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isology® is a world-leading proven step by step roadmap to achieve ISO certification.

Implemented for over 600 organisations with a 100% success rate, we take you from the planning and creation of your bespoke ISO System though to certification with our 7 step process.

This episode is the final part of our 7-part mini-series explaining our Carbonology service, a 7 step methodology to help companies become Carbon Neutral.

This time, our resident Carbonologist David Algar is talking through the seventh step of the Carbonology process, ‘Declare’.

David explains the purpose of a formal declaration, different ways companies can make their declaration, and the different ways you can promote your achievement of carbon neutrality.

You’ll learn

  • The purpose of a formal declaration.
  • The key outcomes of the ‘Declare’ step.
  • The different ways you can make a declaration.
  • The pros and cons of doing your declaration internally.
  • How long your declaration is valid for.
  • Ways to promote achieving carbon neutrality.

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[01:56] A recap of the 7 steps to carbonology.

[04:02] The purpose of having a formal declaration.

[04:57] What the formal declaration involves.

[06:55] Different ways to make a declaration and which one’s most popular.

[08:31] How long your declaration is valid for.

[09:20] The importance of having an unambiguous declaration.

[10:07] The key outcomes and deliverables of the ‘Declare’ step.

[10:43] How publicised your Qualifying Explanatory Statement should be.

[11:27] Ways to promote achieving carbon neutrality.

[13:42] What companies tend to do after achieving carbon neutrality.

[14:23] Why it’s easier making a declaration in the second year.

[15:15] How to find out more information about the 7 step methodology.

[16:02] The importance of data.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 14064, PAS 2060, or another standard – Contact the Carbonologyhub

Don’t forget to download your free ‘Getting Started with Carbonology’ Checklist here:

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

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This episode is Part 6 of our 7-part mini-series explaining our Carbonology service, a 7 step methodology to help companies become Carbon Neutral.

This time, our resident Carbonologist David Algar is talking through the sixth step of the Carbonology process, ‘Offset’.

David explains what companies can do to offset emissions, how offsetting works in relation to PAS 2060, and the importance of picking the right Offset provider.

You’ll learn

  • Different types of Offsetting.
  • How Offsetting works in relation to PAS 2060.
  • How long Carbon Offsetting Credits last.
  • What to consider before buying an Offset.
  • The importance of picking the right Offset provider.

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[01:43] The five steps before you go down the route of Offsetting.

[02:12] Why Offsetting is a controversial topic.

[03:03] How Offsetting works in PAS 2060.

[03:41] What Offsetting is and how Carbon Credits work.

[04:59] Credible Offsetting schemes in the UK.

[07:58] Key considerations you need to consider when buying a Carbon Offset.

[10:48] How PAS 2060 helps companies prove they really are carbon neutral.

[12:20] How Carbonologists help their clients know which schemes meet the requirements of PAS 2060 and which don’t.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 14064, PAS 2060, or another standard – Contact us!

If you’d like to book a free consultation with our Carbonologist, David Algar, feel free to book a slot Here.

And lastly, don’t forget to grab your ‘Getting Started with Carbonology’ Checklist here:

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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This episode is Part 5 of our 7-part mini-series explaining our Carbonology service, a 7 step methodology to help companies become Carbon Neutral.

This time, our resident Carbonologist David Algar is talking through the fifth step of the Carbonology process, ‘Re-quantify’.

David explains why it’s important to recalculate your emissions after measures have been put in place from the Reduce stage, what to do if you’re not hitting your targets, and how the ‘Re-quantification’ stage can help your public image.

You’ll learn

  • What ‘Re-quantification’ is.
  • Why ‘Re-quantification’ is so important.
  • Ways to identify how specific areas of your business have performed.
  • What to do if you’re not hitting targets.
  • How to follow a carbon reduction plan while in a state of growth.
  • How the ‘Re-quantification’ stage can help your public image.

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[01:05] The seven steps of carbonology.

[01:32] Why it’s so important to ‘re-quantify’.

[02:31] The real purpose of the ‘re-quantification’ stage.

[05:16] How to feel if you’re not hitting your targets.

[05:50] The importance of consistency, accuracy, and transparency in ISO 14064 and PAS 2060.

[07:20] How to follow a carbon reduction plan while in a state of growth.

[08:34] The key outcomes and deliverables in your ‘Re-quantification’ stage.

[09:30] Our free carbon neutral checklist.

