UK businesses making a commitment to carbon reduction

Optimal Monitoring Swirl

The total number of certifications for reducing carbon emissions amongst UK businesses has recently been pushed up to 500, following the announcement that British Land, Mothercare and Motorola have been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard.

The total carbon footprint of the 500 organisations is now over 43 million tonnes of CO2e, equivalent to nearly 18% of the total carbon footprint of UK businesses and transport.

The three firms join the group of 500 organisations that have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard since it was launched in June 2008. Based on an independent assessment, the Carbon Trust Standard certifies that organisations have measured, managed and reduced their carbon emissions across their operations, and are committed to reducing further year on year.

Collectively, through a combination of energy efficiency improvements and investments, the 500 Carbon Trust Standard holders have cut their emissions by 3.6 million tonnes of CO2e. The 500 have also together saved the equivalent of £165m associated with reductions in gas, electricity and fuel use.

Harry Morrison, general manager of the Carbon Trust Standard, said, “There is a real business momentum now behind companies measuring and most importantly committing to reduce their carbon emissions. Each of the 500 Carbon Trust Standard bearers has taken action to reduce their carbon emissions and therefore improve their overall competitiveness.

“Some organisations undergo assessment to verify their efficiency gains and benchmark their performance, others to help lower their energy dependence, while for many, gaining the Carbon Trust Standard provides the ability to confidently communicate their performance to customers and carbon conscious consumers. We congratulate them all on taking up the low carbon challenge and setting the bar for others.

” British Land was awarded the Carbon Trust Standard after measuring, managing and reducing its carbon emissions by nearly eight percent across its office portfolio, (inclusive of occupier energy use) and 11% in its shopping centre and retail portfolio.

Chris Grigg, CEO of Business Group, British Land, said, “Improving the energy efficiency of our portfolio of retail and office properties is a fundamental goal in our business. Many of our occupiers are showing an increasing interest in reducing their energy use and carbon emissions. The Carbon Trust Standard provides them with a shorthand to our carbon credentials and demonstrates our commitment to working in partnership with others to achieve environmental and economic sustainability across our business.

” Mothercare (with its Mothercare and Early Learning Centre brands) achieved the Carbon Trust Standard for cutting its carbon footprint by eight percent, or 3,700 tonnes of CO2e, which reinforces its target to cut carbon emissions from its UK buildings by 15% by 2013.

Chief Executive of Mothercare, Ben Gordon, said, “Providing for the next generation is at the heart of what we do and protecting the future environment by tackling climate change is a key part of that. The Carbon Trust Standard is the de facto mark of a carbon reduction commitment, so we’re delighted to be amongst the 500 organisations to have achieved it.

” Motorola achieved the Carbon Trust Standard for reducing its carbon footprint by nearly 20% across its UK operations.

Graeme Hobbs, chairman, Motorola UK, said, “Under Motorola’s global carbon and energy reduction policy, we had a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% by the end of 2010. By driving our efforts from board level, we have beaten the target. Through the Carbon Trust Standard we have a means to independently verify our achievement which gives us added confidence in our future carbon reduction strategies.

” To achieve the Carbon Trust Standard, organisations must firstly measure their direct carbon footprint (for example, fuel on-site, fuel in owned vehicles and electricity use), prove that good carbon management practices are in place and demonstrate genuine reduction in their emissions over a three year period.

Some of the key improvements, implemented by the most recent Carbon Trust Standard Bearers include:

• Mothercare invested in nearly £600,000 of energy saving technology since 2007, including electronic voltage reduction and meter reading technology.

• British Land installed smart metering technology to quantify its energy use in nine properties, including: York House, 10 Exchange Square, Exchange House, 350 Euston Road and 338 Euston Road. This is set to save over 1,600 tonnes of CO2e and cut occupier costs by £450,000 over three years.

• In 2009, Motorola installed boiler optimisation technology in its two major sites, Viables and Groundwell, resulting in 20% savings in gas consumption.

Source: Connecting Industry