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There are a great many reasons why companies would want to reduce there carbon intensity. The most obvious would be to comply with the various laws and regulations of their host country. However, increasingly we see companies extend effort beyond what is required as a legislative minima. Saving carbon and increasing inefficiency often go hand in hand, and it from exploring opportunity's of emissions reduction it is often he case that operational cost savings are made.

Carbon Strategy

For the company looking to make serious emissions reductions, then the first step is to define a strategy for reducing carbon emissions. This would normally entail the following steps:

Opportunities Identification

Opportunities are readily identified via the use of life cycle assessment. Of course in the early stages the scope of the LCA may be very much reduced. For example and good place to start might be "in house" energy usage. Rather then looking at carbon associated from use of materials, which can be a lot more time consuming.

Looking further afield out side of the factor gates, you might look to transport or imported materials. These factors may beyond you full control, and collection of data and acting on that data may be more difficult than in house adjustments. For example:

Scope of work may focus on the gate-to-gate emissions for a sheet metal manufacturing processes, covering tool making, stamping, secondary processes and plant facilities. The opportunities identification process might show that focus should not only be directed to the stamping process but extend to include secondary processes. In this case, for example, approximately 66% of carbon footprint of the sheet metal parts is contributed by the oven curing process. Recommendations to lower energy consumption are also proposed to further reduce the carbon footprint of sheet metal part.

So in the above example you would have identified a clear opportunity for reduction, and could act accordingly.

Carbon Targeting

As Environmental Consultants we are surrounded by Carbon Reduction Targets. Building Regulations, District Authority Emissions Reductions, BREEAM. All include targets for carbon reduction. The UK have an emissions allowance that translates to an 80% reduction relative to 1990 by 2050.

An 80% reduction seems very ambitious, some might say unrealistic. But you can look of the form the target takes and adapt that to your organization or company. Choose a baseline year, for which you will need records, and set a reduction relative to that year.

Becoming Carbon Neutral

To become carbon neutral you will be required to reduce emissions of carbon by 100%, and achieve net zero emissions year of year. This will require some form of carbon offsetting. Emissions can be cut to a certain level, but for complex activities, it will be impossible to achieve  net zero carbon without off setting. It is not to say that these off sets can't be in house (for example surplus renewables capacity), but it will be required.

Despite the efforts involved there is considerable cudos to be achieved from advertising as a certifiable zero carbon company.

Carbon & Energy Management

ISO 50001

Using energy efficiently helps organizations save money as well as helping to conserve resources and tackle climate change. ISO 50001 supports organizations in all sectors to use energy more efficiently, through the development of an energy management system (EnMS). ISO 50001 is based on the management system model of continual improvement also used for other well-known standards such as ISO 9001 or ISO 14001. This makes it easier for organizations to integrate energy management into their overall efforts to improve quality and environmental management. Like other ISO management system standards, certification to ISO 50001 is possible but not obligatory. Some organizations decide to implement the standard solely for the benefits it provides. Others decide to get certified to it, to show external parties they have implemented an energy management system. ISO does not perform certification.

Energy Audits

Increasingly in the last several decades, industrial energy audits have exploded as the demand to lower increasingly expensive energy costs and move towards a sustainable future have made energy audits greatly important. Their importance is magnified since energy spending is a major expense to industrial companies (energy spending accounts for ~ 10% of the average manufacturer's expenses). This growing trend should only continue as energy costs continue to rise.

While the overall concept is similar to a home or residential energy audit, industrial energy audits require a different skillset. Weatherproofing and insulating a house are the main focus of residential energy audits. For industrial applications, it is the HVAC, lighting, and production equipment that use the most energy, and hence are the primary focus of energy audits.


Just as setting baselines is important, a record of you emissions year on year is vital to prove that targets have been met or if they have not identify which opportunities have not been exploited fully. Carbon dioxide monitoring refers to tracking how much carbon dioxide is produced by particular activity at a particular point in time. For example, it may refer to tracking carbon dioxide emissions from land use change, such as deforestation or agriculture, or from burning fossil fuels, whether in a power plant, automobile, or other device. By means of example monitoring might be undertaken on a quarterly basis to coincide with the release of energy bills, which would summarise consumption etc.

According to the “Monitoring Guidelines” governing the recording and reporting of emissions for the EU Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), all operators are obligated to monitor the CO2 emissions of their plants.

Carbon Offsetting

Carbon Offsetting, Carbon Balance, Carbon Neutrality, Carbon Sequestration. These are all type of off setting which we can help advise on.

Carbon Foot Print

Carbon Foot printing is a form of Life Cycle Assessment

The carbon trust launched their carbon foot print label some years ago and uptake has been slow. This could be due to the Carbon Trust's very tight control of the logo, even educational websites are not allowed to display it by example, and as such its exposure to the world has been limited. Companies are free to to develop their own labeling systems, although these are less verifiable.

Aside from carbon labels there are numerous other labeling schemes such as the blue angel. Which demonstrate the effort that companies are making, with a particular products, although these accreditation to these labels may require measures beyond carbon emissions reduction.

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