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Carbon Reduction Plans

The urgency of tackling climate change has never been more pressing, and businesses are playing a pivotal role in this global mission. One effective strategy being implemented is the creation of Carbon Reduction Plans, which you may have seen being a requirement in more and more tenders and public sector procurement.

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Thornton & Lowe have developed a fully comprehensive Carbon Reduction Plan consultancy service.

We will:

  • Collate the required data
  • Develop the Carbon Reduction Plan on your behalf;
  • Monitor the impact on an ongoing basis to ensure you can report on your progress.

Contact us on to book an initial discussion with our Carbon Reduction Plan service lead.

The urgency of tackling climate change has never been more pressing, and businesses are playing a pivotal role in this global mission. One effective strategy being implemented is the creation of Carbon Reduction Plans, which you may have seen being a requirement in more and more tenders and public sector procurement.

These plans outline the steps a company intends to take to significantly reduce its carbon emissions. This article provides a comprehensive guide on Carbon Reduction Plans, their importance, and how professional consultation can ease their implementation and management.

Below we have developed an overview detailing both the importance of, and requirements for, Carbon Reductions Plans. We have an additional article on Carbon Reduction Plans and the impact on bids and tenders, which can be found here.

Understanding Carbon Reduction Plans

In the context of a heightened global awareness of climate change, Carbon Reduction Plans have emerged as strategic documents that businesses or organisations formulate to reduce their carbon emissions. These plans include a myriad of measures, such as energy efficiency, renewable energy adoption, and altering transportation methods, amongst many others. The primary goal of a Carbon Reduction Plan is to make businesses and organisation’s more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Significantly, these plans can also lead to substantial cost savings.

Why Businesses Need Carbon Reduction Plans

There are several compelling reasons for businesses to develop Carbon Reduction Plans. A core reason is to meet the global and national targets set to mitigate climate change. Countries worldwide, including the UK, are committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. This goal necessitates businesses to innovate and find ways to become more efficient and lessen their reliance on fossil fuels.

Another reason pivots on the economic benefits. Energy bills constitute one of the largest expenses for many businesses, and reducing energy usage can lead to significant savings. Additionally, carbon-intensive businesses may face penalties under various national climate change levies.

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Key Components of an Effective Carbon Reduction Plan

How to Write a Carbon Reduction Plan

A well-structured Carbon Reduction Plan typically consists of several key elements:

  1. A declaration of the organisations’ commitment to achieving net-zero emissions by a target year.
  2. A baseline emissions footprint, which is a calculation of the organisations’ carbon footprint, serving as a reference for future plans.
  3. A current emissions report documenting the emissions from the most recent year calculated.
  4. Five-year emissions reduction targets, including progress reports on pre-existing targets.
  5. A list of completed and planned Carbon Reduction Projects, including environmental management measures, certification schemes, or specific carbon reduction measures effective during the performance of the contract.
  6. A declaration and sign-off by a director.

Writing a Carbon Reduction Plan involves several key steps:

Baseline and Current Emissions Calculation

The first step in creating a Carbon Reduction Plan involves calculating your company's baseline and current emissions. This process includes measuring the emissions from fuels used in operations, direct releases of greenhouse gases, emissions from company-owned vehicles, emissions from purchased electricity, heat, and steam, as well as emissions from transportation or storage of materials and products not owned by the organisation. If this is the first time you are calculating your emissions, your current year will be the same as your baseline year.

Establishing Targets

After determining the baseline and current emissions, the next step is to set a target date for achieving net-zero emissions and establish reduction targets for the next five years.

Identifying Carbon Reduction Projects

Finally, you need to outline any significant carbon reduction projects already completed and identify key projects you plan to undertake in the future.

Beneficial Outcomes of a Carbon Reduction Plan

Implementing a Carbon Reduction Plan brings numerous benefits. Firstly, it aligns the business with global and national targets set for climate change mitigation. This alignment not only reduces the company's carbon footprint but also enhances its reputation as a responsible, environmentally-conscious entity.

Secondly, a Carbon Reduction Plan can lead to substantial cost savings. Energy efficiency measures and renewable energy adoption can significantly reduce energy bills, one of the most substantial expenses for many businesses.

Thirdly, it is a requirement for many public sector tenders, so having one can be the difference between winning a contract or not.

Finally, a Carbon Reduction Plan fosters a culture of sustainability within the organisation. It highlights to employees to the importance of energy conservation and environmental protection, creating a workforce that is conscious of and committed to sustainability.

The Role of a Carbon Reduction Plan Consultant

Developing and implementing a Carbon Reduction Plan can be a complex process. This is where a carbon reduction plan consultant steps in. Consultants bring in-depth knowledge about the requirements, guiding businesses through the process step-by-step, and even conducting calculations on their behalf.

Their expertise can help businesses identify the most effective measures to reduce carbon emissions. They can assist in setting realistic targets, developing strategies to achieve these targets, and monitoring progress.

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Creating a Carbon Reduction Plan: The Thornton & Lowe Approach

At Thornton & Lowe, we understand that every business is unique, with varying needs and challenges when it comes to carbon reduction. As such, we offer bespoke consultancy services to support businesses in creating and implementing Carbon Reduction Plans.

Our approach starts with understanding the specific needs of your business. We then work hand-in-hand with you to collect the necessary information, calculate your carbon emissions, set targets, and develop strategies to achieve these targets.

Our team of experts ensures that your Carbon Reduction Plan not only meets regulatory requirements but also aligns with your business's sustainability goals. Our services extend beyond the creation of the plan, offering ongoing support in implementing the strategies and monitoring your progress.

Ensuring Compliance and Progress

Once a Carbon Reduction Plan is in place, it's crucial to ensure compliance with the plan and monitor progress towards the set targets. Regular audits and reviews should be conducted to assess the effectiveness of the strategies implemented and make necessary adjustments. A robust monitoring and evaluation system is vital to ensure the success of any Carbon Reduction Plan.

Carbon Reduction Plans and Public Sector Requirements

In the public sector, the need for Carbon Reduction Plans is particularly pronounced. From September 2021, all firms bidding for major contracts worth over £5m with central government and arms-length public bodies must submit a Carbon Reduction Plan.

At Thornton & Lowe, we specialise in supporting businesses in the public sector in meeting these requirements. Our experienced consultants can help collate the required information and produce a comprehensive and compliant Carbon Reduction Plan.

Final Thoughts

Carbon Reduction Plans are no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have for businesses. With mounting pressure to reduce carbon emissions and the rising costs of energy, businesses need to take proactive steps to reduce their carbon footprint.

At Thornton & Lowe, we provide expert consultancy services to support businesses on their carbon reduction journey. Our team of experienced consultants can help you navigate the complexities of creating and implementing a Carbon Reduction Plan, ensuring compliance with regulations, and achieving your sustainability goals.

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