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Time to re-energise!

…Literally!

Unlike the 16th of March this year, we now have experience of knowing what will happen; We know that people will overspend on toilet rolls, pasta and flour. We know that half the nations kids will be out of breath in their front room to Joe Wicks every morning. We know that mum and dad will reach for the top shelf of the fridge before 4 pm. We know that HouseParty, Zoom and Quizzes will be the new weekends out and we definitely know Jeff Bezos will add another couple of ‘bill to his already unbelievable wealth!

But this time, we also know that we will be coming out of it on Friday 2nd December 2020.

So this gives us 21 business days to plan, adapt, sell and ensure we come out the other end motivated and ready for the Christmas period and long into 2021.

If you cannot influence sales and income due to closure, one area you can focus on is your expenditure.

Your energy suppliers offer fixed terms for a period of time, but because your output will fluctuate, its a variable cost and is now vital you control the finer details of your contract.

How low can you get your standing charge in case you’re closed for long periods and still being charged daily? Are you on the lowest rate you can be? Are you on the best term you can be?

To find out, all you need to do is send your latest Gas and Electric bills to us, we do everything else.

It’s free, it doesn’t take much effort, so you have no excuse!

Use these 21 business days to re-energise and get on top of your bills.

Just think, you’ll have more money to spend on Black Friday!!!

To reduce your energy costs, Call 01482 764774 or email us on hello@companysavingexpert.co.uk.

News

IEA: Oil and gas sector must ‘lock in’ methane emissions reductions seen amid Covid-19 lockdowns

Methane emissions from the global oil and gas industry fell 10% year-on-year in 2020, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has revealed. But the body believes this is mostly because of lockdown restrictions, rather than heightened environmental ambitions.

The IEA is highlighting how methane leaks have environmental and financial costs - and how regulation is likely to get toucher in the near future

The IEA is highlighting how methane leaks have environmental and financial costs – and how regulation is likely to get toucher in the near future

The IEA has today (18 January) published the annual update to its Methane Tracker, revealing that oil and gas operations worldwide emitted around 70 million tonnes of the greenhouse gas during 2020. This figure was down from some 77 million tonnes in 2019, marking the biggest year-on-year decline in modern history. For context, the IEA estimates that the EU’s total annual energy-related CO2e emissions are seven million tonnes.

According to the report, this reduction was not because oil and gas majors are investing in the education, infrastructure and technologies needed to reduce methane leaks – it was simply because they slowed production. Due to restrictions on international travel and nation-specific rules for sectors that consume large quantities of fossil fuels, such as heavy industry, oil demand was around 9.3 thousand barrels a day lower in 2020 than 2019.

With this in mind, the IEA has published a regulatory roadmap and a toolkit, designed to guide both policymakers seeking to update regulations on methane from the oil and gas sectors, and oil and gas firms looking to reduce their methane emissions. On the former, the IEA is keen to see nations including commitments on methane in their updated Paris Agreement Pledges ahead of COP26 in Glasgow later this year.

“The immediate task now for the oil and gas industry is to make sure that there is no resurgence in methane emissions, even as the world economy recovers, and that 2019 becomes their historical peak,” the IEA’s executive director Fatih Birol said. “There is no good reason to allow these harmful leaks to continue, and there is every reason for responsible operators to ensure that they are addressed.”

Spotlight on Total

In related news, multinational energy major Total has withdrawn its membership to the American Petroleum Institute (API), citing climate grounds as the core reason. The API has lobbied for a rollback of tighter regulations on methane emissions in the US; against subsidies for electric vehicles and against rising carbon prices in recent years.

Total said in a statement that the trade body’s lobbying activities, requirements for members and finance plans got against its support for Paris Agreement alignment. The company notably committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 across its operations and products –  covering Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions – in 2020. It has said it will move the target date forward if possible.

Total’s statement also reveals misalignment between the API’s approach to carbon pricing legislation, carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies and renewable energy development. On the latter, Total is aiming bring 35GW of new renewable energy production capacity online by 2025 by investing some $3bn per year. This week, the business secured a 20% stake in Adani Green Energy Limited.

The statement from Total raises questions as to whether other oil majors will leave the API, given the growing movement towards setting net-zero targets in the sector. Other members include Royal Dutch Shell.

