Worcestershire County Council declared a climate emergency in July 2021. Under the council’s Sustainability Policy, the council has committed to not only reducing their own operational carbon footprint but also to support businesses and other Worcestershire organisations to improve their environmental performance too.
Worcestershire County Council partnered with an organisation called Climax Community to offer free access to a carbon management platform (Worcestershire Decarbonisation Portal) for one year, including onboarding sessions to help organisations and businesses navigate the resource. The portal allows organisations and businesses to collate and analyse data regarding energy, transport, waste, and supply chain emissions. It further helps them set specific decarbonisation goals based on such data, generates personalised reports and links businesses to further expert guidance. Given the ever-changing customer and regulatory landscape surrounding climate action, the portal allows businesses to get ahead of the curve and build a resilient and informed sustainability plan.
Worcestershire County Council declared a climate emergency in July 2021. Under the council’s Sustainability Policy, the council has committed to not only reducing their own operational carbon footprint but also to support businesses and other Worcestershire organisations to improve their environmental performance too. To enable decarbonisation, a business first needs to understand their current carbon emissions. This can often seem like a large, complex and time-consuming task, with no way of knowing how your business is performing against similar companies.
Worcestershire County Council has partnered with Climax Community to provide free access to their Decarbonisation Portal - Climate Essentials. Worcestershire businesses can use the platform to measure, track and reduce their carbon emissions. Climate Essentials allows for cross-sector collaboration, fills data gaps, enables knowledge sharing, and facilitates a standardised method of carbon accounting. This creates a data pool to inform the implementation of net-zero strategies across Worcestershire. The data is aggregated to ensure the council can assess needs and identify industry hotspots through business’s operational data, provided by small to medium-sized enterprises in their area. Through the analytics platform, the reduction pledges that businesses are making are highlighted, helping to both identify a truly regional pathway to net-zero, but also emphasises the kinds of actions that businesses want to implement. These insights are then used to develop local initiatives, funding and grants, and future climate and business support policy.
We are working with a range of businesses and organisations in the area who have been able to measure and understand the reduction pathway of their operational carbon emissions. Businesses have found that the portal has made their carbon reduction journey much simpler. For example, Jo Hughes from Avensys UK Ltd has said the following:
We have been using Climate Essentials for the last few months and found it easy to use and time saving for calculating emissions across our scopes. The visual charts are helpful for us to communicate our progress to all stakeholders, as well as manage our reduction strategies for future improvements.”
From the data we have been able to analyse, we are working on rolling out new support packages that are targeted based on what the businesses need and require.
How is the new approach being sustained?
Worcestershire County Council are extending the roll out of this scheme due to the positive engagement seen from businesses and the ability to support these businesses on their pathway to decarbonisation.
Many businesses are enthusiastic but struggle with implementation of certain recommendations - providing them with insights and support is deeply important. Some businesses have expressed a desire to learn from their peers about how other businesses have overcome certain challenges. In response we will be implementing peer learning sessions in the next iteration of the project.
Heather Dawes, Programme Manager – Sustainability, [email protected]