Download your free Carbonology Checklist here:

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 14064, PAS 2060, or another standard – Contact us!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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This episode is Part 4 of our 7-part mini-series explaining our Carbonology service, a 7 step methodology to help companies become Carbon Neutral.

This time, our resident Carbonologist David Algar is talking through the fourth step of the Carbonology process, ‘Reduce’.

David explains how we can put our Carbon Reduction Plan into action so we can see clear tangible results in our reductions, and the benefits this brings to organisations and their employees.

You’ll learn

  • How the ‘Reduce’ phase in the Carbonology process works.
  • How to monitor how successful your initiatives are.
  • The importance of communicating your reduction plan to your staff.
  • How to get your staff excited about your carbon reduction plan.
  • The value of externally communicating your commitment to carbon reduction.
  • How having a sustainability group can help your business.

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[03:05] The ‘reduce’ phase of the Carbonology process.

[04:36] The need to make your staff aware of your carbon reduction plan.

[05:13] How to best manage communications with staff around carbon reductions.

[06:36] How a carbon reduction plan can be beneficial for an organisation and their staff.

[07:26] How to best monitor the success of your initiatives and the benefits this has.

[11:11] The benefits of reducing your carbon footprint rather than offsetting it.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 14064, PAS 2060, or another standard – Contact us!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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This episode is the second of our 7-part mini-series explaining our Carbonology service, a 7 step methodology to help companies become Carbon Neutral.

We’re joined by our resident Carbonologist David Algar to talk through the second step of the Carbonology process, Quantify.

What does the Quantify Step entail?

Calculating your emissions : This will be carried out for Scope 1 2 and 3 emissions.

  • Scope 1 refers to sources you own, and are direct emissions from combustion or fugitive emissions from systems that contain GHGs, so gases that have escaped from somewhere they shouldn’t have such as an AC system.
  • Scope 2 are emissions from imported energy, this refers to electricity for most organisations but can also include steam, heating and cooling. For ISO 14064 and PAS 2060 you’ll need to quantify 100% of the Scope 1 and 2 emissions within boundaries
  • Scope 3 refers to all other indirect emissions from sources you don’t own or necessarily have control over. For example business travel in vehicles your staff own. Scope 3 makes up the majority of emissions for most organisations and is generally more complex to gather data for.

What information do you need to quantify your emissions?

You’ll need to collect and process data. This can be:

  • Activity or financial data on a specific source. Common examples include utilities bills, meter readings and expense reports for business travel or fright
  • Interviews and surveys. For instance a survey to better understand how staff commute to work, or the proportion of staff that work from home.

Why is Transparency so important?

There are 6 key principles of ISO 14064, but one David is particularly mindful of is Transparency.

  • Ultimately your work will be made publicly available, and not everyone may agree with your methods, but you’ll need to record all estimates, assumptions, exclusions, and uncertainties associated with your methods. As well as generally being good practice, being transparent allows the end user of the work you produce to make informed decisions with a reasonable degree of confidence.

So what’s the purpose of quantification?

As well as giving you a total footprint for a specific time period, calculating your carbon footprint will enable you to do a few things:

  • Firstly you’ll be able to see what are the most emission-intense areas of your organisation, i.e. where the emissions are coming from, whether this is a specific location, or activity or even department
  • Secondly, by using this information you will be able to prioritise the areas that need to have their emissions reduced. This will form the basis of your Carbon Footprint Management Plan which we will go into more detail on in the next few episodes.

What are the Outcome and Deliverables?

One outcome of this exercise is a GHG Inventory. This is a requirement of ISO 14064 and put simply, is a big list of categorised emission sources, and the specific GHGs they produce. Here you’ll also list all emission conversion factors you used to turn activity data into tonnes of specific GHGs.

Another useful outcome is that you’ll be able to instantly and credibly respond to any tenders that require you present green credentials. As we’ve mentioned in previous podcasts, in the UK it is now a requirement for most large public sector contracts for the tendering organisation to outline its emissions.

Being able to easily present your carbon footprint to a potential tender could help in winning new business, particularly if you’ve completed this in line with an international recognised standard

Join us next week as we move onto the next step, Commit.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 14064, PAS 2060, or another standard – Contact us!

David Algar is also available for a free Carbonology consultation until the end of March – Book your slot Here

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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This episode is the first of our 7-part mini-series explaining our Carbonology service, a 7 step methodology to help companies become Carbon Neutral.

