CASE STUDY: Shaw Trust

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Shaw Trust’s Exemplar Carbon Baseline and Reduction Planning Exercise

Shaw Trust is a not-for-profit social enterprise with charitable status. c3000 colleagues either work from home or across our estate of 90 buildings, to further our mission: to advance social mobility and equity by making good work accessible to all.

Shaw Trust has undertaken a sector leading carbon baseline and reduction planning exercise, in collaboration with its consultants Delta Simons. Ambitious from the outset, the scope of the exercise was not limited to the requirements of PPN 06/21, instead including all fifteen categories of supply chain emissions (Scope 3) as well as Scope 1 (space heating and transport) and 2 emissions (electricity) of the Green House Gas Protocol.

The approach was driven by the principle that, to fully mitigate the impacts of climate change, total emissions must be calculated, understood and reduced. The approach also recognised the practicalities of emissions data availability, and so where data wasn’t available, or could not be practically estimated, it was excluded from scope for future inclusion. Information availability from many suppliers however was excellent, with emissions from a diverse range of supplies included such as pens, printer paper, accurate travel and transport information, laptop and IT products including use of the Cloud. A successful colleague survey was undertaken to measure emissions from commuting and home working emissions have been estimated.

Another important principle was applied to Scope 2 emissions from electricity. Although Shaw Trust procures ‘green’ electricity for all its operations, emissions from electricity were retained within the scope, for two reasons. The first reason was that, although ‘green’ electricity (in some cases) might be sourced from renewable energy generators, the authenticity of carbon saving claims can be difficult to verify. The second reason is that by keeping electricity in scope, there’s greater potential for making savings in both carbon and cost, during the planning phase of the exercise.

The baseline calculation confirmed that Scope 3 (indirect) emissions are greater than Scope 1 and 2 combined. Further considerable increases are likely as the remaining categories of the GHG Protocol are included in the future, which include emissions from banking, investments and pensions. The benefit of the wide scope approach is that it maximises the potential for savings and provides detailed insights into how and where emissions can be reduced, most practically and at least cost.

Shaw Trust’s Carbon Reduction Plan, as well as addressing the more conventional elements relating to property and business travel, focuses necessarily on Scope 3 (supply chain) emissions; it also avoids placing an undue emphasis on the use of ‘green’ electricity. The plan delivers a 50% reduction in actual emissions by 2030, with Gold Standard verified offsetting used to deliver net zero emissions by 2030.

Having developed the detail of delivery arrangements, Shaw Trust will use it’s 40th birthday celebrations next year to launch the Carbon Reduction Plan and bring together colleagues to further innovate ways of creating a net positive impact on our environment.