What is a carbon reduction plan and why do I need one?
An effective carbon reduction plan is essential for all modern businesses, especially those bidding for public sector contracts. PPN 06/21 is a UK government procurement note that requires small and large businesses alike to show they are reducing their carbon emissions. If you don’t have a carbon reduction plan, you won’t be able to submit a bid.
What is a carbon reduction plan?
A carbon reduction plan is a roadmap detailing how an organisation intends to reduce its carbon emissions.
It should include:
- A baseline assessment to measure the current carbon footprint and identify the main sources of emissions.
- Targets and goals for reducing emissions that are ambitious but achievable and in line with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), ideally a 90% reduction.
- An action plan for how the business will achieve its targets, including specific measures and timelines. (See Small99 Hero to get yours for free!)
- Monitoring and reporting to give regular updates on results.
What are the benefits of a carbon reduction plan?
The main benefit of a carbon reduction plan is that it will help to protect the environment and reduce the effects of climate change. But there are other reasons for businesses to implement it:
- Reduced costs: Businesses often find that by increasing energy efficiency and reducing waste they will make significant savings on utility bills.
- Improved brand reputation: Consumers are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment and are looking to support businesses that can demonstrate their sustainability. A carbon reduction plan will raise the image of a business and attract new customers searching for an environmentally friendly alternative.
- Compliance: Some industries require businesses to have a carbon reduction plan in place and, under PPN 06/21, all bidders for public sector contracts in the UK must have a carbon reduction plan.
- Winning contracts: Even if your business is not legally required to have a carbon reduction plan, it may affect your profits if you don’t. Larger organisations will often only award contracts to companies with effective sustainability policies as this ultimately impacts their own environmental credentials too. For example, Sodexo recently announced it will cut ties with suppliers who are not progressing towards net zero.
Funding: Grants from local councils are a great way for small businesses to grow. Most councils now will only consider awarding grants if they can see that an appropriate carbon reduction plan is in place.
What should be included in a carbon reduction plan?
Every carbon reduction plan should have theseseveral key elements:
- An estimate of your total footprint with clear information on what is included and excluded (e.g. which parts of Scope 3 areis included?)
- A list of actions you have already completed
- A list of actions you intend to completeaction with estimated timelines
There are a number of things small businesses can do to reduce their carbon footprint and these will vary depending on the type of business. The most common measures include:
- Increasing energy efficiency by turning off lights and equipment when not in use and upgrading to energy-efficient lighting and appliances.
- Switching to a renewable energy supplier who can demonstrate their sustainability credentials.
- Reducing waste through recycling and decreasing the amount of packaging.
- Choosing greener business travel options such as trains over planes or coaches over cars.
- Reducing the environmental impact of events by arranging sustainable travel and catering for attendees and hosting near public transport.
- Purchasing sustainable goods and services from suppliers that have a low carbon footprint.
- Offering green commuting incentives to employees such as subsidised public transport, ride-to-work cycle purchase schemes, on-site cycle storage, carpooling clubs, and electric vehicle charging.
- Encouraging employees to reduce their carbon footprint by educating them on improving sustainability at work and at home.
What are some carbon reduction plan examples?
Every business needs its own unique carbon reduction plan, tailored to the way it operates and the goals it wants to achieve. Here are just a couple of stories of companies that have used Small99 to accelerate their sustainability journey.Wedding venue, Hayne House, has already made significant progress in reducing emissions and is on track to reach net zero by 2030, as illustrated by the diagram below:
Inspiration Space has set a goal to be net zero by 2030. Having established a baseline measurement of 15.07 tonnes CO2e it calculated that it requires a 12% year-on-year reduction in emissions to reach this target.
The company has already completed many actions and the latest status of its carbon reduction plan is available here.
How can I create a carbon reduction plan?
We created Small99 Hero not only to help you create your carbon reduction plan but also to keep you on track throughout your sustainability journey.
Simply choose your industry and we’ll create a FREE carbon reduction roadmap specific to your business with a clear to-do list of actionable tasks. The control panel makes it easy to track and share your progress so you can show customers and industry authorities your commitment to a sustainable future.
Small99 Hero is completely free, so what are you waiting for?