We’re joined by our resident Carbonologist David Algar to talk through the first step of the Carbonology process, Define.

David explains why the define stage is so important, what it entails, and how it works.

You’ll learn

  • The seven steps in Carbonology.
  • The importance of defining your carbon output.
  • How to get a better understanding of your emissions.
  • The recommended approach to define the subject and boundaries.
  • How to write the introduction for your QES.
  • How to become carbon neutral.

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[02:38] What the seven steps of Carbonology are.

[03:08] The first step to becoming carbon neutral.

[03:52] How the define stage in Carbonology works.

[04:42] What Carbonology boundaries in an organisation may look like.

[06:20] The importance of identifying the people involved with Carbonology work.

[07:00] The type of people that are normally involved with managing the Carbonology standards in a business.

[08:25] How organisations can determine the selection of the subject.

[09:49] Why it’s important to clearly define the subject and your boundaries.

[10:33] The recommended approach to define the subject and boundaries.

[12:17] The outcomes and deliverables that are provided through the define stage.

[13:35] Who the Qualifying Explanatory Statement has to be shared with.

If you need assistance with implementing ISO 14064, PAS 2060, or another standard – Contact us!

David Algar is also available for a free Carbonology consultation until the end of March – Book your slot Here

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

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One of the first steps towards becoming more sustainable is knowing where you currently stand in terms of your emissions. Calculating this may seem like a mammoth task, especially if you have multiple sites or assets such as company vehicles to keep track of.

David Algar joins Mel today to discuss how to calculate your Green House Gas (GHG) emissions, starting from Establishing boundaries through to number crunching and quantification.

What is the first step when embarking on quantifying your GHG emissions?

  • One of the first steps is getting leadership commitment – This allows for quicker decision making and the allocation of roles and responsibilities, which really helps with the data collection
  • Once you have this leadership commitment, the next steps is to start establishing boundaries.

So how do you define your boundaries?

  • There are 2 ways you define your boundaries as specified in ISO 14064-1:
  • The first are your organisational boundaries, you’ll need to outline which facilities are included within the quantification. It is not as simple as just saying ‘everything’, you’ll need to specify which sites, buildings, factories etc
  • You can define your organisational boundaries via the control approach, so what facilities do you have financial or operation control over? Or the equity share approach, where you account for your portion of emissions and removals from facilities
  • The next step is defining your reporting boundaries. This refers to activities and specific sources of GHGs.
  • Emission sources are split up into 3 categories; Scope 1 – direct emissions from combustion, or leaks, normally at sources you own , Scope 2 – indirect emissions from imported energy, and Scope 3 – all other indirect emissions, these will be from sources you don’t necessarily own or have much control over such as staff commuting, supply chains or emissions from the use of products you manufacture
  • Depending on your organisation, Scope 3 will account for somewhere between 60-80% of your total emissions.

How would you recommend going about collecting to data?

  • ISO 14064-1 wants you to have primary data, i.e. data you have collected yourself.
  • Some of the most common sources of the information you’ll need to quantify your emissions include, utilities bills, expense claim, meter readings.  
  • What some organisations are doing is sending out simple surveys to staff to gather information on commuting habits or the mix of home and office working.
  • In the real world all the information you need isn’t going to be available, or at least it won’t be available in the way you would like.
  • it’s important to have someone dedicated managing data collection as this may involve multiple sites or international locations.
  • Ideally, you’d start setting a framework to use when going forward and to make sure you can collect the relevant data each year.

Selecting a base year

  • If this is the first time you have quantified your emissions, it will automatically become your base year.
  • This will be the year you compare future emissions against, and track reductions against, whether they are absolute, or intensity based, such as tonnes of CO2e per employee or product sold
  • You may have to re-visit your base year calculations if new data or more accurate methods arise. A base year review may also be required if there has been a change in organisational boundaries due to a merger or acquisition.

