A major new initiative, including a new business carbon footprint calculator, launched today by the Carbon Trust will help businesses shrink their carbon footprints and save millions this winter. Potential savings of over 2.7 million tonnes CO2, equivalent to Liverpool’s total annual emissions, with related energy savings of almost £350 million could be realised through cost free and low cost energy saving actions. The initiative follows last week’s Climate Change Bill announcement which will set the UK a target of a minimum 60 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 as legally binding for the first time.
Businesses are being called on to take advantage of a new package of carbon footprint resources developed by the Carbon Trust, to help businesses to understand what a carbon footprint is, how to calculate it and importantly how to reduce it.
The Carbon Trust’s new business carbon footprint calculator www.carbontrust.co.uk/footprintcalculator enables businesses to quickly quantify their key carbon impacts and understand where action might be required to reduce emissions. It introduces common footprinting concepts in line with widely accepted reporting approaches such as the Green House Gas (GHG) Protocol. The tool uses a series of screening questions to ascertain likely corporate emissions. Based on these questions the user can enter details of their energy usage and other potential emissions sources, including fuel usage, vehicle usage, electricity bill data and employee travel.
Businesses can apply online for a free Carbon Survey*, where an expert consultant will carry out an on-site visit and help measure their carbon footprint and identify ways to reduce it. The methodology is intended for use with organisations that are seeking a basic understanding of their carbon footprint.
The Carbon Trust is also running a series of free interactive workshops across the UK which businesses can attend to get an understanding of what is involved in the measurement of their carbon footprint and what specific steps can be taken to reduce it.
Tom Delay, Chief Executive, the Carbon Trust commented: “Today’s new initiative is a timely reminder that acting on CO2 makes perfect business sense. We want all businesses to take advantage of our new free online carbon footprint calculator to help them measure and ultimately reduce their carbon emissions. Businesses that act will quickly reap the multiple benefits of improving their bottom line while increasing their overall competitiveness.”
Environment Minister Phil Woolas said: “The case for businesses to cut their carbon footprint is growing fast. Pressure from consumers, the cost of energy, and corporate social responsibility issues all mean that going green is no longer just an add on – it’s a core part of doing business. This calculator will provide real benefits to business by enabling them to calculate their emissions and identify where they can make the most effective carbon reductions and reduce their climate impact.”
Michael Roberts, Director of Business Environment at the CBI, said: “We welcome this initiative to help make it easier for firms to measure and manage their carbon footprint. Leading companies are already tackling their emissions and increasingly expect their business partners to do the same. But many firms also lack the knowledge, time or resources to take the first step: this package of support aims to help address that.”
Further support for small and medium businesses to cut carbon emissions is also available through the Carbon Trust’s £27 million interest free Energy-Efficiency Loans fund. It offers a cost effective way for businesses to replace or upgrade existing equipment with a more energy efficient version. SMEs in England and Scotland, or all businesses in Wales that have been trading for at least 12 months, could borrow from £5,000 to £100,000. Businesses based in Northern Ireland that have been trading for at least 12 months may be eligible to apply for an unsecured interest free loan of up to £400,000.