Things heat up at EAUC 2018

The 2018 Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) annual conference was held last week at Keele University, and the Carbon Credentials team was in attendance for the fifth year in a row!

The conference this year was as good as ever and the whole team all agreed how much we enjoyed the inspirational speakers, the practical tips and the inevitable ceilidh band. While I don’t think that my dancing has improved since last year, it was refreshing to hear the developments and progress being made from across the sector.

Richard Tarboton (right) delivers the plenary session.

Specifically, it was exciting to see the steps that delegates have taken to understand and integrate the Sustainable Development Goals since last year (as illustrated below). This improvement was no doubt helped by the launch of the SDG Accord in September 2017.

Results from our registration surveys from 2017 and 2018 investigating changes in uptake and awareness of SDGs in setting sustainability strategies.


Over two days I had conversations on all sorts of issues, but there were three key topics that I found most delegates were keen to explore:

1. Setting longer-term targets in line with climate science

Following Richard’s plenary session, where he explored what a science-based carbon reduction trajectory could look like under a 2°C or a 1.5°C warming scenario, this was a subject we kept coming back to during the conference.

As discussed in more detail in a previous blog, my view is setting carbon reduction targets in line with the Paris Agreement should be a no-brainer for all higher education institutions. If we consider that the UK university sector has its own carbon budget to keep global temperature increase below 2°C and pursue efforts for 1.5°C, then it’s important that each individual university understands what its fair share of this budget is.

If they don’t then it could be considered that they’re rejecting the climate science or not pulling their weight. It also signals an expectation that other institutions will have to do more than their fair share.


Graph showing both the Scope 1 & 2 emission targets necessary to hit either 2-degree or 1.5-degree scenarios and the amount of time remaining for the carbon budget to be used up for each scenario.

2. Smart buildings and data-driven optimisation

Smart buildings are by no means a new thing, but the high availability and the low cost of technologies to make them a reality is.

In recent years the cost of data storage has significantly decreased, there is a greater availability of connected devices, and the ability of machines and analytics tools to make sense of this data has significantly improved. Delegates and exhibitors kept coming back to the opportunity to use data and technology to raise awareness, enhance understanding and improve control.

Greater granularity of data allows us to provide insight to a wider variety of audiences that can act. Analysis can be enriched with context and clarity, as well as providing evidence of success.

And it doesn’t stop there! Fortunately, modernity is catching up with the BMS world. Not only are newer systems increasingly flexible and easier to communicate with, but hardware now exists that can integrate older systems into modern data networks for analysis. The opportunities that access to this data represents is like a digital gold rush, with those able to make the best use of the data gaining the biggest rewards.


3. Desire to finally get to grips with Scope 3 emissions

We often get asked why Scope 3 emissions should be a focus for institutions and always offer a simple answer: by leading on the carbon management agenda that transcends your estate, institutions can widen their influence and demonstrate their global position in higher education.

In a sector that is being increasingly led by students, taking the lead on sustainability and overcoming commonly shared limitations can make all the difference.

Scope 3 emissions arise upstream and downstream of an organisation as a result of operations not directly controlled by it. A UK university should expect that its Scope 3 emissions will be at least 50% of its total emissions. Getting a better understanding of Scope 3 emissions and setting achievable targets will enhance your positive impact and give further opportunities to engage with your value chain.



Thanks to all our Higher Education clients, the EAUC and Keele University for an enjoyable couple of days.  We look forward to working with you over the coming year to enable a global low-carbon economy.

Will Jenkins

Senior Consultant



CDP results 2017: how did you do?

The CDP results have just been announced and this year our clients have done better than ever before.

As an accredited CDP partner, Carbon Credentials has supported over 20 businesses to produce their climate change disclosure this year.

These disclosures are increasingly important as a means for investors to judge the future risk of their investments and for organisations to effectively communicate the action they are taking to address climate change issues.

Congratulations to those that participated, see how our clients performed below!

CDP Scores in 2017

Our clients have been nominated for CDP awards

We’re delighted to announce that this year two of our clients have been nominated for CDP awards for both Climate Change and Water questionnaires.