Sarah George  

News

EVs & Heat Pumps

Across the north of Scotland and central southern England alone, the number of electric vehicles (EV) is likely to increase to over 5 million by 2050. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) has published two new reports looking at the impact of net zero targets – 2050 in England and 2045 in Scotland – on the uptake of low carbon technologies and their impact on the grid. These found that the number of EVs is likely to increase from around 30,000 currently in its distribution area to over 5 million. Similarly, the number of heat pumps will grow from 32,000 now to over 2.47 million.

Current 15th Jan 2021 read more »

Norway has more electric car owners per person than any other country, and more than half of cars sold there last year were pure electric – up from just 1pc a decade ago. The country is on track to meet its goal of phasing out sales of new combustion-engine cars by 2025 – promising carbon reductions and lessons, perhaps, for the UK as it tries to do the same five years later.

Telegraph 17th Jan 2021 read more »

News

Hydrogen & CCS

The world’s leading steel makers have announced pledges to reduce emissions, aiming for net-zero by 2050 or sooner. They are committing to various new technologies still not proven at scale: making steel with hydrogen, and some with strategies that include carbon capture. They are putting their money where their mouth is. The list is impressive and includes ArcelorMittal (the world #1), ThyssenKrupp, Voestalpine, SSAB/LKAB/Vattenfall, Nippon Steel, POSCO and others. Tim Buckley at IEEFA runs through the strategies, target numbers and dates. He notes that IEEFA has long been sceptical of CCS but considers the H2H Saltend trials in the North Sea as promising. Buckley ends with a warning to firms that make and export coking coal, predicting that this technology disruption will destroy their business model.

Energy Post 11th Jan 2021 read more »

News

Community Renewables

In 1991 Dirk Vansintjan co-founded Ecopower, a Belgian renewable energy cooperative that now has more than 60,000 members. He has advice on how communities can achieve energy democracy. Dirk Vansintjan prefers not to bring up climate change when he’s talking with local leaders about why they should invest in renewable energy communities, also called energy cooperatives. He doesn’t want to get into debates about how severe the crisis is and prefers to focus on issues politicians across different parties all agree on: local economies and jobs.

Patagonia (accessed) 16th Jan 2021 read more »

News

edie launches series of mini reports to help businesses spark an energy revolution

edie has launched a new series of summary reports developed from SPARK! – an exclusive virtual event where energy leaders explored the key challenges and opportunities of the net-zero transition.

The reports are free to download, and outline key considerations and best-practice top-tips for energy managers

The reports are free to download, and outline key considerations and best-practice top-tips for energy managers

December 2020 marked the third annual SPARK! event – a one-day interactive event which sees members of edie’s Energy Leaders Club convening to co-create solutions to key challenges and discuss exciting new opportunities in the areas that matter the most.

Throughout the day, experts representing a range of sectors took part in five high-level roundtables, each covering a different element of the energy transition for businesses. The key takeaways have been summarised in a miniseries of five short, free-to-download reports, are all available to access now.

Each SPARK! report summaries the roundtable discussion that took place on the day, and also includes expert analysis and real-life case studies along with industry viewpoints and key facts and stats relating to the topic.

The reports topics are as follows (click the titles to access the relevant download pages):

Find out more about edie’s Energy Leaders Club here.

edie staff

News

Net-Zero Business podcast: Inside the University of Exeter’s climate emergency plans

In response to the accelerated pace at which businesses are examining and setting net-zero targets to help alleviate the climate crisis, edie has launched a new spin-off of the Sustainable Business Covered podcast. Up next, we speak to the University of Exeter’s Head of Environment and Climate Emergency, Dr Emma Page.

All edie podcast episodes can be listened to via iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud

All edie podcast episodes can be listened to via iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud

Following on from the UK Government’s world-leading net-zero carbon commitment, edie’s new spinoff podcast series, Net-Zero Business, hears from the trendsetters and trailblazers of responsible businesses.

Since the UK Government set it’s 2050 net-zero target into law, more and more businesses are attempting to get ahead of the political curve by strengthening carbon and energy strategies and pledging to become net-zero businesses well before the 2050 deadline.

The Net-Zero Business podcast is a monthly digest of shorter episodes, each featuring an in-depth interview with a sustainability lead at a business that has set a net-zero target recently. 

In the latest episode, edie’s senior reporter Sarah George dials Devon for a talk with the University of Exeter’s Head of Environment and Climate Emergency, Dr Emma Page.

