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June 2021

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Renewable Policy

UK renewable energy capacity to more than double by 2030. GlobalData projects the nation’s clean energy capacity to increase from 46.7GW in 2020 to 110.5GW by the end of the decade. Renewable energy capacity in the UK is expected to more than double by 2030, powered by significant growth in the wind power sector. That is according to a report by data and analytics firm GlobalData, which projects the nation’s renewable power capacity to increase from 46.7 gigawatts (GW) in 2020 to 110.5 GW by 2030, growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9%. The UK government has committed to reaching net zero on greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 and offshore wind is a key component of its strategy to achieving its climate goals. The country has about 35% of the global wind capacity installed and is already home to seven of the world’s 10 biggest sites, with its Dogger Bank project in the North Sea set to become the largest of its type.

NS Energy 29th June 2021 read more »

News

Report: UK telecoms giants leading sector’s global net-zero transition

Four in ten of the world’s biggest telecommunications companies are behind on the delivery of their environmental targets, but British firms are decarbonising far more rapidly than their international counterparts, new Boston Consulting Group (BCG) analysis has found.

Businesses from the UK, France, US and Asia were assessed by BCG

Businesses from the UK, France, US and Asia were assessed by BCG

The outcomes of the analysis, which covered the climate targets and broader sustainability strategies of 18 of the world’s biggest telecommunications firms, are detailed in a new report and ranking index published late last week.

According to BCG, almost every major company in the sector now has a net-zero target with a deadline of 2050 or sooner, backed up by a science-based interim target. But 40% of the firms analysed are not on track to deliver key targets relating to decarbonisation or to other environmental issues such as waste and resource management.

BCG noted that, in many cases, companies are setting sustainability goals and policies that are too broad, leaving resources thinly spread and making quantitative accounting against ambitions challenging.

Failure to get back on track, the report speculates, could impact the ability of nations or even the world to deliver the Paris Agreement. ICT, it states, accounts for some 4% of global annual emissions, with its absolute carbon footprint likely to grow 7% each year through to 2020. Around half of the sector’s annual emissions, at present, are accounted for by telecommunications.

Telecommunications firms in the UK could be looked to as examples of leadership, BCG claims. On average, these firms reduced their Scope 1 (direct) and 2 (power-related) emissions by 15% year-on-year in 2020, putting the sector on track to exceed the UK Government’s legally binding net-zero target for 2050.

Broader impact

It is important to note that much of the telecommunications sector’s climate impact lies in its Scope 3 (indirect) emissions, including the supply chain and customer use of products and services.

BGC states that many businesses might be underestimating the positive impacts they could be delivering in this area and that any business wishing to be viewed as a leader in the sustainability space should have strong ‘customer enablement’ commitments. The average company in the telecommunications space could reduce the emissions of clients and customers by up to 10 times the equivalent of its own footprint, it is estimated.

“The Global e-Sustainability Initiative estimates that ICT could cut global greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030 by helping companies and consumers to more intelligently use and save energy,” BCG’s partner and managing director Roman Friedrich said. “Telco operators could take the lead in this historic responsibility and tap into the corresponding business opportunity.”

Overall, the 18 businesses assessed by BCG for the index were better at setting sustainability commitments relating to operational performance than to customer enablement. The highest score out of 100% on the former was 76%. For the latter, it was just 43%.  


edie and O2 present the Countdown to COP26 Festival  

In association with headline partner O2, edie is currently delivering a six-month-long series of exclusive content and events to help businesses across the UK and beyond seize the opportunity of the upcoming COP26 Summit in Glasgow. 

Click here for a full programme and join the conversation today. 


Sarah George

News

Grosvenor joins Race to Zero campaign

Property developer Grosvenor Britain & Ireland has joined the Race to Zero initiative, joining thousands of other businesses striving to achieve an overarching goal of halving emissions by 2030 and reaching net-zero by 2050 at the latest.

Grosvenor’s historic London estate in Mayfair and Belgravia is its main source of direct emissions

Grosvenor’s historic London estate in Mayfair and Belgravia is its main source of direct emissions

Grosvenor is the latest firm to sign up for the UN’s Race to Zero initiative, which is aimed at getting organisations and entities to set net-zero targets. To date, more than 700 cities, 24 regions, 2,360 businesses, 163 investors and 624 higher education institutions have joined the initiative.

Grosvenor is the latest business to join Race to Zero. In December, the company outlined plans to become a net-zero business by 2030 and earmarked £90m to retrofit and ‘future proof’ its portfolio of buildings across London.

The company’s net-zero target covers emissions from all scopes, including a reduction in Scope 3 (indirect) emissions by at least 52% by 2030. The firm has developed a delivery roadmap called ‘Think Zero’ to help it meet its ambition. The targets were recently validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).

