CRC participants fail to take early action

9th November 2011

Related Topics

Related tags

  • Mitigation ,
  • Reporting ,
  • Management/saving



The first performance league table for the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency scheme reveals that almost 40% of organisations haven't taken basic measures to improve efficiency.

Published yesterday, the table ranks 2,100 CRC participants according to actions taken in the first 12 months to initiate emissions reductions. DECC, Ofgem, Manchester United and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital are among the 22 organisations sharing the top spot.

However, more than 800 organisations were ranked at the bottom of the table, with each failing to install devices to automatically collect electricity consumption data or have their emissions independently verified under the Carbon Trust Standard or an equivalent scheme.

David Symons, environment and energy director at WSP, said it was surprising to see so many participants at the bottom of the table.

“These are organisations with an energy bill of more than £500,000 last year and they haven’t put a single voluntary automatic meter on their estate nor received energy performance accreditation,” he commented.

“To all those business at the bottom of the table this is a reminder that these are very simple and low-cost actions that will have a disproportionate impact on energy bills and are definitely worth looking at very closely.”

While future league tables will be based on participant’s efforts to improve their energy efficiency, this first table relies only on early action metrics, meaning there are few ways to distinguish between companies. This has led to some questioning whether it will create the reputational driver for change envisioned.

Jonathan Garratt, group head of sustainability at infrastructure company Balfour Beatty (ranked 1199) said: “Certainly as it stands the performance league table doesn’t really differentiate enough between organisations – with so many companies in last place. Only time will tell whether the table will become a reputational driver or not.”

Vincent Neate, head of KPMG’s UK climate change and sustainability practice, said: “The table is a good indicator of those organisations that have taken steps to manage their carbon... Whether this stimulates the desired action remains to be seen, but we’ve certainly seen some participants already responding to the financial impacts of the scheme and we’d expect the reputational impact, at least in the board room, to also be a motivator for some participants.”

Others argue that the focus on the installation of meters as an action has created a bias in favour of companies operating from single sites.

“It’s easier for organisations with only one or two sites to perform better, because they’ve have fewer sites to install meters and achieve emissions standards,” confirmed Symons. “That’s why you are seeing organisations like Manchester United performing really well.”

The list does, however, also highlight some organisations that are doing well despite operating across multiple sites, acknowledges Symons.

“The organisations that have done really outstandingly well are companies like BT and the Co-operative Group [both ranked 44], which have lots of sites and are still featuring high up,” he said.

The manufacturing organisation EEF, however, rubbished the table saying its rankings did not reflect reality.

“Many organisations that have been part of a Climate Change Agreement [CCA] for the last 10 years, are shown to have taken little “early action” within the table… yet participation in a CCA, by definition, shows that companies have taken on board all cost-effective saving measures since 2001,” argued Gareth Stace, EEF’s head of climate and environment.

“As such, not only will its publication not bring about the behavioural changes that government is hoping for, many companies will be worried that this misrepresentative data will affect their reputation in unwarranted ways.”

Alongside the potential cost to reputations, early calculations from KMPG reveal that next year the government stands to gain £734 million from the CRC’s carbon levy – an average of £349,000 per participating organisation.


Subscribe to IEMA's newsletters to receive timely articles, expert opinions, event announcements, and much more, directly in your inbox.

Transform articles

SBTi clarifies that ‘no change has been made’ to its stance on offsetting

The Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) has issued a statement clarifying that no changes have been made to its stance on offsetting scope 3 emissions following a backlash.

16th April 2024

Read more

While there is no silver bullet for tackling climate change and social injustice, there is one controversial solution: the abolition of the super-rich. Chris Seekings explains more

4th April 2024

Read more

One of the world’s most influential management thinkers, Andrew Winston sees many reasons for hope as pessimism looms large in sustainability. Huw Morris reports

4th April 2024

Read more

Alex Veitch from the British Chambers of Commerce and IEMA’s Ben Goodwin discuss with Chris Seekings how to unlock the potential of UK businesses

4th April 2024

Read more

Regulatory gaps between the EU and UK are beginning to appear, warns Neil Howe in this edition’s environmental legislation round-up

4th April 2024

Read more

Five of the latest books on the environment and sustainability

3rd April 2024

Read more

Ben Goodwin reflects on policy, practice and advocacy over the past year

2nd April 2024

Read more

In 2020, IEMA and the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries (IFoA) jointly wrote and published A User Guide to Climate-Related Financial Disclosures. This has now been updated to include three key developments in the field.

2nd April 2024

Read more

Media enquires

Looking for an expert to speak at an event or comment on an item in the news?

Find an expert

IEMA Cookie Notice

Clicking the ‘Accept all’ button means you are accepting analytics and third-party cookies. Our website uses necessary cookies which are required in order to make our website work. In addition to these, we use analytics and third-party cookies to optimise site functionality and give you the best possible experience. To control which cookies are set, click ‘Settings’. To learn more about cookies, how we use them on our website and how to change your cookie settings please view our cookie policy.

Manage cookie settings

Our use of cookies

You can learn more detailed information in our cookie policy.

Some cookies are essential, but non-essential cookies help us to improve the experience on our site by providing insights into how the site is being used. To maintain privacy management, this relies on cookie identifiers. Resetting or deleting your browser cookies will reset these preferences.

Essential cookies

These are cookies that are required for the operation of our website. They include, for example, cookies that enable you to log into secure areas of our website.

Analytics cookies

These cookies allow us to recognise and count the number of visitors to our website and to see how visitors move around our website when they are using it. This helps us to improve the way our website works.

Advertising cookies

These cookies allow us to tailor advertising to you based on your interests. If you do not accept these cookies, you will still see adverts, but these will be more generic.

Save and close