Mike Chessum, Industrial & Commercial Energy Director, British Gas
There is a growing demand for renewable energy contracts coming from the business sector, as company leaders react to the political, economic, social and environmental factors driving the need to become more sustainable and low carbon.
The UK has made significant progress in moving towards cleaner economic growth and has so far been successful in meeting the carbon reduction targets set out by the UK Government. But from here things get much more difficult as we strive to reach our ultimate goal of an 80% reduction in emissions by 2050.
Businesses face real challenges today to reduce emissions by 20% by 2030, as laid out in the government’s Clean Growth Strategy. Recent changes to business carbon reporting frameworks also mean thousands more large companies will need to formally disclose their carbon emissions from April next year.
We are very committed to supporting business’ energy needs and recognise that offering robust and credible renewable energy products is now essential. So, this year we decided to take the lead amongst the larger suppliers to demonstrate the quality of our renewable products, by achieving certification from the Carbon Trust for our Business Renewable Electricity product.
The Carbon Trust is a leading authority around the world on sustainability and renewable energy. Our certification means businesses can trust that our renewable electricity has been independently certified and is 100% renewable. As the first large supplier, and the second supplier overall to receive this accolade, our certification is a fantastic achievement and we are incredibly excited and proud.
Businesses who will be required to report their energy use, carbon emissions and energy efficiency actions this coming year can be assured that by choosing our renewable electricity product they are using electricity that has been independently certified as coming from renewable sources. Crucially, businesses will be able to confidently report zero grams CO2 per kWh from purchased electricity using the market-based reporting method, in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol scope 2 Guidance.
Essentially, with the Renewable Electricity Tariffs for business, every kWh used is matched to a kWh of renewable electricity produced. The Carbon Trust certification allows us to guarantee that the electricity supplied is 100% backed by certificates of renewable energy guarantee of origin and that these certificates are valid and exclusive to each of our business customers. It is estimated that some 12,000 businesses in the UK will be required to report on their energy usage and carbon emissions starting this coming year, with many more reporting voluntarily. We provide all the documentation needed to show greenhouse gas emissions for all our large business customers.
Even if your business is not required to report, we offer our current SME customers a renewable electricity tariff at no extra charge at renewal. Now, with our certification from the Carbon Trust, businesses can be assured that they are purchasing renewable electricity and making a significant difference to our planet.
Change can happen quickly when we all do our part to make things better. Many consumers now make purchasing choices based partly on a company’s sustainability initiatives. Our certification enables our customers to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability to their customers, community, shareholders and employees.
We believe our certification raises the bar for renewable electricity products for businesses. We hope that other suppliers will seek to offer their customers products with similar quality assurances as the demand for reliably sourced, 100% renewable energy increases. We believe this will increase investment into renewable energy supply, research, and programmes in the UK. We are excited to be a leader in this industry.