Q: "Durham University has a complicated estate with many old and inefficient buildings. Is this the best place to focus our investment in terms of cutting our carbon emissions?"
Professor Tim Burt, Dean for Environmental Sustainability - Durham University
A: Pricewaterhousecoopers – Adam Bushell, National Energy Manager “If you are at the start of your energy reduction programme I would suggest first accurately measuring your current consumption. If you don’t know what you have how can you reduce it!”
A: Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc – Adam Garbutt, Energy Manager
“The results of [defining the boundaries of your organisation & measuring the emissions sources] … can often be surprising, and may identify easier ways to save on carbon emissions than simply renovating buildings. For instance, Morrisons’ reduction of the emissions from refrigerant gas by around 60% or 265,000 t CO2e has contributed an absolute saving of 17% of our total carbon footprint vs. 2005 – definitely a high impact solution!
Even when you do come renovate your buildings, it pays to look at multiple solutions for your energy consumption problem. For example, because older buildings often have poor thermal performance but can be expensive and disruptive to insulate, it may prove to be more beneficial to change the way the heat is delivered: can you improve the controls for the heating for the building to reduce the need for heat; could you install a new heating system, perhaps using renewable heat or CHP, to deliver the heat more efficiently; or you could even move to a green fuel to eliminate emissions entirely.”
A: Carbon Trust Advisory – Dominic Burbridge, Associate Director
“In our experience it is a crucial first step to understand the cost of inaction. By analysing your estates carbon, water and waste footprints you can uncover the environmental impacts & resource efficiency risks. All of which will help you to make informed and educated decisions that allow you to prioritise the opportunities with support from a compelling business case.
BUPA were keen to understand where to make their investments and having given them the support needed to realise the potential return on investment, the Carbon Trust also helped BUPA to expose the cost of a lost opportunity if they didn’t take action.”
If you’re interested in the support we can offer then get in touch – firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 7832 4802.
Q: “At Camelot, we are very proud to have been able to reduce our CO2 emissions to below the CRC threshold and gain the Carbon Trust Standard. In addition, we are looking at ways to encourage and help our suppliers to reduce their emissions. In your opinion, what is the best way to engage suppliers on these issues?”
Ruth Horwitz, Corporate Responsibility Manager - Camelot Group
A: GlaxoSmithKline – Brett Fulford, Sustainability Leader, Operations
“A key first step is to decide where to focus. Most organisations have a large and complex supply chain so it is easy to become overwhelmed and to know where to start. One way to do this is to ask your suppliers to provide information on their carbon emission so the organisations which contribute most to your overall carbon footprint can be targeted for engagement. Different engagement strategies can be employed depending on relationship you have with your suppliers. For example it may be appropriate to mandate improvement through your contractual relationship or to collaborate via workshops (virtual or face to face). In some circumstances it may even be appropriate to provide direct assistance in the form of funding or technical support (e.g. energy audits). However, in all circumstances it is important that all parties see mutual benefit in working together to reduce emissions.”
A: Carbon Trust Advisory – Laura Timlin, Associate Director
Extract taken from Viewpoint: ‘Can procurement professionals become brand guardians?’
“As Brett suggests, it is not always effective to assume a one size fits all approach.
Effective data analysis helps you understand who your main suppliers are and what their business is, and you can then use that business intelligence to decide how you engage and encourage your suppliers to prioritise and tackle these issues. It can be a challenge for complex companies who may use a network of distributors to do this, as they are likely to have many overseas suppliers, who speak another language, operating under different legislative regimes with different cultural norms and values.
Companies will want to address these issues in different ways, depending on the nature of their supply chain. If, for example, your supply chain includes big FTSE-listed companies, they are likely to have strong sustainability strategies in place, allowing you to focus on those that may need more support. But if your supply chain is comprised of hundreds or sometimes thousands of small and medium sized companies, then some degree of segmentation will be required. Determined to act ethically and responsibly in its dealings with all, BT is an example of a company that expects suppliers to meet high standards on human rights, employment, and environmental practice. The Carbon Trust helped to run a series of carbon reduction workshops, to educate and raise awareness within BT's supplier base and what they should be doing around energy and carbon management, and also as a way of signaling to the supplier base that this agenda was becoming more important to BT. This activity helped to underpin the introduction of BT's Climate Change procurement standard, one of the first of its kind in the UK, to help reaffirm its climate change credentials.”
Email email@example.com or call +44 (0)20 7832 4802 for information on how the Carbon Trust can support active measures for collaboration across your supply chain.
Q: “Executive sponsorship has been crucial to us consistently reducing our absolute carbon emissions and maintaining the Carbon Trust Standard for a second recertification. In your opinion, what is the best way to ensure ongoing executive buy-in (and momentum), especially during tighter economic times and where a lot of the low hanging fruit has already been picked?”
Lugano Kapembwa, Energy & Environment Manager - News UK
A: Wm Morrison Supermarkets Plc – Adam Garbutt, Energy Manager
“Keeping executive buy-in for emission reduction programmes is vital if you are to continue making progress, but it is important to tailor your arguments to the people you are trying to convince. Not everyone is lucky enough to have executives who believe in reducing a company’s environmental impact for its own sake!
If financial returns are the most important issue, you should highlight the ever-rising cost of energy and carbon. With energy prices predicted to increase by 50-100% by 2020, properly targeted investment in the present will pay for itself many times over in future years, and a failure to invest could mean a significant reduction in the profitability of the company.
You can also use the fact that green credentials are now a point of differentiation between major companies – where the worst possible situation is to be seen to be doing nothing! The reputational benefits from a developed emissions reduction plan can be used in several ways, from attracting the environmentally conscious consumer, to convincing investors that the company is planning properly for operating in a low-carbon future, all the way to engaging staff with the idea that the company is a responsible employer who they can be proud to work for.
The final lever is legislation. It is not just the fact that almost all policy-making is geared towards making energy consumption and carbon emissions even more expensive in the future, but that more and more legislation is mandating actions which were previously voluntary, from air conditioning inspections to minimum performance of building standards, and from reporting on greenhouse gas emissions to preparing a list of energy saving opportunities (but not doing anything with it – for now!). Simply put: we are going to have to do it anyway, so we may as well get on with it and reap all the benefits of moving early.”
The Carbon Trust helps organisations communicate results to stakeholders/customers/senior management in a way that they can value. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)20 7832 4802 for more information on how we can catalyse change within your business.
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