2.4.2 Carbon Reduction: Setting Reduction Plan

This article sets out the requirements for carbon reduction

An organisation seeking to become carbon neutral must develop and maintain an emissions reduction strategy. The emissions reduction strategy must identify the emissions reduction measures to be undertaken over a specified timeframe and should quantify expected emissions reductions, where possible.

Requirements to get started

The Emission Reduction Manager in the Pathzero platform only becomes active once a “Base Year” measurement has been completed. This would mostly be the most recent completed reporting period (for example FY ended Jun 2020). Once the Base Year has been established a company is then motivated to track how they have reduced emissions since the Base Year.

A base year is expected to be a 12 month period, but where shorter, pro-rata value are used.

How it works

Companies will be presented with their top 5 emission sources. From there, for each emission source they will create an Emission Reduction Plan (“ERP”). This plan consists of three steps:

  1. Selecting reduction initiatives to include in the ERP

  2. Assigning responsibility for implementation

  3. Setting a smart reduction target

Selecting Initiatives

A simple drag and drop interface has been designed where a user can choose pre-made initiatives (for example - teleconferencing more) or add a custom initiative of their own. An initiative should be easy to implement with as high an impact on emissions as possible.

An ERP consists of these selected initiatives for a given emission source.

Assigning responsibility

Inside each initiative, companies can assign a person responsible for ensuring the initiative is being followed, a due date for when the initiative is to be implemented. Once all initiatives for a particular ERP have been finalised, an overall commentary is provided - which will also be displayed in their company profile. A user then needs to come back and mark their particular initiative as being “implemented”.

Setting smart targets

Once initiatives have been selected, a user needs to set smart reduction targets. Setting a target requires identifying what the key driver of that particular emission source is. For Example, Business Flights emissions may be strongly caused by the number of sales staff in the organisation. More generic “key drivers” like the number of employees (FTE basis) can also be used.

The Base Year emissions per Key Driver are the starting point for setting targets. A user then chooses reduction target in % terms. This sets the target annual emissions per key driver.

Requirement: To be certified under the Pathzero protocol a company must create an ERP for at least 3 sources of emissions. Each ERP will contain multiple initiatives that would need to be implemented before certification can be issued.

Examples of reduction initiatives

  • increasing energy efficiency (e.g. by installing energy efficient lighting and appliances)

  • switching to renewable energy sources

  • substituting products or inputs with those that are less emissions intensive (e.g. by switching from conventional vehicle fleets to electric or hybrid vehicle fleets)

  • changing practices to replace emissions intensive activities with those that generate fewer emissions (e.g. reducing flights to business meetings through using teleconferencing)

  • encouraging and optimising the responsible treatment of waste (e.g. through source separation and procurement of waste treatment services with biogas capture).