Taking action to achieve net zero carbon


The actions we're taking to tackle climate change

Understanding the impact everyone can have through our own actions, over the past 18 months Efficiency North have made some important changes to how we operate to reduce our carbon footprint.

Agile Working

Following on from findings during lockdowns when the government advised everyone to work from home where possible, we have introduced long term more flexible working arrangements to reduce carbon emissions, commuting times and costs and offer a better work/life balance for the whole team.

Work is what we do, not where we are.

Agile working is a voluntary arrangement allowing employees who are office-based to work from home for part of the week or to work remotely from an alternative location, subject to the needs of the service.

It may also be a combination of both home and remote working, depending on the job role.

Carbon footrpint reduction

Working remotely has had a significant impact on our carbon footprint.

The 69% reduction in business travel and almost 100% reduction in daily commuting has achieved an estimated total reduction of 37.7 metric tonnes of CO2, based on an average commute of 10 miles per day for all staff.

Electric Vehicle Scheme

Another initiative we introduced with the aim of reducing our overall carbon footprint is the Electric Vehicle Salary Sacrifice scheme that unlocks clean, green and affordable driving for staff.

The Scheme through Octopus operates in the same way as the company pension scheme, reducing PAYE and National Insurance liability.   Octupus supply energy to our offices from renewable sources.

All costs associated with owning the electric vehicle, with the exception of electricity, are included in the lease fee.
Staff can choose a car similar to their existing car and save money against the lease rate they would pay as an individual or can invest the saving they enjoy through the scheme into a vehicle in a higher price range.

There are significant savings on fuel costs. A full charge on a mainstream vehicle is £6 - £10 and larger, longer range electric cars cost £12 - £18 for a full charge

Charging points were made available within Sovereign Court’s office parking areas so staff can charge at work at no cost.  These will also be installed at our new office location.

Digital document signing

By using the Docusign Cloud to enable e-Signatures and manage contracts and framework agreements digitally we have achieved the following environmental savings over the past 12 month period.

Reduce, re-use, recycle

We’ve minimised waste by not throwing away any furniture in our office move.  We’ve retained some of our Sovereign Court office furniture for our new office, some went to a furniture company and some has gone to Sovereign Court’s new tenant.

Green cleaning and office supplies

We're uusing more natural, environmentally friendly cleaning products, using recycled and biodegradable waste bags along with choosing recycled and more environmentally friendly office supplies.

Procurement for a greener future

We are taking action to help achieve net zero carbon not only by making significant reductions in our own carbon footprint but also working with EN:Procure's framework contractors and suppliers.

EN:Procure has consulted with members through EN:Connect sessions to develop the best fit offer to support their Retrofit and Renewal ambitions.   As the housing sector moves towards the 2030 EPC C target, and then progresses to the 2050 zero carbon objective, having a range of innovative advisors, suppliers and installers will become a necessity for our members.  EN:Procure’s range of frameworks and new Dynamic Purchasing Systems are designed to offer a dynamic route for members to support the achievement of targets for net zero carbon in the government’s Fairer, Faster, Greener National Infrastructure Strategy.  

Insulation: cavity walls, external walls, internal walls, hybrid walls, flat roofs, floors, lofts pitched roof and room-in-roof.

Draught proofing: plus energy efficient glazing and doors including replacement insulating glass units.
Heating: condensing boilers, natural, gas-fired, liquefied petroleum gas-fired and flue-gas heat recovery devices. Heating, hot water systems, air conditioning or ventilation controls and components, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery, warm-air heating systems, electric storage heaters (including electric warm air heating units that incorporate heat storage)

Lighting: fittings, lighting systems and lighting system controls

Renewable energies: Solar PV, Solar Thermal, Air Source Heat Pumps, Ground Source Heat Pumps,  Smart Heating Controls/Monitoring, Integrated Systems (Solar PV, battery storage and heat pump)  

Retrofit: Whole House Solutions, Strategy Advisor Services, Assessor/Retrofit Evaluator Services, Coordinator Services, Designer Services,
Thermographic Surveys.

More information here

Growing Low Carbon Skills and Knowledge

To stimulate new entrant green skills jobs, we are working with Generation UK & Ireland to give businesses the opportunity to secure new young highly employable and motivated talent with the relevant base low carbon skills and knowledge.  Low Carbon Skills & Knowledge will be crucial to future business growth in net zero investment activity in the long term. Candidates will be put through a fully funded 400-hour profession-specific bootcamp, which will be based in Leeds.

"It is only when we stand back, and look at the work we have done, we realise the significant impact we have made and the impact we can make in the future. I feel like there is a real and genuine will in our sector to make a difference and work towards net zero and we can be very much part of this. You can expect that our future plans a company will very much focus on the net zero objective. No only in tackling the retrofit challenge but also in providing new and innovative ways to reduce carbon whilst balancing the ever present requirements of efficiency and quality of service."  Lee Parkinson, Chief Executive, Efficiency North

 

The Author

Written by Liz Butcher

Liz leads the Efficiency North group’s marketing and communications and works with the Chief Executive to develop and manage corporate governance and culture.