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Mon November 30 2020

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Offsetting gets Cundall to carbon neutrality

8 Oct Consulting engineer Cundall has been certified carbon neutral and says it is the world’s first consultancy to achieve this Carbon Trust certification.

Cundall’s carbon neutrality was achieved after paying £16,549.40 to offsetting organisations to buy carbon credits.

To meet the requirements of the PAS 2060 standard1 for carbon neutrality, Cundall analysed  its carbon footprint and set targets to achieve absolute reduction against all three scopes approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative2.

The has improved the energy efficiency of its offices (lighting, controls and metering) and cut down on business travel, as well as opting for lower-carbon transport alternatives. The business then bought renewable electricity for its tenancies and negotiated with its landlords to do the same.

Most of the offsetting was for business travel. Cundall says that the offsetting was a last resort and plans to be able to reduce this to zero by 2025 through further energy consumption reductions and green power purchase agreements to become genuinely carbon neutral, or even carbon positive, rather than merely certified carbon neutral.

Cundall’s carbon offset project portfolio 2018-19

Scope Boundary Project Unit (tCO2e) Unit price (GBP) Total Provider Verification
Scope 1 & 2 Tenant gas, company cars, fugitive emissions Ghani Solar Park 214 £2.50 £535.00 Pangolin VCS
Scope 1 & 2 Tenant gas, company cars, fugitive emissions Kalasin Wastewater Treatment 218 £5.27 £1,150.50 South Pole VCS
Scope 3 Business travel Mount Sandy Conservation 1565 £9.50 £14,863.90 South Pole EcoAustralia Credit (Australian Biodiversity Unit Stapled to GS)

Cundall managing partner Tomás Neeson said: “This is an important milestone for our business, but it is not the end of the journey. We are dedicated to being a world leader in sustainability, and achieving carbon neutrality across our entire business is just the first step of many that we will take to ensure that we lead by example and help the built environment meet its net zero carbon responsibilities. This includes working with clients and our industry peers to set the standard for achieving net zero carbon in every aspect of our work – from design and material selection, to construction, operation, and end of building life.

“The purchase of offsets is a short-term solution, and we are dedicated to becoming a carbon positive business by 2025 by continuing to address our whole carbon footprint and reducing our emissions until the need to offset is eliminated. For now, we have ensured that we are investing in the most credible and ethical offsets available.

“Earlier this year, we named 2020 ‘The Year of Net Zero’, and we had high hopes for what the industry could achieve over this 12-month period. While Covid-19 has certainly altered the course of the conversation, we believe we can still achieve what we set out to do, starting with this investment in our own net zero future.”

Carbon Trust managing director Hugh Jones said: “We are pleased to have certified Cundall as carbon neutral and are happy to see it has achieved its 2020 carbon neutrality goal as part of its commitment to sustainability. We hope other consultancies are inspired to follow suit.”

1. https://www.bsigroup.com/en-GB/PAS-2060-Carbon-Neutrality

2. https://sciencebasedtargets.org

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