The University of Exeter plays host to some 22,000 students and, last year, declared a climate emergnecy. Since then, it has outlined extensive plans for meeting net-zero and hopes to do so by 2040. The university has also set out a string of 2025 targets like halving long-haul air travel and reducing the amount of paper and plastic sourced by the University by half. 

Dr Page offers insight on how the targets were developed and what the University’s key focus areas are for meeting them. She also provides learnings on how her team is collaborating with other university departments and other bodies in the region to better embed sustainability. 

The edie podcast is available to listen to on Spotify. You can also subscribe to this podcast on iTunes and bookmark this page to see the full list of podcast episodes as they appear. Have a question about this podcast or a suggestion for future episodes? Email us at podcast@fav-house.com.


Join the conversation at edie’s Sustainability Leaders Forum  

At the end of this episode, Sarah makes reference to the Sustainability Leaders Forum. 

From 2-4 February 2021, edie’s award-winning event is returning in a brand new virtual format. This year, we are delighted to bring you speakers including former Energy Minister Claire O’Neill; BEIS Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng MP and World Green Building Council CEO Christina Gamboa. 

This event will allow you to be connected with peers via face-to-face via video chats; be inspired by high-level keynote talks from industry leaders; be involved in a series of interactive panel discussions and live audience polls; and be co-creative in our interactive workshops, whilst also meeting leading technical experts in our dedicated virtual exhibition zone. Rooms, expo booths, private chats, bespoke stages and backstage passes – it’s all possible. 

For a full agenda and to register now, visit: https://event.edie.net/forum/ 


edie staff

News

Financial firm Aegon commits to net-zero emissions by 2050

Financial services firm Aegon has become the latest corporate to commit to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, targeting the decarbonisation of its pension fund ranges and main operations.

The 2050 target will cover emissions across the company’s default pension fund ranges. Aegon will also place its corporate operations under the net-zero ambition

The 2050 target will cover emissions across the company’s default pension fund ranges. Aegon will also place its corporate operations under the net-zero ambition

Aegon unveiled the net-zero commitment following extensive engagement with a customer steering panel. A survey of 1,375 customers, conducted by Aegon, found that 77% agreed that climate change was a considerable risk for investing, while 45% want to see net-zero become a mandatory requirement for the investor community.

Aegon’s managing director for investment solutions Tim Orton said: “As investment providers and a responsible business, we have a large part to play in the fight against climate change. We believe that this is not just an environmental issue, but one that is central to the future financial wellbeing of our customers. 

“Investors are giving us a very clear message that they want to see action. Aegon and other providers have the power to influence the companies that they invest in and the third-party fund managers who provide investments. Businesses that fail to change, will fail.”

The 2050 target will cover emissions across the company’s default pension fund ranges. Aegon will also place its corporate operations under the net-zero ambition. Since 2016, Aegon’s main operations in the UK, Netherlands and the US have achieved carbon neutral status through emission reduction efforts and offsetting projects in partnership with ClimateCare.

The company also revealed at the end of 2020 that those invested in its LifePath and TargetPlan offers would benefit from boosted Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) exposure. Aegon anticipates that by the summer, more than £3bn from these assets will be invested in ESG strategies.

In related news, a group of pension funds and investment managers have come together to examine how long-term investment focus can be integrated into current practices to mitigate future disruptions and create a sustainable investment portfolio.

The steering group is a joint initiative between the Investment Association (IA) and the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA).

The PLSA’s chair Richard Butcher said: “The relationship between asset managers and asset owners is vital if we are to achieve the objective of investing for good. If pension schemes are to deliver on an intention to invest in a climate-aware fashion they need to articulate that intention clearly enough that it will be delivered by their agents.

“This new group will develop ideas for overcoming these barriers and in doing so will significantly move the cause of investing for good forward. I’m personally and on behalf of the PLSA really glad to be involved.”

Matt Mace

News

Electrification

UK Power Networks (UKPN) is to undertake detailed modelling and analysis of the Port of Tyne’s electricity network to enable it electrify. The port has announced a decarbonisation roadmap that will see it electrify all its operations by 2040 and significantly reduce its net greenhouse gas emission to zero by 2030. By having a detailed understanding of the current and future electricity network at the site, the Port of Tyne will be able to implement new technologies such as electric cranes, electric vehicles and sustainable generation technologies like solar panels.

Current 14th Jan 2021 read more »

News

PepsiCo targets net-zero by 2040

PepsiCo has committed to reducing emissions across its value chain by 40% by 2030 before reaching net-zero by 2040, as part of new climate plans it claims are Paris-Agreement-aligned.

