How to make some good (Friday) savings

I doubt office energy consumption is top of your priority list as we enter the bank holiday season; but by hatching a simple plan, it is easy to find some cost savings, crack into your carbon emissions and give your eggs-austed equipment a bit of respite.

It is worth remembering that as you step out the office for a well-earned rest, your empty workplace could potentially use just as much energy as when it’s fully occupied. However, by following the guide below, and making a few simple checks and adjustments, it’s easy to make sure that your energy bill doesn’t come back to haunt you:

  1. Activate BMS holiday mode to hold off central plant, and adjust set points and time schedules. If needs be, contact your BMS contractor as they will be able to help with implementing these settings and configuring them correctly.
  2. Whilst employing holiday mode, take a moment to review the standard time clock settings to ensure that they align with the current occupancy schedule. Verifying that the system has automatically transitioned to daylight savings time will also ensure optimal performance.
  3. Analyse half-hourly consumption data to gain valuable insight into your building’s daily load profile. Spikes in the early hours of the morning, late at night or during the weekend may indicate needless operation of equipment.
  4. Optimisers ensure that the required conditions are met for the start of occupancy, so you should set them for when the working day begins, not before.
  5. A quick hunt around to turn off or unplug equipment is a fantastic way to cut load over the holidays. This includes monitors, printers, photocopiers, kitchen appliances, space heaters, AC units… etc. For example, here at Carbon Credentials we were able to cut our baseload by 63%, equivalent to 817kg in carbon emissions, using this simple walk-through. It’s simpler to do this if the whole office is engaged, so circulate emails, display graphics and give the team a run through of what they can do.

Following this process isn’t time-consuming or arduous, and it will be sure to leave you safe in the knowledge that your building is operating efficiently and effectively over the coming bank holidays!

Please feel free to get in touch if you would like to know about more about boosting energy savings in your building

Science Based Targets initiative updates criteria in line with IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees

The Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi) have just announced a change to the official SBTi target validation criteria and new resources for setting science-based targets, following the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming.

Only 5 companies in the world have verified targets inline with 1.5C and we helped 2 of them. We helped both Tesco and Pukka Herbs to set and achieve sign off for their 1.5C targets. Both companies are seeing incredible impact from the initiative in understanding how to maintain sustainable growth in the long-term.

As the first official UK CDP science-based targets partner we fully understand the risks and opportunities that accompany the journey to setting and achieving science-based targets.

In a statement sent out by the SBTi they announce that new targets submitted for validation from October 2019 will only be accepted if they are consistent with limiting warming to well below 2°C or 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Read the full press release here

“The IPCC’s Special Report has a clear warning: holding off the worst impacts of climate change will require “rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society.” It will mean the complete decarbonization of the global economy.

Since 2015, the Science Based Targets initiative has helped companies align their business strategies with the latest climate science and boost their competitive advantage in the transition to the low-carbon economy. Building on this latest body of scientific knowledge, we will introduce new technical resources that enable companies to set emission reduction targets in line with the global emission trajectories to keep warming at 1.5°C and well-below 2°C, as set out by the IPCC.

These new resources will be available in April 2019, along with Version 4.0 of the SBTi criteria.

Under the new criteria, which will come into force in October 2019:

  • New targets submitted for validation will only be accepted if they are consistent with limiting warming to well below 2°C or 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Targets consistent with limiting warming to 2°C will no longer be approved. The definition of well below 2°C and 1.5°C will be informed by the IPCC Special Reportand underlying scenarios.
  • The level of ambition of all existing and new targets will be published on the SBTi website, and classified under one of three categories: 1.5°C, well-below 2°C and 2°C. Companies with approved targets will be notified of their current target ambition level via email in April 2019.
  • To ensure targets remain aligned with the most recent climate science companies will be required to review, and if necessary revalidate, their targets every five years from the date of the original target approval. This will become mandatory in 2025.”

This will directly implicate how companies submit their targets and will hopefully be a wake up call to many to just how much commitment is required to keep our world from exceeding 2.C. COP24 and Davos19 were great showcases of how working together is the key to tackling climate change. Here at Carbon Credentials our team of experts are well equipped to support your company on it’s science-based targets journey.

“We are delighted to have Carbon Credentials on board as our first Science-based targets partner in the UK. With experience helping a number of large and complex organizations across a variety of sectors to set science-based targets, we are confident that their expertise will be of great benefit to companies looking to set science-based targets.”
Alberto Carrillo Pineda, Director of Science-based targets at CDP.

Read our insights into the IPCC report here.
We’ve also distilled some of the key differences between a 1.5C versus 2C world below.

