The Climate Change Bill is soon to become law. Although initially it will impact only large energy users (ie those spending more than £500,000 pa on electricity), all businesses will soon be affected. The Bill aims to reduce the carbon footprint of large energy users by 12.5% by 2010 and by 26-32% by 2020.
The legislation currently does not require companies to consider the carbon footprint of goods and services supplied to them, but businesses such as Tesco and Walmart are already setting up voluntary schemes, such as the Carbon Disclosure Project, which set new standards for corporate behaviour. In simple terms, they aggregate the total carbon footprint throughout the supply chain for all products and services.
At the same time, a system of carbon budgets is being established for each industry sector and allowances granted to each business by sector. We are waiting to see how these standards will be formalised within the legislation. At the moment, companies have no way of knowing how well they are performing in relation to their peers, but it is fair to say life is going to get tougher for the vast majority of firms.
As Kevin Bray, Technical Advisor to EcoCare, explains:
“We need to remove the mystique from this whole process. No company wants to use or waste more energy than it needs to operate efficiently. Reducing carbon footprint equals reducing cost. “
A few small changes can have surprising results. EcoCare offers all sizes of organisation an appraisal of their operations so they can see how well they compare within their own industry. We also offer practical advice on how to save money.”
Clients can pay a fixed fee of just £900 for a site audit and full Carbon Saving Report or go for the ‘No Gain – No Fee’ offer. If they opt for the latter, EcoCare will charge a fee of 25% of the first two years’ saving.
Meanwhile, WasteCare is practising what it preaches. From October, all waste collected and treated by WasteCare will carry a report of the combined carbon footprint. The calculation will take account of all stages of the process and even allocate credits for carbon savings achieved by recycling energy-rich waste and recovering valuable raw materials.