The Global View

Will UK firms save 11 millions tonnes of CO2 in 2008?

The Carbon Trust, a government-funded organisation tasked to cut greenhouse gasses, is under scrutiny at the moment. It’s come under quite a lot of criticism for its PR strategy. The Telegraph had an article about this last August…

Greenbang certainly sees a high number of press releases coming from the Carbon Trust. And some of them seem a bit desperate for coverage. Then again, half the battle for them at the moment must be getting people to look at climate change as a business issue in the first place. And if you don’t do that via some sort of media, how do you do it?

It’s certainly good that we have a Carbon Trust in the first place, but could the money spent in a better way? Well that question is always asked of public-funded bodies.

The Carbon Trust is stuck between a rock and a hard place at the moment, as it has to get attention and the support of some big brands before it can chuck its weight about a bit more.

It’s so very easy to point the finger in the green debate and argue over carbon footprints and the number of trees you have paid to plant this year. But essentially, the Carbon Trust has to go on a media assault to do its job.

In any case, here is news from one of the weaker press releases…

With winter energy bills and consumers increasingly demanding that businesses show how they are reducing their carbon emissions, the Carbon Trust is urging organisations to add carbon saving to their list of New Year’s resolutions. Its list of energy efficiency measures are quick and easy to put in place and can result in both cost and carbon benefits for businesses.

Tom Delay, Chief Executive of the Carbon Trust said:
“Reducing your carbon footprint through improved energy efficiency should be top of the New Year’s resolution list for any business in 2008. Our six steps show that putting energy efficiency and carbon saving into action couldn’t be easier and switching off lights, turning down the heating and turning off equipment when not in use can save businesses an average of more than 10 per cent on their energy bills.”

To start making savings today, the Carbon Trust recommends every business should:

Measure your company’s carbon footprint – the essential first step to help your organisation benchmark progress. Visit www.carbontrust.co.uk/footprintcalculator to view the Carbon Trust’s carbon footprint calculator.
Replace inefficient lights – changing tungsten light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps will save 75% of energy used for lighting
Switch off PCs – Switching off just one PC out of hours, instead of leaving it on 24 hours a day, will save £35 a year.
Switch off all non essential equipment – A typical office for one night will save enough energy to run a small car for 100 miles.
Reduce heating – lowering the temperature by just one degree would reduce the heating bill for a typical office by up to 8% a year and save enough energy to print over 40million sheets of A4 paper.
Fit timers – Seven-day timers fitted to water coolers, vending machines and gaming machines can reduce energy consumption by up to 70%.