Contact Us

If you would like to get in touch with a member of our team regarding the new criteria and what this means for your business committing to a science-based target then please email


Maximising your 2019 CDP Disclosure | Webinar Recap

We recently hosted a webinar on “Maximising your 2019 CDP Disclosure”. We invited Mark Evans, from Jupiter Asset Management, who offered insight into how investors use the CDP, Sonya Bhonsle, from CDP, who shared the supplier perspective, and myself and Richard Tarboton, from Carbon Credentials, provided a view of how companies can maximise their disclosures in 2019 and beyond.

Click here to access the webinar recording and slides

Despite an 11% increase in the number of companies responding, in the UK there was a 4% decrease in the number of companies achieving an A grade. This could be due to the significant changes to the 2018 CDP questionnaires, such as the introduction of sector specific questionnaires. A key trend we’ve discussed is that CDP is being used more and more to drive performance.

Investors use CDP to identify climate change leaders and laggards.

Mark highlighted the value of the CDP database and said that it was unparalleled as a resource for investors, many of whom use it as a single point of reference when researching a company’s response to climate risks.

He also picked up on the fact investors have noticed a trend of companies stopping their reporting to CDP and how this impacts investor decision making. Firms such as Legal & General have even voted against reappointing the Chairman of specific companies who fail to take strategic action against climate change, as well as name and shame companies on their website who do not disclose their emissions

Investors look out for companies that approach relevant issues, and risks & opportunities associated with climate change through a materiality lens. In particular, looking at how physical risks affect company assets as well as exploring emerging regulatory risks. What matters to a mining company will be very different to an office-based business and investors want to see clear evidence that a company understands these nuances and responds accordingly.

Jupiter Asset Management urges companies to detail their strategy, targets and how they are investing for the future within their CDP response. Carbon emissions data is very useful but is backwards looking so this section vital for understanding trends and greatly influences the investor decision making journey

The CDP Supply Chain programme has 115 members representing $3.3trillion in procurement spend.

The CDP Supply Chain programme has grown over the last 10 years. Large companies noticed that there was a lot of risk & opportunity in the supply chain and that their suppliers were not being required to disclose by governments or investors.

On average, a company’s emissions in their supply chain are 5.5 times larger than that of their own operations (scope 1 & 2).

For the likes of some of the big retailers such as Tesco or Walmart, this can be up to 10 times larger.

Sonya shared the top supply chain member requests, hot of the press of the Supply Chain Launch in the US this month:

  1. Set a science-based target – this will have a ripple effect that cascades up and down the value chain
  2. More action on emissions – large suppliers actively track whether suppliers are taking action year on year to reduce emissions
  3. Report emissions reductions – to move to a 5-degree world we need to change business as usual
  4. Encouraging renewable energy purchasing – this year Sonya saw over 30 members write to their suppliers indicating that is an active KPI for them

When asked which issues contributed to their 2018 CDP score not being as high as it could have been we saw a range of responses

Richard Tarboton addressed these problems and presented actions and quick wins to help overcome these common pitfalls.

Quick Win 1: Conduct a peer review and develop a case for change

At the board level, there must be a roadmap that outlines how you will achieve your future targets or direction/ambition, with a business case attached, a clear trajectory and a clear way to engage both at the senior level and with employees across the organisation.

Understanding your position relative to your peers is key to senior-level buy-in.

Overall the purpose of this strategy needs to be about delivering impact.

This will not only get climate change on the agenda of board meetings but will also be a key step towards committing to science-based targets.

Quick Win 2: Develop your scope 3 reporting and undertake a scope 3 screening

Scope 3 can often be a difficult subject, particularly if it hasn’t been fully or accurately evaluated. For science-based target-setting, Scope 3 can be the elephant in the room and a screening exercise provides a key first step to understanding this often-overlooked part of a company’s greenhouse gas footprint.

Within the CDP response points are awarded for a full evaluation and explanation of the relevance for the 15 categories.

A Scope 3 screening looks at all the Scope 3 emissions categories, whether they are relevant to the company and indicates which ones are expected to be most significant.

Quick Win 3: Conduct a Risks & Opportunities workshop with senior stakeholders from across the business

The 2018 CDP questionnaires aligned closely with the TCFD recommendations. Within the questionnaire, there are a significant number of points available for questions associated with risk.

A Risks & Opportunities workshop brings together key stakeholders from across the business to work together to determine which risks and opportunities have the highest impact and likelihood and prioritise which areas to focus on.

Utilising the TCFD framework is a good way to understand transition and physical risks and opportunities, and these can be easily used within the CDP disclosure.

Understanding the CDP scoring methodology

We find that one of the key areas companies fall down is understanding the CDP scoring.

2019 will be a consolidation year, meaning that there will be no significant changes to the questionnaire itself, with most changes being around correcting errors and bringing together the Climate Change, Water and Forests questionnaires. This provides a great opportunity for companies to improve their responses and increase their scores in 2019 after a challenging 2018.

