Develop a decarbonisation plan

Setting yourself challenging targets and developing a plan to decarbonise your operations should be done collaboratively with the leadership and your staff or membership.

Why?

In order to successfully transition to a zero-carbon community, we need to reduce our energy consumption. For some businesses and organisations the energy their appliances use is a major part of their energy bill. To reduce costs and your carbon footprint in the long run, it is worth investing in more energy efficient appliances once your old ones come to the end of their life.

How?

Energy Efficient Products

Refrigerators, Freezers, Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers, and Dishwashers are traditionally not very energy efficient. By investing more in their efficiency it is possible to generate considerable savings with these products over time. The least efficient appliance is the refrigerator: The most efficient models consume up to 5 times less energy than a standard refrigerator. Energy efficient washing machines can reduce electricity usage by up to a third. Using the most efficient appliances across the board will have a massive impact on the amount of energy you consume.

Smaller electrical appliances are often overlooked, yet using energy efficient Compact Fluorescent bulb can save up to 4 times more energy than a standard bulb.

Buying Energy Efficient Products

Why?

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions to the necessary level requires action on every level. When you review your organisation’s carbon emissions you will be able to identify areas where you should aim to reduce them. A decarbonisation plan can then help you outline and agree the actions that your organisation needs to take to reach these targets.

How?

Selecting targets

Calculate your organisation’s carbon emissions as a first step. This way you will be able to see which areas of your operations create emissions and which activities are most carbon intensive. This information can then inform your carbon reduction targets. You might want to tackle certain parts of your organisation first, like particular locations or services, where you’d like to reduce the emissions.

The UK government includes some advice on setting targets in their Greenhouse Gas guidance for businesses  in Annex K.

Science Based Targets is an organisation that helps organisations identify reduction targets by providing research and guidance.

Planning your actions

After you’ve identified your targets it will be easier for you to identify appropriate actions to support them. If your target is to reduce your GHG emissions created by your office, shop or similar locations, you might consider switching to renewable energy as a first step on your road to net-zero. The actions you select should generate enough carbon reduction to actually reach your targets.

Look at the Decarbonisation section on this page to find more inspiration for actions you might want to include in your plan.

It’s also a good idea to include a wider number of staff/members in the process of identifying and selecting the right actions for your organisation. This enables you to use their individual expertise and your stakeholders will feel more engaged with your plans and are more likely to buy into any changes that might come from your decarbonisation plan.

After selecting the actions you will have to draw a plan of when and how you will implement them in your organisations and who is responsible or needs to be involved. You will want to start taking action as soon as possible and allow enough time to undertake any necessary work. Putting your actions into a 12 month programme will give you good communication tool to show your plan to the wider organisation. Remember to schedule regular reviews of how well you’re doing and a session to also review your targets at the end of the 12 months.

Further resources:

Julie’s Bicycle is a consultancy specialised in helping businesses in the creative sector to plan and implement a sustainability strategy.
If you ask a vendor for help in finding the most energy efficient appliance they are obligated to help you find the right product. Finding the most energy efficient product may entail shopping around for a while longer than you normally would. Though this may be time consuming, you will reap the benefits, as you will not only save money in the long run, but also contribute to a better global environment.

You can find energy efficient appliances for example via Save money Cut Carbon.