Congratulations to Kennedy Wilson on being nominated for the ‘Best first time responder’ for their very first CDP Climate Change response. In 2017 we also started working with Taylor Wimpey on their response. Congratulations to them on being nominated for the ‘Best year on year improvement’ for their Water response. We wish the best of luck to both companies.

What were the changes to the CDP in 2017?

In 2017 there were changes to the CDP scoring methodology. For the first time, points were available for having carbon reduction targets approved by the Science Based Target initiative and organisations were able to report emissions not only on the traditional location-based method, but also on the updated GHG Protocol ‘market-based’ method. This second reported figure takes into account electricity procured through low carbon tariffs or generated from renewables.

How is the CDP changing in 2018?

Carbon Credentials contributed to the consultation on the reimagining of the CDP’s Climate Change, Water and Forest questionnaires. This gave us vital insight into the upcoming changes to the 2018 CDP questionnaires.

CDP has announced in 2018 that there will be significant changes to the layout and scope of the submission. The main differences will be:

  • The introduction of sector-specific questions.
  • Incorporation of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosure. Questions will be grouped into the same four categories as the TCFD, including: 1) Governance 2) Strategy 3) Risk management and 4) Metrics & targets.
  • An emphasis on scenario analyses and the future of business operations under climate scenarios.

CDP Scoring Methodology released in December 2018

The new guidance will be released before the New Year and the New Scoring methodology will come along in early 2018 – which doesn’t leave much time until the June 2018 deadline!

We will be holding an event in January once the questionnaire has been released to run through the changes to the questionnaire and help you understand what the TCFD recommendations mean for your business. If you would like to attend, please register your interest below.

As an accredited CDP partner, we are perfectly positioned to help you understand your CDP score and use this reporting framework as a tool to drive action and performance improvements across your organisation.

Register your interest in the event here

To register your interest in the event, please fill out your details below. We will send you the details for the event when they are released.


How to engage your staff in saving energy

Site walkarounds help your staff switch on to switching off

Simple actions can add up to significant energy savings, with small changes making a big difference. This blog is about how taking the time to walk around your site allows you to pinpoint areas of energy waste.

We’re on the lookout for equipment that can be turned off, equipment that is not operating efficiently and changes that can be made to operating times. Why not use a walk around to engage with staff and get energy on everyone’s agenda? It’s often those who know the buildings best that can identify what needs to change.

Who do you need on the walkaround?

Defining key stakeholder groups enables you to identify the people you need to engage with most. Stakeholder mapping helps understand people’s behaviour, their potential role and how best to engage with them. For a successful walk around, you need:

  • Technical – someone who knows the equipment inside out and can confidently advise whether it can be switched off and on again without harming it or impacting customer experience.
  • Operations – someone who knows your schedules inside out, what will be used when and when rooms or areas are out of use so that accurate schedules can be set up.
  • Decision maker – someone who can give a definitive yes or no to opportunities.

The impact: Vauxhall Dealership example

To help launch the Retailer Energy Efficiency programme at dealerships across the UK, we led a successful engagement pilot at Vauxhall Dealerships. The pilot involved:

  • A training workshop for programme coordinators.
  • A site walk-round to identify what equipment could be switched off during the day and overnight.
  • Labelling equipment, developing checklists and delegating responsibility to staff for switching off.
  • Issuing energy reports prior to fortnightly conference calls to maintain momentum and track progress.

A 10% reduction in electricity was achieved, largely through an effective end-of-day shutdown, with a 20% reduction in electricity use achieved over the August Bank Holiday weekend when compared to the same weekend the previous year.

Energy use at 3 am during the pilot phase in August and September 2016, significant and consistent reductions in overnight consumption were achieved.


The impact: The Jockey Club example

Carbon Credentials works with The Jockey Club on an ongoing basis. A few months ago, we undertook a walk around at Huntingdon Racecourse. The team on site identified numerous opportunities including lighting being left on, heating being turned on in summer and broken PIRs. The result? A 45% reduction in consumption, equating to an estimated annual saving of £9,000!

