ISO Show

#155 How to create a PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plan


Sustainability has become a top topic to address in the last few years, both for businesses and individuals. In fact, 90% of business leaders think sustainability is important, but only 60% actually have a sustainability Strategy.

The demand for tangible action is becoming more pressing as we inch close to the 2030 milestone of the Paris Agreement.

To encourage action from businesses, we’re seeing more public and private sector contracts include a tendering requirement to show your commitment to sustainability. One such example is the need for a PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plan.

In this weeks’ episode David Algar, Principal Carbonologist® at Carbonology, joins Mel to explain how to create a Carbon Reduction Plan, shares some top tips on presentation and how Carbonology® can support you.

You’ll learn

  • How to create a Carbon Reduction Plan
  • How Carbonology® can help you align that plan with ISO 14064 and PAS 2060
  • Addressing difficult tendering questions
  • How to best present your Carbon Reduction Plan


In this episode, we talk about:

[00:24] What are PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plans? – Go back and listen to our previous episode to learn more.  

[00:42] Episode Summary – Today we’ll be talking about how to create a Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP), how to deal with difficult tendering questions and the best ways in which to present your CRP.   

[02:46]  How do you actually calculate the emissions? We have gone into this in a lot more detail on a previous episode, but to summarise:-

Emissions are calculated by taking your activity data, such as kWh of electricity, or miles driven in a vehicle, and multiplying it by an emission conversion factor.

Specific emission conversion factors are available from DEFRA for specific activity data, they are also year-specific.

The hard part is sourcing your activity data, accounting for missing information, performing estimates, and ensuring the overall methodology is accurate.

This is all done in alignment with ISO1464-1, as well as the PPN guidelines, so one of the very first things we’ll do with you is define your organisational and reporting boundaries,

[05:27] How can a business set carbon reduction targets and forecast emissions? This is tricky as it involves trying to predict the future, not just in the short term, but potentially several decades ahead depending on your goal.

The good thing is you know the end destination of your carbon pathway: little to no emissions by 2050.

Using this and some simple maths you can at least map out where you should be each year when moving forward from the base year, the base year being the period you use to compare future results against.

Usually the base year is the first year you complete calculations, but this can change over time. We’re finding some clients are opting to change their base year to account for the disruption of COVID-19 on operations

[06:40] How do you actually set the targets?: When we look at target setting and emission forecasts we generally take 2 approaches:


  • The first, and our most common approach, is about setting milestones based on specific carbon reduction initiatives the business can implement, at specific dates.
  • For instance, all company vehicles being hybrid by 2025 and fully EV by 2035? Or what if we phased out gas by a certain date? Or cut out all single use plastics?
  • Using this milestone method for the forecasting can be tricky, but you can end up with a carbon pathway that is more representative of real life. 

Straight line method:

  • The second is what we refer to as the ‘straight line’ method. This is a simpler approach that involves doing some simple maths to plan out your carbon targets for each year, without factoring in specific milestones or events.
  • We refer to this unofficially as the ‘straight line’ method as the graph showing your carbon pathway is pretty much a straight line from your base year towards net zero, using the milestones method gives a ’bumpy’ line due to the influence of specific milestones at specific years.

[08:35] A tip for setting targets for the first time is by thinking ‘what if? This is essentially looking at the thing you’re doing now and replacing it with a more sustainable alternative. For instance, calculating what your business travel emissions would be last year if they were all completed in hybrids, or if domestic flights were replaced by train journeys.

Doing these ‘what if?’ calculations is a bit hypothetical as operations are likely to change over the years, but it still helps give you a specific target to aim for a specific GHG sources.

[10:40] How can you influence carbon reduction in areas where you have no direct control? Some areas will be out of your control, for instance if you ship goods in from around the world you can’t necessarily decide how they get to you, or if they are transported via more sustainable transport.

  • One thing you can do is aim to set a good example yourself as a business
  • You could also adopt the PPN framework yourself and request it from anyone that is aiming to win your business
  • Another quick win is actually speaking to your suppliers. If you use a local delivery firm you could speak to them about their plans for an electric fleet, or more sustainable packaging. Or if you use a data centre, you could enquire about if is run on renewable energy sources

[13:15] But what if we are planning to grow as a business? Results are expected to fluctuate over time, so if they go up after the base year this shouldn’t impact your success or failure in your tender submission. The aim is obviously to decrease on average over time

If you know for certain that they will increase in the next few years, for instance through opening new sites, making acquisitions, or just natural growth, that’s ok.

You could pick a new base year if operations significantly change as this will give a more realistic figure to work down from. You can also use this as an opportunity to evidence efficiency improvements through intensity metrics, such as your tonnes of carbon per employee, or relative to your revenue.

 [15:15] In what other ways can Carbonology help to support you? – Once everyone is happy with the CRP, you’ll then have to actually use it in tenders. The fun thing about tenders is that they can all ask different questions, despite PPN having technical requirements, so you can’t always have the information to hand before submitting one.

We can’t write your tender submissions for you, but we can provide guidance and pull out the necessary figures if requested, for instance if you need certain numbers to support with your Social Value Model reporting.

[16:20] How can this help on your journey to Carbon Neutrality? –  If you’ve gone through all the hard work to create a PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plan, you’ll be in the ideal position to achieve carbon neutrality of your operations via PAS 2060.

The next step would be creating a PAS 2060 Qualifying Explanatory Statement, or QES, which details how you have achieved carbon neutrality through offsetting, and your commitment to maintain this for future reporting periods.

[17:25] Where does the verification come into play? If you’ve already calculated your emissions you may be asked to have them independently verified by an independent third party.

We’ve recently developed a process so we can check over you GHG calculations, policies, procedure and overall alignment with the standard.

As part of this, Carbonology can provide a verification report with all findings and opportunities for improvement, as a well as a verification statement to show you have had emission independently verified in alignment with ISO 14064.

For further information, David has prepared a quick guide for creating your PPN 06/21 Carbon Reduction Plan. Download it from the resources area above.

Lastly, if you have an questions or would like to learn more about how Carbonology can help you, feel free to book a call in via David’s Calendly.

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