Carbon capture provides route to net zero, but what can businesses do now?
Mark Sait, CEO and founder of SaveMoneyCutCarbon, outlines a ‘saving through sustainability’ model that achieves net zero without breaking the bank.
As part of a scheme called Humber 2030, energy firms are aiming to cut emissions from the UK’s largest industrial cluster by 80% and create tens of thousands of jobs. The UK is heavily reliant on the Humber for its energy needs, as around 20% of the country’s electricity is generated there and it is also home to major gas terminals and oil and coal refineries. However, it emits more carbon dioxide (CO2) than any other industrial cluster in the country.
Business leaders on the Humber Energy Board have set out plans to deliver several hydrogen production plants and carbon capture and storage facilities, including one at Drax Power Station in Selby, which has been described as ‘the world’s largest’. The company said it plans to invest £2 billion in the facility and it could remove eight metric tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere each year by 2030, and support around 10,000 jobs.
What top three things can businesses do?
The UK government will press ahead with its net zero strategy and businesses can expect increasing pressure, with a mixture of incentives and regulations.
It is time to step up and get ready, building on actions already taken, and develop coherent, long term strategies for climate mitigation.
Action 1: measure and plan
Gather accurate and comprehensive data on aspects of energy and water use, and other climate impacts both directly (Scope 1) and indirectly (Scopes 2 and 3). This information will be the building block for an effective carbon roadmap. It is no easy task but is absolutely necessary now. Companies will be looking at or revisiting LED lighting, water efficient technologies, heating efficiencies, insulation and better waste management, among other measures.
Action 2: electrify your vehicle fleet
No new fossil fuel cars will be sold after 2030, with all new HGVs following by 2040. Time to get ahead of the carbon game and switch company fleets to electric, while encouraging employees to switch wherever possible. Total cost of ownership of an electric vehicle is cheaper than petrol or diesel models now. On-site smart charging solutions are essential.
Action 3: install your own renewable electricity or heating
Solar PV (electricity) and solar thermal (heating/hot water) are ideal ways to cut carbon footprint and reduce operating costs. Heat pumps (air or ground source) will be a big part of the renewable energy mix for heat and water.
Other effective solutions for reducing company carbon footprint would include cycle to work schemes to encourage employees to buy an e-bike or ordinary model and joining a good carbon offset scheme.
We can expect ongoing cycles of new legislation and business regulations that will push the UK to reach net zero emissions by 2050. Ahead of the Glasgow summit, thousands of businesses supported the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, pledging to eliminate carbon emissions by 2050.
Your pathway to net zero
Reducing carbon emissions makes sound business sense as well as helping to ease the pressure on climate. Companies can become more profitable and attractive to customers at the same time.
SaveMoneyCutCarbon will help you on your pathway to net zero. We have delivered over 1,000 projects for the widest range of customers, from blue chip businesses o SMEs.
These projects have saved 27 million KwH of electricity, 727 million litres of water, while cutting carbon emissions by the equivalent of 2 million miles in a petrol fuelled car.