PepsiCo owns brands including 7UP, Tropicana and Pringles, as well as its namesake, Pepsi 

PepsiCo owns brands including 7UP, Tropicana and Pringles, as well as its namesake, Pepsi 

The multinational food and drink giant announced the commitments today (14 January) as part of a new climate action plan.

To deliver the targets, PepsiCo is planning to reduce absolute emissions from direct operations by 75%, against a 2015 baseline. It has already reached 100% renewable electricity at managed facilities across 12 countries, and is aiming for all countries to meet that milestone by 2030 through work with the RE100. Aside from clean electricity, investments will be made in energy efficiency technologies and those which help minimise waste.

As with most large companies, the bulk of PepsiCo’s emissions lie within Scope 3 (indirect) sources related to the supply chain and to products. Scope 3 emissions are also notoriously harder to tackle than Scopes 1 & 2 and, to that end, PepsiCo’s ambition is to reduce emissions here by 40% by 2030.

Regarding supply chain emissions, PepsiCo’s plan includes commitments to help logistics firms transition to electric vehicles and low-emission alternative fuels, and to adopt artificial intelligence (AI) to optimise route planning and reduce unnecessary mileage. Manufacturers, warehouses and distribution sites will also receive support to maximise energy efficiency and transition to low-carbon and zero-carbon technologies.

Agriculture is another major source of Scope 3 emissions for PepsiCo. As such, the plans include measures to help farmers switch to renewable energy and low-emission fertiliser made using waste from its own Walkers factories. Farmers will also be taught how to adopt regenerative agricultural practices and financially supported to do so. Such practices boost the carbon sequestration capability of farms while encouraging biodiversity and restoring soil health.

All of these measures will reduce product-related emissions. There are also plans to tackle emissions related to product packaging by fine-tuning product design requirements and increasing the use of recycled content.  The company is aiming to reduce the use of virgin plastic across its packaging portfolio by 35% by 2025, and to achieve an average of 25% recycled content in the same timeframe. In nine of PepsiCo’s largest European markets, Pepsi bottles will be 100% recycled PET by 2022.  The lifecycle of recycled PET emits 63% less CO2e than that of virgin PET, according to some analyses.

PepsiCo expects its absolute annual emissions to be 26 million metric tonnes lower in 2030 than they were in 2015 if it meets its new targets. It will develop new targets through to 2040 and assess the role that offsetting will play in order to bridge the gap between its 2030 targets and net-zero.

 “PepsiCo’s new climate goal will double our efforts on emission reductions,” PepsiCo Europe’s chief executive Silviu Popovici said. “This impacts both our company-owned businesses but also includes our suppliers and bottlers. Simply put, we all have to do more.”

Other food and drink majors with net-zero targets include Nestle, Unilever and Coca-Cola European Partners (CCEP), The Coca-Cola Company’s largest bottler in Europe.

Green bond

Late last year, PepsiCo revealed how it has been investing the funds raised through its inaugural green bond, priced at $1bn.

Multi-million-dollar pots have been earmarked for procuring recycled plastics, switching to low-emission vehicles, improving water efficiency, generating and procuring green energy and bringing a flagship “green R&D facility” to fruition. The facility will feature onsite solar generation and built-in energy and water efficiency features. PepsiCo is aiming to reduce the emissions generated by the campus annually by one-fifth by 2030 and hopes the new facility will provide transferable learnings for other sites.

PepsiCo notably appointed a new chief sustainability officer, Jim Andrew, in 2020. Andrew was promoted to the role after serving as executive vice-president for the company’s new ventures department.

Andrew recently spoke with edie as part of the #SustyTalk video interview series, discussing learnings from the green bond process and outlining his thoughts on how the events of 2020 have reshaped the corporate sustainability space. You can watch that conversation in full here.

Sarah George

News

Smart Heating

New technologies, such as air source heat pumps and smart thermostats, are changing the way we produce and use energy — making it cheaper and more efficient to electrify heat and hot water in buildings. As the power grid gets cleaner by adding more renewable energy, it will make home electricity use cleaner too. This reality presents an opportunity for buildings’ energy use to take advantage of the power grid’s flexibility. Home energy technologies can in effect turn a building into a thermal battery, precooling or preheating spaces and water supply, and can help shift electricity demand away from more expensive times to hours when prices are lower and renewable energy is most abundant.

RAP 8th Jan 2021 read more »

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