We are in a Climate and Environmental Emergency that is increasing in severity with each passing day. In order to pursue the 1.5-degree Celsius global warming target and commitments in the Paris Climate Agreement, global carbon emissions must reach net zero by 2050 and with reductions needed at pace (this decade). Recognising this urgent need for action, the UK Government has committed to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to Net Zero by 2050. Action is required at all levels for us to meet this target, from Government through to the individual. On this dedicated page, you will find insights and guidance on Net Zero, resources to support you and case studies of IEMA member's work to inspire you.


Transitioning our own operations

IEMA is committed to addressing the climate and environmental emergency, we have therefore committed to two pledges:

  1. Pledge to Net Zero
  2. Climate Neutral Now


We have set a Science Based carbon reduction Target for 2030 to significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in line with the higher ambition scenario for limiting global average temperature increases to 1.5C. As a separate contribution, we have also purchased carbon offsets in line with the UNFCCC scheme Climate Neutral Now. Find out more about our approaches and targets here.

Along with partners, IEMA also helped establish the Pledge to Net Zero initiative as a sector collaboration for Net-Zero transitions. The scheme has three requirements:

  1. To set a target to reduce greenhouse gases in accordance with SBTi guidance – at least following a well below 2C trajectory but ideally following a 1.5C route.
  2. To publicly report greenhouse gas emission performance.
  3. To produce at least one piece of thought leadership each year on accelerating climate action.

At the time of writing, the scheme has 57 organisations signed up, covering around 60% of the environmental consulting industry in the UK. For more information and guidance on the Pledge to Net Zero, click here.

Resources

Pathways to Net Zero

This new IEMA Net-Zero briefing paper, updates IEMA’s widely used GHG Management Hierarchy, with additional guidance considerations and planning diagrams. The Hierarchy focus on optimum carbon reductions remains, but it is recognised that the climate emergency now requires an escalation of action across all fronts. Approaches, information sources and principles for practice are outlined, all informed by direct practice review following workshops with IEMA members and a survey of IEMA Climate Change professionals in November 2019. The paper also references a number of current net-zero developments such as, developing standards by ISO and WRI and the recently published ‘Oxford offsetting principles’. The new briefing and Hierarchy updates are available now - supporting net-zero transition planning.

Download it here.

You can also read IEMA Policy Lead, Nick Blyth’s blog – The Challenge of Net Zero – Pathways and Principles.

IEMA Member Case Studies:

IEMA has been in touch with members to find out about the work being done since the Paris Agreement targets were set. This will continue to be updated as we compile all the innovative and inspiring work being carried out by members within the sector.

  • IEMA member Adrian Clamp, Director of J. Coffey Construction discusses issues of leading contracting companies committing to Net Zero commitments not being possible without Tier 1 sub-contractor support in order to meet the challenge of the Government’s Net Zero 2050 objective. Read the full blog here.
  • IEMA member Colin Grenville, Director at Erebus Environment Ltd discusses how Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has already made substantial in-roads to improve their environmental performance, delivering emissions reductions of 59% by 2019-20, since their original 2008-09 baseline. Read the full blog here.
  • James Dixon CEnv FIEMA discusses how Newcastle Hospitals became the first healthcare organisation in the world to declare a climate emergency. Read his blog here.
  • IEMA member Russell Burton MIEMA CEnv, Director of Hillside Environmental Services discusses how Hillside reduced emissions in 2020 and how you can do the same in 2021. Read his blog here.
  • IEMA Training and Development Manager Ed Brown interviews Brian Beck, Environment Manager at Network Rail (approved IEMA Trainer and IEMA Practitioner Member) on how he has been able to use IEMA training to upskill his workforce for the transition to net zero. Watch the interview here.

Get in touch

‘What works’ in addressing net-zero? IEMA is looking to support members by sharing information and learning points – why not write to us at [email protected] if you have an example that you think could help or interest colleagues? We also want feedback on the tools that professionals use as well as the challenges encountered and the solutions.

If you haven’t already joined, you can subscribe to IEMA’s Climate Change and Energy Network. This allows you to make your own contributions and receive newsletters and updates on key developments. Click here for more information.