By: Mike Thornton, Chief Executive, Energy Saving Trust
We’re facing a global climate emergency and there is no time to waste. The IPCC’s latest report once again set out the urgent need for a global transition to a low carbon economy if catastrophic climate damage is to be avoided. In order to help tackle this global challenge it is vital that the UK maintains progress towards achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
Improving the energy efficiency of our homes is an important part of reducing national carbon emissions. The UK has some of the least energy efficient homes in Europe, and measures such as improving insulation, draught proofing, tackling condensation and switching to renewable heating systems can have a huge impact on the amount of energy used to stay warm.
As well as helping the transition to net zero, these measures can also make a sizeable difference to household energy bills. This is even more important when energy prices are so high and particularly vital for those in fuel poverty, who could not afford to heat their homes even before the price rises.
With this in mind, we are very proud to be part of the Warmworks partnership, delivering the Scottish Government’s Warmer Homes Scotland scheme, which offers funding and support to households struggling to stay warm and keep on top of energy bills. Through the programme, the energy saving improvements installed in homes facing fuel poverty help to manage bills whilst also directly reducing their carbon emissions.
But, although the UK’s transition to net zero must be largely led by governments through the development of new laws, policies and delivery programmes, the responsibility for protecting our environment also involves us all. As individuals, businesses and communities, we must be prepared to make the changes necessary to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions generated by our everyday activities.
As such, it is only right that Warmworks has taken the initiative to lead by example and increase the energy efficiency of its own operations and decrease its carbon footprint. It is not enough that the works it does in people’s homes reduces carbon emissions. Like every other business across the UK, it must make efforts to reduce the carbon impact of how it does its work, reducing carbon emissions from its offices, from its vehicles and from all aspects of its operations.
So, it’s very good to note that Warmworks has once again been certified as a carbon neutral business to the standard set by the Carbon Trust: this shows it is stepping up to the challenge and is a demonstration of its long-term commitment to tackling the climate emergency. This certification has been achieved through an ongoing process of data collection and analysis to calculate the overall carbon footprint of activities and understand and implement the changes needed to bring that footprint down.
The changes undertaken to reach carbon neutrality include purchasing only renewable energy to power the office, installing low energy lighting, and increasing the effectiveness of waste management. A review of vehicles was also conducted to evaluate the sustainability of the fleet, and identify and implement ways to reduce emissions. Since the team first started working towards carbon neutrality in 2019, Warmworks has seen a reduction in its carbon footprint by 35% – a great testament to hard work in this area. However, there is of course plenty more to do and Warmworks will continue to work on – and invest in – reducing carbon emissions from its operations.
It’s clear that Warmworks has an important role to play in achieving a just transition to Net Zero, both through the work it does for its customers and by the example it sets in reducing its own emissions. Warmworks is thriving and growing and is a real driver for change and everybody who works for the organisation can be proud of that.
Thanks to Mike Thornton for this article