How businesses can get on the road to net zero

How businesses can get on the road to net zero

There’s so much talk about net zero and the need for businesses to plan their route to lower-emission operations.

But for many organisations, making sense of all the recent government announcements – and what these actually mean to them – is still very unclear.

That’s perhaps why hundreds joined our net zero webinar, hosted by The Energyst, on Thursday 10 December, where our panel cut through the confusion to set out what we do know, what we are waiting for – and what action businesses can take now.

James Diggle, Head of Energy and Climate Change at the CBI, and CSR expert Olly Craughan from DPD joined npower Business Solution’s Head of Flexibility Services Ben Spry to look at the detail that matters.

A plan of what’s to come

Recapping on the government’s recent Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, James Diggle not only summarised the key priorities we know about, but also identified the policies and actions we are waiting for to make these aims a reality – with a helpful guide to what form these will take and by when.

James also looked at last week’s Climate Change Committee’s (CCCs) recommendations for the UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget (spanning 2033 to 2037) – and what these mean for businesses.

Alongside its recommendations to work towards a 78% reduction in UK emissions by 2035, the CCC has set out what will need to be achieved in the years and decades ahead – so providing businesses with a useful indication of what the future’s likely to look like (you can download a copy here).

Cost of reducing emissions decreasing

The good news is that the CCC’s cost estimates for achieving net zero have been revised down from 1-2% of GDP to below 1% (or £50bn annual investment).

At the time of the webinar, we were still awaiting the long-anticipated Energy White Paper (now published) as well as a full Net Zero Review from the Treasury, a Hydrogen Strategy and other key policy documents to provide a definite steer. But the CCC’s report helps to provide some useful information while we await more detail.

What businesses think

In terms of business energy use, Ben Spry reflected on the changes we’ve seen over the pandemic and the impact this has had – and will continue to have.

He also shared some insight into business views to the Green Recovery – and what support they would like. For example, greater access to funding and incentives for low-carbon technology investment.

In addition to the Ten Point Plan, Ben looked at some relevant points from the recently-published National Infrastructure Strategy, and identified missing areas such as support for solar generation and carbon taxation post Brexit.

Ben then recommended five practical actions businesses can take now, such as increasing data granularity, embracing low-carbon technologies and reviewing energy procurement.

Net zero in practice

Lastly, DPD’s Head of Sustainability Olly Craughan shared what his company is doing to cut emissions, and the sector-leading strides they’ve taking towards net zero.

In particular, he looked at the challenges of switching a large delivery fleet to electric vehicles, which are now responsible for delivering one million parcels a month. And he provided some useful insight into the vision – as well as the processes and actions – that are driving the wider decarbonisation of DPD’s overall business.

To hear the detail of what was covered by each of our contributors – along with their response to some pertinent questions from webinar participants – you can access a free recording of this hour-long webinar here.

Then if you have any questions – or would like to better understand the steps you can start taking now on your business’s net zero journey – do Get in touch or speak with your Client Lead (existing customers).

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