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Creating an action plan to reduce carbon emissions in your company

How do you turn your net zero goals into practical actions for reducing carbon emissions? We suggest technologies and approaches that might be part of your thinking – as you look to create an energy solution that’s tailored to you.

On your path to carbon emission reductions, your business has spent time working out your net zero objectives and identifying future sustainability opportunities. The next step is to turn these goals into actions.

If you’re at this stage, you will recognize that your choices need to tread the right balance between three priorities: carbon reduction, cost efficiency and resilience. These three focus areas are all highly important; delivering one at the expense of the others could be detrimental.

A structured action plan can help you excel in all three of these areas. But to find the right balance between these priorities, you’ll need to consider which approaches and energy technologies are appropriate to your goals. Here are a few tips to help design an action plan that’s right for your business.

Develop a structured, data-driven approach

With carbon reduction, every effort you make should be judged on data. It is worth getting advice and support from a specialist partner, to help make sure this data is robust and that it is turned into actionable analysis that can inform future energy plans. This can help you develop a structured approach – starting with reliable baseline figures which you can use to benchmark the great work you’re doing.

Recognized data standards, of course, are an important part of this; for example, you might use a standard such as the Greenhouse Gas Protocol to figure out how emissions reporting might look for your business. To stay on track, you then need to look at practical ways to capture the quality of data to fit with the reporting framework you use.

Real-time monitoring is an effective way to make sure you have the robust data you need. For example, our energy insights solutions enable you to monitor emissions at the device level in real time. You can use the collected data to help you create an asset inventory, diagnose emissions hotspots, analyze trends over time – and pilot ways to cut the carbon you emit.

Look at options for greener power

To reduce carbon from electricity generation, once again you need to select technologies and approaches that are appropriate for your business.

Solar is, of course, a renewable source of energy generation – and it has the potential to offset over 85% of your grid consumption with clean power. Many of our customers see solar payback within 3–5 years while reducing their energy costs by over 90%, making it an effective way to reduce carbon as part of your business case.

But remember: if carbon reduction is your main goal, then you don’t always need to make an up-front capital investment in on-site solar. Instead you could consider a commercial solar PPA (Power Purchase Agreement). With this option, Centrica Business Solutions installs a solar PV system on your site, and you simply pay for the electricity generated by the system at a discounted kWh price for the term of the contract, essentially going solar without any capital investment.

Shelter Creek community offsets electricity usage by over 70% through solar

Maximize the value of flexibility

Demand Response can help businesses to create a new revenue stream from their energy assets – money which you can then reinvest in cleaner ways of generating energy. It also helps the wider grid move away from fossil fuels, like gas and coal. Renewable energy can be intermittent, and Demand Response is helping to create a more flexible energy system that can effectively respond to fluctuations in supply and demand.

There are a number of areas to consider, in order to maximize your participation in Demand Response. Consider how your business can harness IoT technology to more precisely plan when and how to use energy. As well as driving the best value out of your participation in optimization programs, this can also help to reduce the risks. Your business should also study the potential benefits of aggregating different types of energy assets into a Virtual Power Plant. Finally, think about combining your participation in Demand Response with device-level sensor technology, to help you to identify even more flexibility, further enhancing performance.

The below video outlines a few of the benefits of embedding Demand Response into your decarbonization strategy.

Delivering carbon emission reductions: how our Energy Pathway can help

With so many options, designing your decarbonization action plan can seem complex. At Centrica Business Solutions, we offer not only a wide range of energy services and distributed energy technologies, but also the power of our expertise to guide you through.

That’s why we offer our Energy Pathway – to help you to reduce your carbon footprint, but also to reduce the complexity you face as you evaluate your sustainability needs, and seek to meet your specific business goals.