The Number Crunching

  • At the end of the process, we want to see our levels of emissions for each of the Kyoto gases, this will allow us to see emissions as tonnes of CO2 equivalent when each gases’ global warming potential has been taken into account.
  • Some gases can have global warming potentials 200 times or 1,000 times or even over 20,000 times stronger than CO2 on its own, hence why even the smallest leak of can be important, say, from an air conditioning system.
  • We calculate emission from specific sources by using conversion factors.
  • In the UK we are very lucky to have emission conversion factors published publicly by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy every year going back to 2002
  • Other countries release conversion factors too, so if you have sites round the world, you should be able to find factors that can be applied. This may involve converting some units though.
  • The data isn’t always going to be available in the ideal format, so you’ll need to spend a bit of time on Google identifying rates for specific areas and years if you don’t have anything else to go on.
  • Liaising with landlords and facilities management is always a good idea, not only to collect data, but to help with implementing initiatives that can reduce emissions in the future  

Estimates, Assumptions, Uncertainties and Transparency

  • You’re going to have to make some assumptions as you go.
  • In line with ISO 14064-1 you’ll need to be as accurate as possible even if this means someone going through individual lines of expenses to estimate flight distances based on ticket costs or coming up with a system to represent your supply chain.
  • Another important aspect of ISO 14064-1 is transparency. The best way to manage this is to simply make all your calculations visible, this way they can be reviewed and sense-checked but others.
  • For each emission source you’ll also need to assign it a level of uncertainty. For instance, expense claims are usually highly accurate as they show mileage from one location to another, and sometimes even record the specific vehicle, you could say this has an uncertainty of 2-5% for instance.
  • At the other end of the scale calculating the emission from the life cycle of your products has a high degree of uncertainty as you don’t know how a customer will use it, how long it will last, how it will be disposed of or if it will even be used at all. This could have an uncertainty of 30-40% for instance
  • A positive outcome of managing all these uncertainties is that you will have a framework going forward for calculating specific sources.

Managing your Emissions Going Forward – Applications of Quantification

  • Ironically it is often the biggest emission sources that businesses have the smallest amount of control over, but there will usually be some action that can be taken to reduce them.
  • Quantifying emissions is also one the first, and arguably the most essential steps towards achieving carbon neutrality, as you can’t get very far without knowing your emissions.
  • PAS 2060 is the standard we use at Blackmores as part of our Carbonology service to help businesses achieve carbon neutrality, this is supported by quantifying emissions in line with the ISO 14064 methodologies we’ve mentioned In previous podcasts.
  • Developing and implementing a carbon reduction plan to reduce emissions over subsequent reporting periods is another application of your GHG quantification and is an important part of working towards carbon neutrality.

Further resources:

Free Webinar – Targeting Carbon and Supporting Net Zero – hosted by Alcumus, David Algar will feature as a guest to help you understand your Carbon Footprint and provide a roadmap towards Carbon Neutrality. Register Here.

We also have more information about our Carbonology service available Here.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help, and we read each one.

Today, we’re joined by our resident Carbonologist David Algar to discuss SECR.

What is SECR?

SECR stands for Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting, it stemmed from The Companies Act (2006) which was updated in 2013 to require quoted companies to report annual emissions in their directors’ report.

In 2018, the regulations were updated and an additional disclosure requirement for quoted companies was brought in. They now require energy use and associated GHG emissions to be reported by quoted companies, as well as by large, limited liability partnerships (LLPs).

Why was it introduced?

To increase awareness of a business’ energy use and emissions and to encourage the introduction of initiatives to reduce energy usage.

To provide organisations with the relevant data to make informed decisions.

To help increase visibility to key decision makers who may not have been aware of how much carbon their organisation is producing.

Provides transparency on an organisation’s emissions and energy use to external stakeholders.

Is it applicable to you?

SECR reporting is designed to apply to all quoted companies in the UK, as well as unquoted companies and LLPs defined as ‘large’ under the Companies Act 2006.

To be defined as ‘large’ under the Companies Act and therefore qualify for SECR reporting they must meet 2 or more of the following criteria:

  • Have a turnover of £36m or more.
  • Have a balance sheet of £18m or more.
  • Have 250 or more employees.

Who does it not apply to?

Low energy users, those using less than 40MWh per year.

If disclosing energy use data could inadvertently reveal sensitive information about your business, or seriously detrimental to the interests of your business.

Not all public bodies are required to report.

If your data would not be practical to obtain.

What needs to be included?

This is where it gets slightly more complex as this is where reporting guidelines specify what you must report depending on if you are a quoted company compared to a large unquoted or LLP.

Similarities (what everyone needs to report):

  • Their energy use in kWh and GHG emissions in tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
  • Scope 1 and scope 2 emissions you are responsible for and a subset of scope 3 emissions relating to transport.
  • Methodologies, at least one intensity ratio and finally, everyone must report on energy efficiency improvements.

