In these pages you will find blogs, articles and book reviews about the real-life challenges of sustainability and resource efficiency. I hope that, in some small way, that these will help al those involved in the huge tasks we face to transform our relationship with nature while delivering value to our organisations and stakeholders. Please do feel free to comment and offer you own thoughts! You can comment in the space below any article, or you can contact me using the details to the right. I look forward to your inputs!.
As part of the update of my book, and in preparation for a two-day energy management training course I am delivering shortly, I revisited the 2050 pathways model for decarbonisation of the UK economy by 80% by 2050.
I took the plunge and completed my own 2050 scenario, achieving an 81% reduction, summarised in the actions illustrated above. My model is heavily focused on the demand-side, as you can see from the red colours in the upper section of the screenshot above. This brings home the fact that no matter how many wind-farms we put up, unless we change our heating and transport to electricity, the supply-side changes will have little effect.
One particular quandary I had was how much land to dedicate to biomass. When I reached 78% emissions reductions, one of the few remaining ways to reach the 80% target was to increase the land use for biomass from 5% to 10%, or start to import biomass, neither of which I wanted to do. In the end, I achieved the target by turning down the average temperature in homes beyond what I really think is feasible. These kinds of decisions bring home the complexity of the energy system and the fact that no single technology can achieve the goal.
The ability to change the text frequently is one reason why we have chosen to go with “print on demand”. The other is that it has a lower environmental impact as supply matches orders.
The chapter on ISO 50001 has been completely updated as the standard has moved from 50001:2011 to 50001:2018. There have been other updates and corrections throughout the text including checking and updating all the web links in the 800+ bibliography at the end of the book.
The free PDF has been updated as well as the print editions. Please do download the free PDF rather than buy a print version – not only is that more resource efficient but you will always have the up to date version! However, if you absolutely insist on buying a print version, then please do order it through this site. (more…)
SustainSuccess participated in the government consultation on on the future of streamlined energy and carbon reporting (SECR). The government’s response was published on 18th July. This is our summary:
The new reporting regime follows the abolition of the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) at the end of the second phase (31st March 2019 – although Annual Reports will still need to be submitted and allowances paid, so the administrative requirements will continue for a few months).
The £700m income that the CRC provided to the government will be replaced through significant increases in the Climate Change Levy (CCL), which are set to rise from 0.583 p/kWh to 0.847 p/kWh for Electricity and 0.203 p/kWh to 0.399 p/kWh for Natural Gas supplies (45% and 67% respectively, note that CCL other fuels such as LPG will also increase, see this link).
At SustainSuccess we are passionate about helping our clients achieve long-term value from their sustainability initiatives.
Back in 2014, we helped set up Peel Land and Property’s energy management system. When, in 2015, the system was formally certified to the ISO 50001:2011 standard, Peel Land and Property became the first major UK property company to gain this certification.
The Peel 50001 system has been very successful because it has focused on the value-adding aspects of the standard, and because it was built around the ideas and ways of working of the Energy Champions who have day-to-day ownership of the process. Peel’s success can be seen in the outcomes – the energy savings delivered by the team has reached £1.6m a year on a bill of just over £4m – that’s an improvement of over 30%!
It was a honour for Niall Enright at SustainSuccess to contribute to an important UNEP workshop in Paris in May.
The workshop involved participants from Gabon, Mali, Senegal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Honduras, Guatemala and The Dominican Republic. The delegates had come together for an introduction and tutorial about a tool to help their countries forecast future emissions of F-Gasses. Here we all are, in the courtyard of the UNEP offices in Paris.
The background is that these F-gasses have a very high global warming potential, and so an international agreement has been reached to phase them out. This agreement is an extension to the Montreal Protocol which is seen as a remarkably successful example of what can be achieved in global environmental collaboration. The deal on the F-Gases is also named after the city where it was agreed, is it the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.
It was a privilege to participate in the Manchester Green Summit yesterday as the event was heavily over-subscribed. I found the meeting very stimulating with a wide range of views about how Manchester could become the “Greenest” City Region in the UK. Here are my semi-random thoughts on the event…
Andy Burnham, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, started proceeding by setting out an aspiration for Manchester to become a zero-carbon city – although he did not pledge a specific date to achieve this, he did suggest that we should be bold and commit to achieving this at least a decade earlier than the current 2050 target date.
The reason we need this level of urgency was starkly presented by Kevin Anderson from the Tyndal Centre. His brilliant talk cut through all the complexities surrounding emissions goals and reminded us that there is only one thing that matters – the absolute CO2 emissions that we put into the atmosphere. According to research by him and his colleagues we (Greater Manchester) have a budget of just 71 million tonnes of CO2 in order to meet the 2 ºC target we signed up to in the Paris Agreement. At current rates of emissions we will spend this in just 5-6 years.
“I was wondering if you would like to discuss the possibility of speaking at The UK Sustainability Expo which is a conference and expo being held on the 26th June in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry”
I am quite regularly approached to speak at events and make a point of carving out the time to attend a few engagements each year. So I checked the date out and responded that I would be available to speak on that date and would look forward to discussing their requirements and seeing if I could cover the subject-matter. It was an event I was unfamiliar with and I like the idea of speaking to new audiences.
A couple of days later I received a phone call from one of the team and was told that “over 500 people had expressed interest in speaking” and that they could offer me a speaking slot as “part of an exhibition package“.
If the basis for their selection of speakers is who is willing to pay for the privilege, then I suspect the presentation will simply be one dull sales pitch after another. Which is sad given the importance of dialog around many of the challenges facing sustainability and efficiency practitioners.
I for one will definitely not be attending, and I thought it would be helpful to let colleagues know.
The notion of energy efficiency as an energy resource is now widely accepted. Indeed, since the widespread Demand Side Management programs of the 1970’s, these “Negawatts” (a term coined by Amory Lovins) have been quantified in financial terms and compared with supply-side infrastructure investments and shown in most cases to deliver the lowest cost per unit of energy (LCOE), as well a significant environmental benefits such as lower carbon emissions.
Thus it is with some alarm that I have read this morning that elements within the European Council are resisting formally prioritizing efficiency measures in the EU Energy Strategy. For those unfamiliar with how the EU works, here is a simplifcation:
Energy and Resource Efficiency without the tears has been reviewed by Cathy Rust on her great green buildings site BEC Green…. This site is a great resource for all things green buildings and sustainability-related.
What I like about Cathy’s posts is that they are so wide-ranging – recent articles have covered: a circular-economy incubator in Rotterdam (entitled “Blue Roof – A Roof Made From Sewage Products“); an update on Californian regulations requiring that out-of-state suppliers of specified building materials (carbon steel rebar, flat glass, mineral wool board insulation and structural steel) submit an Environmental Product Declaration confirming that the products meet the specified carbon emissions; a review of a no clog, low-flow toilet; through to her personal reflections on test-driving an electric car.
The site also has links to a wealth of other sustainability resources and sites, as well as other book reviews.
I must warmly congratulate Cathy on her terrific contribution to her fellow sustainability practitioners and would urge folks to sign up for her blogs which are thought-provoking, insightful and very useful.
The complexity of disentangling the UK from European institutions has been put in sharp relief by the intricate manoeuvring taking place around the EU Emissions Trading Scheme. Politicians have been at pains to talk up the simplicity of any transition and the ease with which existing EU environmental legislation will be translated to the UK statutes through a “Great Repeal Bill”. In practice the process is proving to be much more complex. (more…)