The manufacturing agenda during Net Zero Week (17th-23rd July)Member News
As we approach Net Zero Week (17th to 23rd July 2021), the focus is strongly on climate change and net zero, both of which were key topics in the June G7 meeting and will be discussed further at COP26 in Glasgow in November this year.
What is net zero and why is it important
Net zero is about reducing carbon emissions to the point where there is a zero overall contribution. The Government has set a target date of 2050 for the UK and is working to engage businesses in achieving this.
It is an essential element of addressing climate change. It is rapidly becoming a high priority for businesses leading the way in moving to a low carbon economy, as they find opportunities to achieve competitive advantage. An ESG (environmental, social and governance) framework is an increasingly popular way for businesses to evaluate who they want to work with or invest in.
Net zero scopes
Carbon emissions are generally measured using a standard called the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol and can be summarised into three scopes:
Scope 1: direct emissions released into the atmosphere as a direct result of an activity, such as gas for heating an office or fuel for operating a vehicle.
Scope 2: emissions created from producing the energy that a company uses. This can be made net zero if purchasing 100% renewable energy.
Scope 3: indirect emissions, generally the largest part of the carbon footprint. These might include transportation and distribution, waste generated, leased assets, business travel, employee commuting, purchased goods and services and water consumption.
Achieving carbon neutral status only covers scopes 1 and 2. To be carbon neutral, a business needs to offset the carbon they directly emit into the atmosphere and the emissions associated with generating the energy they are using.
Achieving net zero takes it one step further, covering scopes 1, 2 and 3 and is therefore more challenging to achieve. It involves more upfront work to collect data and requires more investment and buy in from all areas of a business.
What manufacturers can do
Manufacturers are placing more importance on what they can do to achieve the net zero targets as the spotlight is upon them, not just from the Government, but also from investors and consumers. There are steps you can take to reach net zero, including:
- Set up 100% renewable energy contracts
- Adopt energy efficient/energy saving equipment
- Consider renewable on-site generation
- Use data to identify where efficiency improvements can be made
- Move to electric vehicles
- Hold meetings virtually
- Implement behavioural changes from the top down
A report produced by MakeUK and E.on in May 2020 looked at how manufacturing was adapting and preparing for the ambitious targets in place. 40% of manufacturers surveyed reported financial benefits and increased profit margins after implementing energy efficiency measures, especially those with energy intensive processes.
One note of caution – beware “greenwashing”. When renewable energy is generated, each MWh generated produces one Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGO) certificate. These REGO certificates can then be sold on.
Some suppliers purchase enough REGO certificates from genuine renewable generators to cover themselves and market the tariff as 100% renewable. But the energy they are actually selling is generated from fossil fuels and other sources that are not renewable.
To find out more
At Control Energy Costs, we offer 100% genuine renewables energy contracts, as well as a range of services to support you in achieving your journey to net zero. We have produced a complimentary “Guide to Green” eBook, which you can download from our website.
We have set up the Made In Group Energy Club for members, which creates collective buying power to benefit from cost savings. The more energy that is being purchased, the more trades we can make, giving us the ability to aim for a lower weighted price.
Please contact Liam Conway, Head of Business Development, on 07501 221728 or by email at [email protected].