Differences:

  • A key difference between quoted companies and the other two types is that quoted companies must reference their global Scope 1 and 2 emissions they are responsible for, and what proportion of their emissions comes from international sources.
  • For unquoted companies and LLPs there is more of a focus on Scope 3 emissions. You will need to report on the energy and emissions associated with Scope 3 transport. This mainly refers to leased road vehicles and vehicles staff own but use for business purposes (grey fleet), but also covers larger vehicles such as ships, planes and trains if you have directly paid for the fuel yourself.

What are the benefits for your organisation?

You would have quantified a significant proportion of your emissions, which paints a good picture of where your largest emission sources are from.

You would have just taken one of the first steps towards achieving carbon neutrality.

SECR also helps provide greater transparency for investors and other stakeholders.

It also supports other reporting such as ESOS and the new requirement for businesses looking to obtain large government contracts to have a carbon reduction plan in place.

How can Blackmores help?

By quantifying your emissions for your reporting period, in the long term we can help quantify any remaining emissions that are not referred to in SECR, specifically any remaining Scope 3s

We can also help provide clarity on the definitions of each scope and the subcategories within them.

We have various templates that we have created and refined to help simplify the process.

We can produce the SECR report, meeting all the requirements of UK Environmental Reporting Guidance, and as well as the main SECR report, we can produce the summary of your Director’s Report.

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help, and we read each one.

If you’d like further information on how we can help you with Carbon verification, SECR or Carbon Neutrality, check out our Carbonology Service.  

Today, we’re joined by our resident Carbonologist David Algar to discuss the seven vital steps to Carbonology.

If you’re looking for a sustainability roadmap for your business and looking to address the climate emergency while also meeting your stakeholders needs you’re in the right place.

Over the last 2 episodes, Carbonoloigst David Algar and Mel have been going through ISO 14064 the Carbon Verification Standard and PAS 2060 the Carbon Neutrality Standard.

Today, David and Mel will be explaining how you can meet the requirements of both standards, gain verification, and demonstrate your business as carbon neutral.

That’s all going to be based on our game-changing route to sustainability, Carbonology.

What makes Carbonolgy unique is rather than paying lip service to the climate change emergency, Carbonolgy provides a proven methodology for sustainable success, allowing businesses to become carbon neutral and to achieve ISO standards successfully.

You’ll learn

  • The seven steps of carbonology.
  • How to achieve carbon neutrality.
  • Why it’s cheaper to reduce your emissions rather than offset them.
  • The importance of re-quantifying carbon emissions.
  • How to prove you’ve offset your emissions.
  • How becoming carbon neutral can benefit your shareholders.

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[03:12] The seven steps of Carbonology to achieve carbon neutrality.

[7:54] The different options there are to verify that you are carbon neutral.

[9:07] The different areas you need to define when starting off in your Carbonology journey.

[11:45] How to quantify the emissions embedded in different products that you sell.

[14:22] What’s included in a Carbon Footprint Management Plan.

[16:50] The importance of including working from home in your scope 3 emissions.

[17:57] How long a reduction period last and what it involves.

[19:27] The benefits of re-quantification and how it works.

[21:14] How offsetting works as part of Carbonology.

[23:31] How making a declaration of achievement of neutrality works.

If you’d like a quote for Carbonology – Contact us!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube |iTunes | Soundcloud

Today, we’re joined by our resident Carbonologist David Algar who shares with us everything he knows about the Carbon Neutrality Standard PAS 2060.

Customers are demanding more environmentally friendly products and services, and to remain competitive organizations need to reduce their emissions and improve their environmental records.

Having a sustainability roadmap is critical to both government and industry now and in the future.

When implementing effective climate change mitigation measures the ability to differentiate between real and false claims of carbon neutrality is absolutely critical.

If you’re looking for a credible roadmap for your sustainability journey PAS 2060 can help you cut through the cynicism and doubt and maintain trust in your ethics to manage and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.

You’ll learn

  • How to make a positive impact on the environment.
  • Why a company can never be net carbon zero.
  • What PAS 2060 consists of and how it helps businesses quantify and reduce emissions.
  • How to build credibility and confidence with your shareholders.
  • What Carbonology is and how it can help businesses become carbon neutral.
  • Why it’s so important to quantify your emissions before reducing them.

Resources

In this episode, we talk about:

[02:13] What PAS 2060 is and how it assists companies to become carbon neutral.

[2:55] The difference between being ‘net carbon zero’ and ‘carbon neutrality’.

