SECR, Net Zero and Scope 3 emissions: your hot topics in 2020

2020 will undoubtedly be defined by the cavernous impact of COVID-19. But the other global crisis, climate change, also brought new challenges for business as compliance and stakeholder pressure ramped up: the imperative to act has never been stronger.

The Energy Advice Hub responded, with news and advice for businesses looking to meet and go beyond their carbon reduction requirements. As we enter 2021, we’ve rounded up the most popular topics covered by the Hub last year.

Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting

Unsurprisingly, Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting was a key topic for Hub readers in 2020 as many grappled with mandatory reporting for the first time. The most common questions were around setting the right intensity ratio, and how to report on emissions from homeworking, which now accounts for a significant proportion of carbon for many firms.

If you need answers to your questions on SECR, download our pocket guide to SECR or check out our SECR FAQs.

Net zero

With the UK’s target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 enshrined in law, the vast majority of corporates are paying serious attention to their own climate impact. So it’s no surprise that our net zero emissions content was among the most popular reads this year.

If 2020 was the year of net zero pledges, 2021 will need to be the year of action. In its latest Carbon Budget, the Climate Change Committee recently outlined the key steps we’ll need to take to get there.

2021 will see the UK host the crucial COP26 climate summit, and the launch of the government’s comprehensive Net Zero Strategy – which will clearly set out the UK’s pathway to achieving net zero by 2050. We’re also expecting the launch of a Transport Decarbonisation Plan, Heat and Buildings Strategy, and Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, so watch this space.

Scope 3 emissions

UK businesses are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of Scope 3, or “value chain” greenhouse gas emissions – and this was by far one of our most asked about subjects in 2020.

The best estimates place Scope 3 emissions somewhere between 80% and 97% of total emissions for a large business. So for those companies serious about setting a valid net zero emissions target, taking responsibility for scope 3 emissions will be a key part.

Our latest articles covered your frequently asked questions on scope 3 emissions, as well as the business benefits of including scope 3 in your reporting.

For more help, take a look at our all of our articles on Scope 3 emissions.

And finally…..

One of our most popular articles in 2020 was our guide to the new public sector decarbonisation scheme, a £1bn grant scheme to help fund capital decarbonisation projects in public sector buildings. Time to apply has very nearly run out, but the government recently indicated in its Ten Point Plan that a future round of funding is on the way. If you manage public sector estates, it’s worth reading up on the scheme to get ahead for future rounds of funding.