Grosvenor’s director of climate-positive solutions Andy Haigh said: “From Governments to local businesses, Race to Zero provides a vital focal point for the global groundswell of activity on climate action.

“At Grosvenor, we strive to maximise our positive impact on communities, and to minimise negative impacts on the environment.  As part of this incredible movement, we’ll continually to seek ways to innovate and partner with tenants, suppliers and communities to build a sustainable, healthy and resilient future and encourage them to join us on this journey.”

Currently, Race to Zero participants collectively cover nearly 25% of global carbon emissions and more than 50% of global GDP.

As of March 2021, almost one in three FTSE100 companies have signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero campaign.

According to the UK’s COP26 unit, FTSE100 signatories to Race to Zero represent a total market capitalization of £650m. This is before smaller businesses, non-listed firms and businesses covered by industry collaborations, like Water UK’s net-zero by 2030 roadmap, are accounted for.

Net-zero Grosvenor

Given that Grosvenor’s historic London estate in Mayfair and Belgravia is its main source of direct emissions, the company is targeting a 70% reduction in annual emissions here by 2030, against a 2019 baseline. It will invest in deep retrofits to make these buildings more energy-efficient, installing things like insulation, low-carbon heating and energy-efficient lighting.

Grosvenor manages more than 2,500 units in this area, including 500 Grade I and II listed buildings and structures. It has spent £25m on retrofitting for more than 100 buildings since 2013 and hopes the larger sum will accelerate progress. All managed buildings with tenants will also be transitioned to 100% renewable electricity. A target has also been set to ensure that all new buildings are net-zero in operational carbon by 2030.


edie’s Net-Zero Carbon Playbook and Net-Zero Carbon Reporting Guide 

Readers working on their organisation’s own transition to net-zero are encouraged to download edie’s latest free reports. 

The Net-Zero Carbon Playbook, produced in association with Centrica Business Solutions and featuring input from The Climate Group and our Countdown to COP26 Festival partner O2, inspires and empowers businesses to ramp up efforts across all areas of sustainable development to achieve net-zero. Wherever you are on your journey, the Playbook contains practical advice for accelerating progress. 

The Business Guide to Net-Zero Carbon Reporting, meanwhile, outlines how businesses should be measuring and reporting their climate impacts throughout the transition to net-zero. Featuring expert insight from Carbon Intelligence, the Guide provides this insight through the lens of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and science-based targets – two business-critical enablers of the net-zero carbon transition. 

Click here to access the Net-Zero Carbon Playbook. 

Click here to access the  Business Guide to Net-Zero Carbon Reporting. 


Matt Mace

News

Renewable constraints

Consumers face paying up to £2.5 billion a year to switch off new wind farms and other power plants because transmission cables will not be built quickly enough to carry the electricity they generate. National Grid’s control room, which is responsible for keeping the lights on, pays power plant owners to “constrain” output when the network does not have enough capacity to transmit their electricity to where it is needed. It also pays for power plants elsewhere in the network to fire up and replace the generation that has been constrained. These “constraint costs” amount to about £500 million a year, but new estimates from National Grid’s Electricity System Operator forecast that they will at least double and could increase five-fold to £2.5 billion within five years. “This is a result of the rapidly changing generation mix, with significant quantities of new renewable generation connecting, and the fact that the timescales required to make the large transmission investments to increase network capacity to fully accommodate all of this new generation can be much longer,” it said.

Times 29th June 2021 read more »

News

Climate Local Impacts

Nearly 2 million people living in the greater Glasgow area face severe disruption from climate heating unless billions of pounds are invested in protecting homes, businesses and transport links, a report says. A study on the impacts of climate change on the Clyde area estimates about 140,000 of its poorest residents will be the worst affected by increased heatwaves, flash floods and droughts, as they are the least equipped to cope. The report from Climate Ready Clyde, a coalition of 15 councils, universities, the NHS and infrastructure bodies, has been published as Glasgow prepares to host the Cop26 global climate talks in November. It estimates there is already a funding shortfall of at least £184m a year to begin retrofitting homes and offices for heatwaves, defending roads and rail links against flooding and storms, and planting 18m trees to absorb higher temperatures and rainfall over coming decades.

Guardian 29th June 2021 read more »

News

Construction firm Henry Boot targets net-zero by 2030

Sheffield-based construction firm Henry Boot has launched a new Net-Zero Carbon Framework, featuring commitments to switch to electric vehicles (EVs) and phase out diesel generators.

Image: Henry Boot

Image: Henry Boot

The Framework is headlined by a 2030 net-zero target for what the business describes as “directly controlled emissions”. Scope 1 (direct) and Scope 2 (power-related) emissions fall within this definition.