[3:48] The importance of quantifying and reducing your emissions.

[4:18] What carbon offsetting is and how it works.

[6:54] The main benefits for a business in adopting PAS 2060.

[7:46] What a carbon footprint management plan is and how it can help save money.

[8:50] The benefits of validating your carbon neutrality.

[10:20] How Carbonology can help businesses become carbon neutral.

If you need assistance with implementing PAS 2060 – Contact us!

We’d love to hear your views and comments about the ISO Show, here’s how:

  • Share the ISO Show on Twitter or Linkedin
  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

Subscribe to keep up-to-date with our latest episodes:

Stitcher | Spotify | YouTube |iTunes | Soundcloud

If businesses aren’t talking about COVID-19, they are discussing how to become carbon neutral.

To show their commitment to protecting the environment, companies are often claiming to be carbon neutral, but the issue is…where is the actual proof? Where is the credible framework that demonstrates carbon verification?

Today we’re excited to share how to get started with introducing ISO 14064 (the carbon footprint verification standard). So, if you’re looking for a sustainability roadmap for your business and are wondering where to begin, then you’re in luck as we’re going to be providing you with information on that over the next couple of podcasts! We’re delighted to be joined by David Algar, our resident Carbonologist at Blackmores, over the next few podcasts as he’s going to share with you information about the international standards that everybody’s talking about when it comes to demonstrating your carbon neutrality. This includes ISO 14064 for carbon footprint verification and PAS 2060 on carbon neutrality.

So, in this episode, let’s kick off with ISO 14064 and find out what’s it all about!

What you’ll learn:

  • What is ISO 14064?
  • What are upstream and downstream emissions?
  • Certification methods
  • Benefits of ISO 14064
  • How Carbonology helps meet ISO 14064 requirements

ISO 14064 is a specification with guidance at the organisational level for the quantification and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions and their removals. So, essentially, ISO 14064 is a standard for an organisation of any type, size, quantity, or location globally to quantify its emissions of greenhouse gases, with the end product of this being the creation of a greenhouse gas inventory.

Now, let’s find out where we would begin with ISO 14064…

In ISO 14064, the standard begins with defining  the organisational boundaries and the reporting boundaries. So essentially what you’re covering in your greenhouse gas inventory and what the reporting boundaries are. This will also include any exclusions you decide to make i.e. elements of your business that will not be have their associated GHGs quantified.

An organisation embarking on its sustainability roadmap could carve out part of the business. So, for example by year one the UK operations, and then have a roadmap in place so that they include other locations and services as time goes on.

David expands on the greenhouse gas inventory by highlighting that this is where you would document all your emission sources. So, they are divided up into scope one, scope two, and scope three sources. Scope one is the direct ones, so for example stationary or mobile combustion, or anything your organisation directly burns. Then it goes into scope two, which is your purchased energy (the electricity, steam, heating and cooling that you would use in the building that you own or lease). Finally going into scope three can be a bit more complicated. This would be your other indirect sources, upstream and downstream. For example, if you are a manufacturing company, the upstream emissions would be the emissions associated with activities, for example, before your products are delivered to your manufacturing or warehouse. So that would include the extraction of the raw materials, the processing, packaging, and then the transport and distribution. The upstream emissions associated with a vehicle, for example, include putting it in a cargo ship and shipping it across the world. So, once  it leaves your warehouse or plant, it would then go off to the customer. This is where you are looking at the downstream emissions, including emissions associated with the product’s use

The greenhouse gas inventory does split the scopes up for you, so you don’t have to worry about memorising every single little part of the scopes! It is very useful in that aspect and it lays it out in a list for you.

Let’s take a quick dive into the vertification options for ISO 14064

If you do decide to go for a third-party vertification from a certification board, the chances are that they’re going to ask you questions on why you decided to include and exclude certain things within your greenhouse gas inventories. For example, certain operations in your business or why you have made certain exclusions. Another key element of producing greenhouse gas inventories is that you must use emission factors. These are how you quantify and convert, for example kilowatts, into tonnes of Co2 equivalent. So, the certification body may ask you why you’ve chosen to use a certain metric. That’s why it would always be a very good idea to document these choices, as you may be asked about them. So, in essence, this provides complete transparency on your carbon emissions across the organisation because you’ve justified the reason for including or excluding them.