Energy use at 3 am since December 2014, significant and consistent reductions in overnight consumption were achieved following the site walk around on June 8th 2017.

Top Tips for a high impact walkaround

  • Use stickers to capture people’s attention and signpost what equipment can be switched off:

Example of simple reminders to get people into the habit of switching off.

  • Use posters to reinforce the message:

Well designed posters stick out and grab people’s attention. The best posters also carry simple and easy to follow calls to action.

  • Show consumption trends to staff and the impact their actions are having:

Carbon Credentials’ engagement impact report. Based on half-hourly electricity data from Huntingdon Racecourse.

What to think about next?

Can you think of equipment that is often left on and could be switched off? Are your staff aware of the impact of their actions? We support a wide range of organisations to design, build and embed engagement and behaviour change programmes. If this is of interest to you and you would like to find out more about our strategy and engagement services, please contact us here.


Susie Chalk, Senior Analyst

Kingston Hospital Sustainability Week: Building Awareness & Communicating Success

“It was good to meet lots of different people and talk about the progress being made with sustainability at Kingston Hospital. There is a genuine interest among the staff about the issues, which encourages us to ‘sustain’ our efforts.” Chris Sims, Estates Maintenance Manager at Kingston Hospital

Carbon Credentials has been working with Kingston Hospital since 2014 to raise awareness of their efforts to improve the Trust’s environmental sustainability, and to encourage behaviour change that will have a lasting impact on energy performance.

As part of the Sustainability Awareness Programme at Kingston Hospital, and to link in with the NHS Sustainability Day on 24th March 2016, Carbon Credentials worked collaboratively with the Trust to plan a week of activities to engage staff on sustainability and communicate this across the Trust.


Figure 1: Photo displaying the sustainability stand and team on NHS Sustainability Day on 24th March 2016

This was an extremely successful campaign and resulted in 20 new Green Champions requesting to join the programme. Green Champions are our eyes and ears around the Trust, encouraging their peers to be responsible by turning off equipment not in use, and recycling where possible. They are instrumental in raising awareness of the sustainability programme.

Building Awareness & Understanding

Staff were given the opportunity to discuss their challenges and issues with our consultants, and to gain information from a number of Kingston Hospital’s suppliers who attended the event, including Veolia, ISS and Sharpsmart, the world’s most responsible sharps management system. This provided a great insight into how Kingston Hospital is dedicated to managing their waste and energy consumption in the most sustainable way.

As part of the campaign, staff were invited to enter a Sustainability Initiative Competition to generate the best idea on how to better their environment at Kingston Hospital, and reduce their environmental impact. Carbon Credentials also developed a Sustainability Quiz that was distributed to all staff across the Trust. Over 80 quizzes were completed by staff at the Hospital, and ideas and initiatives from the competition will feed into the wider Sustainability Awareness Programme.

Kingston Sustainability Day Infographic

Figure 2: A poster used to communicate and raise awareness of the Big Easter Switch-Off

Successful Communications

Carbon Credentials developed the Sustainability Week programme for Kingston Hospital, and provided a suite of communications material to help drive awareness over the week.

The key to successful communications and engagement for the Sustainability Week was providing engaging communications material that staff could relate to. During Sustainability Week screen banners, such as in Figure 2, were used to remind staff to switch off all non-essential equipment before they left for Easter.

Top Tips for Running a Successful Sustainability Day

  • Key facts and information to demonstrate successes
  • Detailed communications plan, highlighting when and who to target key messages to
  • Identify most effective form of communications
  • Get some well-known faces involved
  • Get backing and an endorsement from senior management
  • Ensure you have the right people with the right knowledge to answer questions
  • Invite suppliers to display a stand and provide handouts
  • Run initiatives and competitions with prizes
  • Be enthusiastic!Kingston Sustainability Day Banner

Figure 3: Infographic displayed at Kingston Hospital to communicate the sustainability achievements made in 2015

To understand how you can effectively communicate and embed your sustainability objectives throughout your organisation, please contact us or click the button below to find out more about our engagement services.