Across these scopes, Henry Boot is aiming to deliver a 60% reduction in absolute emissions this decade, against a 2019 baseline. Given that more than half of its annual Scope 1 & 2 emissions in 2019 were attributable to its plant sale and hire arm, Banner Plant, this will be a key focus.

A full fleet and generator renewal programme will be launched shortly, as will a new sustainable transport policy. The overarching aim of the latter will be to reduce business travel, in terms of distance travelled, by one-fifth against a 2019 baseline.

On fleets, Henry Boot has pledged to switch to 100% electric models for all fleet cars and vans this decade. For heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), where electrification is not as advanced as for lighter vehicles, a specific programme will be developed in the coming months. On generators, there is a commitment to “rapidly” introduce biodiesel now, before making the switch to alternatives. Some other construction firms are opting for electric or hydrogen-powered alternatives.

Offsetting will be used to deal with the residual 40% of Scope 1 & 2 emissions. A target for Scope 3 (indirect) emissions has not yet been finalised.

Henry Boot’s first steps towards net-zero for Scopes 1 & 2 will be conducting a full review of energy and resource use at all controlled sites, to get an up-to-date baseline and identify hotspots. New frameworks and policies will then be launched by 2025. The majority of the firm’s vehicle, generator and equipment replacements will then be added from 2026.

Notably, Henry Boot had already committed to growing by 40%, in terms of capital employed, by 2030. In other words, the business will need to reduce emissions while expanding.

“We have always been a business that takes a long-term strategic view, focusing on authentic delivery – and our approach to tackling climate change will be no different,” Henry Boot’s chief executive Tim Roberts said.

“The Net-Zero Carbon Framework demonstrates the adaptability of Henry Boot, as we evolve our business model to support a cleaner, healthier planet for all of us – all whilst continuing to grow our business. All my instincts tell me that by doing the right thing and acting responsibly with regards to our stakeholders, we will be creating long-term value in the business and of course help create a better planet for us all to enjoy.”

Other construction firms to have set net-zero strategies in 2021 include Morgan Sindall and Multiplex Europe.


edie’s Net-Zero Carbon Playbook and Net-Zero Carbon Reporting Guide 

Readers working on their organisation’s own transition to net-zero are encouraged to download edie’s latest free reports. 

The Net-Zero Carbon Playbook, produced in association with Centrica Business Solutions and featuring input from The Climate Group and our Countdown to COP26 Festival partner O2, inspires and empowers businesses to ramp up efforts across all areas of sustainable development to achieve net-zero. Wherever you are on your journey, the Playbook contains practical advice for accelerating progress. 

The Business Guide to Net-Zero Carbon Reporting, meanwhile, outlines how businesses should be measuring and reporting their climate impacts throughout the transition to net-zero. Featuring expert insight from Carbon Intelligence, the Guide provides this insight through the lens of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and science-based targets – two business-critical enablers of the net-zero carbon transition. 

Click here to access the Net-Zero Carbon Playbook. 

Click here to access the  Business Guide to Net-Zero Carbon Reporting. 


Sarah George

News

In numbers: Are the UK public prepared for the net-zero transition?

With less than five months until COP26, the UK Government surveyed almost 7,000 people to garner how much they know about the net-zero transition. Here, edie rounds up the key findings.

We round up ten of the key findings from the major survey

We round up ten of the key findings from the major survey

The survey was carried out by researchers from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) last autumn, receiving 6,947 responses from adults across the UK. The results were published late last week.

Respondents were asked for information about their knowledge of the effects of climate change and the UK’s plans for transitioning to net-zero by 2050 – as well as their willingness to adopt some of the low-carbon lifestyle changes recommended by the Government’s Climate Change Committee (CCC).

The findings act as a snapshot of current levels of knowledge on – and engagement with – the nation’s long-term climate plans. They also assess how the general public thinks about the challenges and opportunities of the net-zero transition.

Here, edie rounds up some of the key facts and figures from the survey.

Sarah George

News

Biogas sector spells out role in helping UK reach net-zero emissions

Almost 50 organisations have supported a declaration sent to the Prime Minister outlining how the biogas sector can support the net-zero ambition, provided clear and enabling policies are introduced.

Enabling policies could also support up to 60,000 new jobs in the sector

Enabling policies could also support up to 60,000 new jobs in the sector

The Anaerobic Digestion and Bioresources Association (ADBA) has issued the UK AD and Biogas Industry Climate Declaration that commits the sector to making a significant contribution towards the UK’s net-zero target for 2050.

The declaration claims that the UK anaerobic digestion (AD) and biogas industry could reduce the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 6% by 2030, as long as new policy measures are introduced.

