding of lifecycle carbon emissions. 
While offshore wind energy generation has a significantly lower carbon impact than fossil fuels, the sector must also work collaboratively to de-couple its own value chain from carbon and resource-intensive models of production, deployment and operation, addressing key hotspots such as steel, cement and fuels. 

Jan Matthiesen, Director, Offshore Wind at the Carbon Trust said, “Global climate targets cannot be met without stepping up renewable energy generation, and offshore wind is particularly crucial to the world’s transition away from fossil fuels. Our experience working with the industry through various joint industry projects is proof that collaboration is key. Over the last fourteen years, we have been focused on scaling up the offshore wind market through our Joint Industry Programmes, such as the Offshore Wind Accelerator and the Floating Wind Joint Industry Programme.”

“Now it’s time to turn our attention to supporting innovation and scaling up sustainably in order to create a more resilient and competitive industry. We are delighted to be collaborating with such a global set of developers, whose collective voice has the potential to take the industry to the next level.”

The first project delivered as part of the Offshore Wind Sustainability Joint Industry Programme will:

  1. Develop the first standardised methodology to enable developers to calculate the lifecycle emissions of their offshore wind assets, including their upstream supply chain emissions, the construction phase and the operation phase. 
  2.  Engage with the industry to improve data quality and availability and promote greater supply chain transparency.
  3. Identify key carbon emission drivers and hotspots in the offshore wind value chain and wind farm life cycle. 

The programme officially kicks off in January 2023 with the methodology expected to be released for use across the industry by 2025. 

  1. GWEC Global Offshore Wind Report 2022
  2. Net Zero by 20250 – A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector

Notes to editors

Matthias Bausenwein, senior vice president offshore wind, bp: “At bp, we aim to reduce to net zero the carbon intensity of the energy products we sell by 2050 or sooner. We are delighted to be collaborating with the Carbon Trust and our industry colleagues to help drive a common approach to quantifying carbon intensity within the offshore wind value chain and to help accelerate decarbonisation.”

Catrin Jung, Head of Business Unit Offshore, BA Wind Vattenfall: “We want to accelerate fossil free living with the power of renewables. And within that we aim to be sustainable in everything we do, including the full value chain – how to achieve that? That is the challenge we are working on and we are ready to take it up! The Carbon Trust initiative will support us in our ambition and will also bring industry players from different parts of the value chain together to jointly achieve the goal of decarbonisation.”   

Holger Grubel, Head of Portfolio Development Offshore Wind, EnBW: “EnBW is the third largest German energy supplier and has a strong position in offshore wind in Germany with roughly 1 GW in operation and 1 GW in a late development stage. In the UK, EnBW are in a Joint Venture with bp developing 3 offshore wind projects named Mona, Morgan and Morven, totaling 2.9GW. EnBW is proud to participate in this valuable collaboration to create a standardised, verifiable, industry-supported best practice for carbon measurement.”

Lars Bender, Chief Executive Officer, Fred. Olsen Seawind: “SUS JIP will help decarbonise the offshore wind supply chain and increase the application of sustainability principals across the offshore wind industry. Fred. Olsen Seawind places sustainability at the core of our work and we see it as imperative that increased action is taken to address barriers to sustainability within Offshore Wind. By joining SUS JIP, we want to support the industry through active collaboration with our industry partners to enable sustainability and accelerate decarbonisation action to achieve a net-zero electricity system.”

Ingrid Reumert, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Stakeholder Relations, Ørsted: “Energy still accounts for 73% of global emissions which makes a fast transition from fossil fuels to renewables the single most important climate action. As our industry prepares for a massive and necessary build out of offshore wind farms, we must also pay attention to driving down emissions from supply chains and operations. This common methodology will help us do that as well as increasing transparency for governments, investors and suppliers, and enabling comparability across developers and assets.”

Sven Utermöhlen, CEO, RWE Offshore Wind GmbH: “Sustainability is at the heart of RWE’s delivery of offshore wind; we follow a clear sustainability strategy with targeted initiatives and innovations in order to provide sustainable energy solutions globally. Across the company we are investing more than €50 billion by 2030 to expand our global green generation capacity and to decarbonize our business. This Carbon Trust initiative will take a critical step towards establishing consistency and transparency in the measurement of carbon emissions, and finally enabling a common pathway for CO2 reduction around the world.”

Paul Cooley, Director of Offshore Wind (Global), SSE Renewables said: “SSE Renewables is building more offshore wind than any other company in the world right now, with plans to increase our renewables output fivefold by 2031. As we accelerate growth in the years ahead, it’s crucial we’re doing so in a way that’s truly sustainable for people and planet. We won’t achieve our sustainability goals alone, which is why this industry collaboration through the Carbon Trust is a critical step towards ensuring a fair, just, and genuinely green transition to a net zero world.”

For further information please contact: 
The Carbon Trust press office on +44 (0)20 7170 7050 or

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is a global climate consultancy driven by the mission to accelerate the move to a decarbonised future. We have been climate pioneers for over 20 years, partnering with businesses, governments and financial institutions to drive positive climate action. From strategic planning and target setting to activation and communication - we turn ambition into impact. To date, our 400 experts have helped set 200+ science-based targets and guided 3,000+ organisations and cities across five continents on their route to Net Zero.