Now, moving on to some of the benefits of ISO 14064…

Because it’s an ISO standard and internationally recognised, it provides a reliable and proven framework for quantifying your emissions. So as a result of this, this helps identify individual sources of emissions and enables you to identify the biggest source of emissions, energy usage, and vehicle usage. Therefore, you can use it to identify areas for improvement by setting targets. However, the result of going down this road is that once you’ve implemented those improvements, it can actually save you costs in many instances, for instance through lower energy usage.

Another benefit is that it helps demonstrate your public commitment to environmental protection. This is excellent for your corporate image and CSR. Combined with third-party verification, it really does help show you are committed to environmental protection, and you’re not just pursuing this activity for greenwashing purposes.

It can also be a tendering requirement for a lot of new businesses as it can support a lot of governmental requirements. So, it can be a framework to help you support any mandatory reporting of emissions, such as the SECR (Streamline Energy and Carbon Reporting) and ESOS (Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme) which are requirements essentially based on quantifying emissions and energy usage. So, if you’ve implemented ISO 14064, you’ve (almost) already built that framework to help you with the data collection and data presentation that you’ll need for the SECR and ESOS reporting.

One thing which makes ISO 14064 very different from any of the ISO standards that we have implemented over the last 15 years at Blackmores is the fact that you don’t actually get certification to this standard. It’s classed as a verification, which has options for self-verification and third-party verification.

There are three main tiers to it, let’s find out what they are.

The first tier is the self-verification method, where you essentially pour over the data yourself and decide internally within your company that you’re happy to publish this publicly. Although, this is slightly less credible because your company is essentially verifying itself. The second level to that is a second-party verification, where you get an external body (such as Blackmores) to go over the data and essentially audit you on it. But what is generally regarded as the most credible is a third-party certification, the third tier. This would be done through a UKAS accredited certification body (such as BSI, or NQA). This method demonstrates confidence to all your stakeholders that the verification has been done properly because an independent third party has approved it.

Unlike certificates to management system standards like ISO 14001 (where they’re valid for three years). This is just valid for the period that you’ve actually defined within the scope. So, that could be a period of 12 months, then you would have to go through the re-verification process.

We do have a podcast coming up on Carbonology which focuses on the process to meet the requirements of ISO 14064 and PAS 2060 to be carbon neutral…so, let’s get a sneak peek and find out how Carbonology might help with meeting the requirements of ISO 14064.

Carbonology is based on a seven-step process to help an organisation become carbon neutral. The first step of Carbonology is the Quantify stage. This is where ISO 14064 comes in because this is where you would essentially quantify and document all your greenhouse gas emission sources for scope one, two, and three. So, essentially, ISO 14064 really does form the bedrock of the Carbonology service.

That’s it for today, watch out for our future blogs as we’ll be joining David on the next podcast where we’ll be talking all about the next stage in your journey to becoming carbon neutral.

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Gareth Dinnage (Seacourt MD)

Seacourt is the highest scoring B Corp printing company on the planet, they believe in business as a force for good for society.

Fun facts: Seacourt is the winner of the Queens award for sustainable development. They’ve won this three times! In 2017, they were also crowned Europe’s most sustainable SME! No wonder they are recognised as one of the top three leading environmental printers in the world!

Seacourt Managing Director, Gareth Dinnage, joined us for an interview to tell us about Seacourt’s journey and its initiatives. Gareth has been part of Seacourt’s sustainability journey from the very start. He started his journey first as apprentice and then heading up to Sales and Marketing and finally owner and Managing Director.

You’ll learn about:

  • Seacourt’s sustainability journey
  • Environmental management as a guiding principle for Seacourt and their contributions to the environment
  • Seacourt’s journey to understanding their carbon footprint
  • Significance of being Net Carbon Zero
  • B Corp
  • How ISO 9001 and 14001 helps Seacourt run their business
  • Understanding your supply chain

Let’s start right back at the beginning of Seacourt’s journey!

Where did Seacourt begin and where did its sustainability journey begin?

Seacourt started in 1946! They were set up as a commercial printing company in Oxford, working with local businesses. Not much changed for them until the mid-90s, when the owners at the time had the good fortune to attend a seminar focused on sustainability.

We know what you must be thinking, whoever put together this seminar must have had incredible foresight, to have looked into commercial impacts and sustainability!

The owners realised that the printing industry is among the fifth largest manufacturing sectors in the UK since 1996…

And that it’s also the fourth worst polluter!