Recommendations in the declaration include incentivising the use of biomethane in transport, most notably for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs), using closed-loop approaches through AD hat turns local waste into local heat and power and establishing a material hierarchy for what is suitable for AD. Enabling policies could also support up to 60,000 new jobs.

A total of 48 organisations have signed the declaration, which was sent to Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Thursday (24 June).

ADBA’s chief executive Charlotte Morton said: “We thank and congratulate the 48 signatories who have already come forward. ADBA will work with other industry stakeholders to encourage them to sign the Declaration and further demonstrate the industry’s full commitment to helping decarbonise the UK economy – especially across hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as transport, heat and agriculture – and achieve the UK’s climate change goals.”

The launch of the declaration follows the Climate Change Committee’s (CCC) Progress Report to Parliament for 2021, which warns that the nation has “no coherent plan” to reduce emissions through to 2030.

The CCC acknowledges that Covid-19 has delayed progress on a host of new green policy packages but states that these must now all be published before COP26 this November. It warns that uncertainty over policy supports in the long-term, and even this decade, is leaving businesses, investors, local authorities and others from delivering their own climate commitments.

Under current policies, only 20% of the reduction in emissions that the UK has committed to by 2035 will be delivered, the CCC states, and emissions will rebound to pre-pandemic levels rapidly. The Biomass Strategy is still awaiting publication, alongside the Hydrogen Strategy, the Transport Decarbonisation Plan, the Nature Strategy, the National Food Strategy, the Net Zero Aviation Strategy and the final conclusion of the Treasury’s Net-Zero Review.

According to ADBA, AD alone can help address up to 30% of the shortfall in emissions that is currently hindering progress against the Fifth Carbon Budget.

Matt Mace

News

Asda reduces emissions by 16% over 12-month period

Supermarket giant Asda has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 16% over the last year, as it builds towards a net-zero carbon goal set for 2040.

The retailer has committed to moving its entire heavy goods vehicle (HGV) fleet from diesel to gas by 2024

The retailer has committed to moving its entire heavy goods vehicle (HGV) fleet from diesel to gas by 2024

Asda outlined its latest emissions figures as part of Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) requirements published in its annual reports and accounts.

The figures show that Asda delivered a year-on-year reduction of more than 109,000 tonnes of CO2e, with emissions now sitting at a little over 555,000 tonnes for Scope 1 (operational) and Scope 2 (power-related) sources. Emissions were accounted for across all offices, depots, distribution centres and stores.

The reduction equates to a 16% year-on-year fall in emissions.

Asda’s director of commercial sustainability Susan Thomas said: “We remain focussed on halving our direct carbon emissions by 2025 and will continue to embrace new technology and focus on efficiency across our fleet, stores and depots, as well as using renewable sources whenever possible to hit this target.

“In line with the wider commitments we set out in our first ESG report, published recently, we will continue to be transparent about our progress against these targets.”

Asda is part of a coalition of retailers that has pledged to support a new collaborative roadmap to transform the sector and its supply chain to net-zero emissions by 2040.

Convened through the British Retail Consortium (BRC), more than 60 businesses have committed to a Climate Action Roadmap. The plan will help deliver a retail industry that will reach net-zero by 2040, including decarbonising stores by 2030, deliveries by 2035 and products by 2040.

Asda is aiming to reduce Scope 1 (operational) and 2 (power-related) emissions by 50% by 2025 against a 2015 baseline, as part of interim targets to support its net-zero ambition.

The retailer has committed to moving its entire heavy goods vehicle (HGV) fleet from diesel to gas by 2024, following biomethane trials that delivered emissions reductions of more than 80% compared to traditional vehicles. Asda currently has 300 gas-powered trucks, with another 200 set to be introduced next year.

The supermarket also plans to meet 50% of its total electricity needs from renewables by 2025.


edie Explains: SECR

What is the SECR framework? What do businesses need to know about this new piece of legislation? And what compliance issues will arise from the new framework? This free guide gives you everything you need to know.

Produced in association with edie’s supporting partner Inspired Energy, this eight-page guide is ideal for any individual or organisation looking to understand SECR and the associated compliance issues.

Click here to download the report.

Matt Mace

News

Zero Carbon Britain

Zero Carbon Britain provides an end-point net zero vision for the country. Find inspiration, tools, reports, guidance, training, webinars and more here, to improve and accelerate climate action. The content below is being constantly updated as we discover more great resources. Explore the resources via the dropdown menus below to filter by the audience you feel you’re part of, or interested in, as well as topics and resource types. Do let us know here if there is something you would like us to share on the Resource Hub or if you think there is a knowledge gap we could help with. We would also welcome your feedback on how we can improve this free service.

Centre for Alternative Technology (accessed) 24th June 2021 read more »

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