The potential environmental impact of global greenhouse gas emissions for all of us is well documented. The Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) developed the first global science-based standard for emissions reductions, with the goal, aligned with the Paris Agreement, of 50% reduction by 2030 and net zero by 2050.
It is important to understand how carbon emissions are characterised and dealt with, not least to avoid double counting. Typically, we use the terms Scope 1, Scope 2, and Scope 3 emissions in line with the Green House Gas Protocol. These are explained below:
Scope 1: includes direct emissions that occur from sources owned or controlled by the company, for example, heating and general energy consumption for our processes (excluding electricity), transport of finished product, steel erection plant, business travel etc.
Scope 2: accounts for emissions from the generation of purchased electricity consumed by the company.
Scope 3: contains all other indirect emissions. Scope 3 emissions are indirectly associated with the activities of the company but occur from sources not owned or controlled by the company. The largest contributor to this scope is the emissions associated with the production and delivery to us of the rolled steel sections that we use.
Scope 1 and 2 – Our Actions
We have made changes already. For instance we have replaced lighting throughout the business with low energy LED lights – this alone has resulted in a 2% reduction on previous emissions. Since May 2023, all of our electricity is sourced from 100% green energy with a REGO accredited 0% emissions factor. This will give us a 36% saving on our yearly emissions, fully realised in 2024.
We have embarked on a programme of switching our company car fleet to fully electric and plugin hybrid vehicles. With our first fully electric vehicle purchased in 2020, the proportion has since risen to around 30% of our current fleet – a trend that we will continue over coming years until we are 100%electric. When complete we estimate this will reduce our carbon emissions by approximately 15% from current levels annually.
Further planned reductions include the introduction of Biodiesel (HVO)across our factories and site-based activities, which we expect will give us a further 30-35% (appx) reduction in emissions and set us well on our way to meeting our 2030 reduction target and beyond.
Scope 3 – Our Actions
By far the largest contributory element to this scope comes from emissions associated with the production and delivery to us of the rolled steel sections and plate. Billington Structures Ltd are now part of a significant global initiative for clean steel and are proud to be a member of #SteelZero. We are committed to embedding the principles of sustainability into all aspects of our business. This is so that our work meets the needs of society today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Whilst we have an established plan in place to meet our SBTi aligned targets, we are aware that all of the reductions we are making will not happen immediately. Studies by the UN IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change)have highlighted the importance of businesses making a difference in the next 5 years before changes to the climate are irreversible, and so by Carbon Offsetting we are able to make an immediate impact now – when and where it is most important, by sponsoring carbon reduction in developing nations through United Nations certified reduction schemes.
Our promise is to offset all of our annual carbon emissions, and remain carbon neutral, as we continue on our journey to Net Zero.
Billington Structures has been certified as officially carbon neutral for its operations by Carbon Neutral Britain.