That’s when they decided that they don’t want to be part of the problem, but a part of the solution. This thought marks the moment of a change of goals and priorities for Seacourt. From this point in 1996, the business changed from a linear business model, focusing on outputs, to becoming a value-based business, to considering the impacts on the environment and society, as well as profits.

This marked the magic transformation of Seacourt!

For the last 25 years, their philosophy has been “will this improve the environmental performance of our business. If the answer is “yes!”, then they do it regardless of the financial cost. So, without this fundamental change in mindset, Seacourt would not have been where it is today.

Guiding principle for Seacourt

Environmental management has been a guiding principle for Seacourt for the past 25 years. It’s fundamental and core to the company.

Currently:

  • Seacourt runs on 100% renewal energy (and have done so for decades)
  • They invented their own printing process called ‘LightTouch’. This has saved them gallons of fresh litres of water
  • Seacourt no longer uses water or chemicals in their printing process!
  • They have been zero waste to landfill for over a decade.
  • They are carbon positive -and that’s scope 1,2 and 3! What this means, for those of you that aren’t familiar with this concept, is that Seacourt sees their impact in every element that they as a business effect. This includes their supply chain, so as a printing industry, they take their impact all the way back to forestry they use for their natural resources. They consider how trees are transported to the papermill, how papermills are run, the energy this it is run on and much more!
  • They consider the end-of-life process by producing a natural material that has a massive recycling rate.

So, when you wrap all of this up in its entirety, Seacourt has created a concept called Planet Positive Thinking -which means that they give back more carbon into the atmosphere than they are responsible for consuming.

Seacourt’s journey to understanding their carbon footprint

A lot of businesses are new to the concept of Net Carbon Zero. So, let’s find out how Seacourt went about understanding what their carbon footprint was.

Seacourt does this by unravelling their entire supply chain and ask challenging questions to their supply chain, such as how they power their plants, what is the carbon impact per tonne of paper they are using, how they transport their materials from the forest and much more never before asked questions! They used the amount of paper they have purchased over a 12-month period and worked with their suppliers to get an accurate carbon impact figure. They created their own methodology and matrix, using the same process to identify the carbon impact figure that they used for their paper, for other areas in their operations, for example their ink.

By this point, Seacourt knew their carbon impact holistically for a 12-month period and sought to work on a regenerative project in the Amazonian basin. In this project, Seacourt safeguards 86,000 hectares of endangered forestry and are reforesting 12,000 hectares of deforested lands. They also have a social element where they support a programme with indigenous people. So, this is how Seacourt maintains their Planet Positive Thinking element, as they give back more than they consume in everything they have an impact on.

Significance of being Net carbon zero

Of course, we are conscious of the fact that we are in a lockdown where many businesses are struggling financially. So, this is for those of you thinking “is it going to be really costly for me to be Net Carbon Zero or Carbon positive?”. Gareth emphases the need to understand the impact of sustainability, to have a strategic plan and an idea of what goal you want to reach and how you will achieve it. Otherwise, your business will get left behind! Other business will pick up this leadership agenda and show exactly what business can do. Gareth identifies these businesses as the ones to be the most successful. This is already evident among investors refusing to work with fossil fuel-based business. That’s why business need to act responsibly to stay ahead of the game!

How management systems help Seacourt run their business

Seacourt has been certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 for years. These management tool helps Seacourt set the business up to the highest standards and ensure continual improvement. The quality environmental management system provides a framework for delivering sustainable best practice.

B Corp

Now let’s move on to talk about B Corp!

B Corp is the global movement that aligns businesses who share the same philosophy, which is that businesses can and should be a force for good. Certified B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, transparency, and accountability. The unifying goal of B Corps is that the main driver is stakeholder value, not shareholder value.  

Understanding your supply chain

For those of you who have not yet looked into their supply chain, Gareth recommends:

  1. Observing and controlling your building in terms of energy efficiency (make sure its insulated and you use renewable power)
  2. Then send out supplier surveys to find out what your suppliers are doing or working on that you are not aware of
  3. Then look at your key supply chain and identify if you can start mapping the carbon impact.

These steps would give you key findings and insights that you can use in your goals and strategy.

Contact details for Gareth, if you have any enquires or would simply like to connect with him, get in contact using one of the ways below:

Website URL : www.seacourt.net

Twitter handle: @seacourtltd

LinkedIn handle: Garethdinnage

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  • Leave an honest review on iTunes or Soundcloud. Your ratings and reviews really help and we read each one.

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