An easy way to overcome this is through an initial gap analysis of a company’s 2018 response against the updated scoring methodology. This provides a projected score if a company were to submit the same response against the updated methodology.

In 2018 87% of our clients achieved an A or B grade compared to 48% of other companies.

Contact Us

If your company could benefit from a gap analysis or you would like to discuss how you can optimise your CDP response please contact the team at

The published SECR Guidance – What is new?

The latest  Environmental Reporting Guidelines from the Department of Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) were published on 31 January 2019. They include Government guidance on the new Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting framework (SECR) which comes into force from 1 April 2019¹ and replaces CRC.

The updated guidance addresses SECR in Chapter 2, but it does not amend other areas covered in the Environmental Reporting Guidance. The rest of the document sets out best practice and opportunities to go beyond what is legally required. This guidance is aimed at organisations seeking to optimise their environmental reporting.

The government recognises that it is no longer necessary to mandate reporting of energy and carbon reporting in the same prescriptive way as in 2010, when the CRC scheme was introduced². The majority of organisations now have a much better understanding of their energy consumption. In addition, environmental disclosures are increasingly requested by investors, shareholders, customers and other stakeholders in annual reports and accounts.

To minimise the reporting burden on companies, the government has sought to simplify its requirements and find synergies between mandatory reporting and voluntary reporting initiatives, such as the Taskforce on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFDs).

BEIS engaged with key stakeholders (including Carbon Credentials) to ensure that participants find the SECR guidance relevant and user friendly, whether they are quoted companies or large unquoted companies and LLPs.

What has been amended in the SECR guidance from the stakeholder engagement?

SECR guidance can be found in Chapter 2 of the Environmental Reporting Guidance. Please see our previous blogs for a summary of the main SECR qualification and reporting requirements.

Following the feedback received from key stakeholders, the SECR guidance has been amended in the key areas:

Encouragement of greater voluntary disclosures: BEIS has set out more the ways in which businesses could go beyond the SECR requirements to demonstrate best practice, including the requirements dealing with the energy efficiency action narrative, intensity ratios, previous year’s data and increasing the range of recommended voluntary disclosures in the reporting templates.

Reference to the Taskforce on Climate-related Disclosures (TCFDs): The guidance recommends and encourages disclosure aligned with the TCFD principles.

Guidance on the “de minimis” provision for emissions and energy use reporting: BEIS has extended the section that deals with ‘materiality’, which now applies to both quoted companies and unquoted businesses and includes some best practice guidance.

Greater clarification of different landlord/tenant scenarios: The guidance clarifies how energy use should be disclosed or estimated, including where tenants may not be responsible for its purchase.

Greater encouragement of the use of dual reporting of emissions: This includes location (grid-average) emission factors for purchased electricity, following the approach taken in Government’s existing guidance and the revised ISO 14064. This is now reflected in section 9 and revised reporting templates.

Clarification on non-disclosure on ‘seriously prejudicial’ and ‘not practical to obtain’ grounds– the guidance clarifies that the ‘seriously prejudicial’ option should only be applied in very exceptional circumstances. Expanded sections on materiality will help businesses in application of exclusions on ‘not practical to obtain’ grounds.

Group reporting, eligibility of companies and LLPs in public sector bodies: Additional information and clarification is included on the types of organisations in scope for SECR reporting.

Assurance/verification: There is no requirement in the legislation for independent verification of assurance. However voluntary, independent assurance on the accuracy, completeness and consistency of energy use, GHG emissions data and energy efficiency action is recommended as beneficial to both internal decision-making and for external stakeholders.

What can companies and LLPs do now to prepare for SECR reporting?

The Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018 come into force on 1 April 2019. Qualifying organisations will need to include the required information in company accounts for financial years commencing on or after this date. BEIS estimates that around 11,900 companies³ will be obliged to report under SECR. Many of these organisations already collect energy data for CRC and ESOS compliance or for voluntary reporting frameworks, but some will be reporting for the first time.

Organisations should undertake the following actions to prepare for their first reporting year:

  • Understand the corporate organisational structure
  • Understand if you meet the qualification criteria, see previous blog for clarification.
  • Review current approach to energy and emissions reporting (Do you have appropriate data and systems in place)?
  • Plan, undertake and record energy efficiency actions to be included in the Directors’ Report
  • Decide on appropriate intensity ratio(s)

Contact Us:

If you want to learn more about SECR and what it could mean for your business then get in touch and allow our team leverage their expertise to guide you through the process.


¹ The Companies (Directors’ Report) and Limited Liability Partnerships (Energy and Carbon Report) Regulations 2018

²The price signal provided by CRC allowances will be replaced by increases in the Climate Change Levy (CCL) in April 2019

³ Streamlined Energy &Carbon Reporting Government Response to the Consultation July 2018