EI commits to ambitious emissions reduction target

The Energy Institute has committed to a reduction of its emissions of 68 per cent by 2035 and hitting a net-zero goal well before 2050.

The emissions covered by the targets include those relating to the EI’s London head office and business travel undertaken by staff. During 2019, the baseline year from which progress will be measured, a total of 358.1 tonnes of CO2equivalent were emitted in the course of these activities, of which business travel accounted for 85 per cent.

Adopting the most ambitious science-based methodologies applicable to these categories of emissions, the EI has pledged a reduction of 26.2 per cent by 2025, moving to 47.9 per cent by 2030 and 67.9 per cent by 2035, an ambitious trajectory that will be achieved without offsets. It will set up the EI to reach net zero well before 2050.

EI president, Steve Holliday (pictured), said: “The climate emergency demands changes in behaviour across the board – from governments, businesses and societies. The EI is resolved to end its own impact on the climate and is joining a growing number of organisations on an ambitious but managed journey to net zero. We do not yet have all of the answers, but I hope our members, partners and customers will be inspired to follow.

“The current pandemic has wreaked personal and economic tragedy. But it could yet lead to something positive too, if we’re smart with how we emerge from it. We must not squander this opportunity to rebuild our economies in a more sustainable way that averts future shocks to our way of life.”

The EI’s chief executive, Louise Kingham, said: “These science-based targets are a road map on the way to eliminating well before 2050 the impact of our own operations on the climate.

“This won’t be easy for any organisation but the experience of COVID-19 is transforming the net zero equation.

“Technology is enabling the EI to operate as reliably as ever, extending access to energy expertise, increasing our reach and relevance to many more than before. With all things digital and remote being the new normal, the technology has challenged us to go faster.

“I expect this new norm to be sustained. Will we meet again at large conferences and other events? I believe so, as we are social beings at our core, but I think it will take time and the reasons for doing so might have changed.

“Discontinuity has challenged us all. But it has also inspired us to innovate, to change our mindset, and to live life better. I think we must all build on those improvements going forward for the good it will create.”

The EI has joined more than 40 other environmental services organisations in setting its targets using the science-based methodology adopted by the Society for The Environment’s ‘Pledge to Net Zero’ initiative.

The EI will now:

• develop plans for the delivery of the emission reductions required, initially through a combination of building optimisation and behaviour change;

• publicly report greenhouse gas emissions and progress against this target each year; and

• conduct further work to understand the indirect impact of the EI’s activities, in particular scope-3 emissions relating to events. These will be considered for inclusion in reporting in future years, following engagement with the EI branch network.

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