COP23: The Planet Mark™ holders play their part and cut carbon by 10% per employee

As the COP23 Climate Conference gets underway in Bonn this week (Nov 6th-17th), The Planet Mark™ sustainability certification reports that its holders cut their carbon footprint per employee by an average 10% in 2016, helping the programme keep a pledge it made at COP21 two years ago.

Figures released on Monday (Nov 6) by Planet First, the creator and custodian of The Planet Mark™, show that holders of The Planet Mark™ for Business that have been in the certification programme for more than one year on average reduced carbon emissions from their operations by 10% per employee for year-end 2016*.

Holders of The Planet Mark™ come from across a wide range of sectors and size and include large corporates, such as foodservice giant Bidfood, developer Prologis and port owner DP World London Gateway.

The results mean Planet First has met a pledge it made at COP21 two years ago, when the historic Paris Agreement was signed. The pledge put The Planet Mark™ for Business programme at a “below 2 degrees path" by committing to “help Planet Mark-certified organisations reduce their carbon footprint per employee by at least 10% per year.” 

Today's data also reveals that organisations that have been part of The Planet Mark™ for Business programme for more than two years and qualified on per employee carbon reduction intensity** cut their carbon footprint by an average 16% in 2016 compared to the previous year. Meanwhile, the businesses that reduced their total carbon footprint cut the their emissions by 11%.

The Planet Mark™ was created to empower organisations and their people to make year-on-year progress on sustainability. It is a certification programme that requires businesses to make a commitment to reduce their carbon emissions on an annual basis, using a robust measuring and reporting framework underpinned by the internationally-recognised Greenhouse Gas Protocol standards. A minimum 2.5% carbon reduction per employee or other relevant intensity is required to retain The Planet Mark™, but most businesses set annual targets of 5%. Planet First’s latest analysis shows that holders of The Planet Mark™ on average outstripped their 5% annual targets by another full 5% in 2016.  

Other findings from the 2016 data show that:

  • more than half (60%) cut their carbon footprint per employee
  • half (50%) cut their total carbon footprint
  • all cut their average annual electricity cost per employeeby 14%
  • all on averaged saved £33 on electricity cost per employee***.

“It's fantastic to see that in the first full reporting year since making our Paris Agreement pledge we’ve already helped holders of The Planet Mark™ on average double their carbon targets and cut their carbon footprint per employee by 10%,” said Steve Malkin, CEO of Planet First and founder of The Planet Mark™. “Our 2016 findings also show just how much of an impact organisations that measure and report their carbon footprint and commit to year-on-year reductions can and are having. As COP23 gets underway, we urge all businesses to take action and play their part.”

This month’s COP23 brings together representatives of governments and heads of state from around the world, to discuss strategies to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change in line with the implementation of the Paris Agreement.

The Agreement, which was adopted by nations at COP21 in 2015 and came into force less than 12 months later, aims to keep a global temperature rise this century “well below” 2 degrees Celsius and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 Celsius.

At COP21, Planet First joined more than 60 UK companies in the buildings and construction sector to pledge action on a “below 2°C path”. The collective commitment led by the UK Green Building Council, included Land Securities, JLL and Hanson. 

Buildings account for about a third of CO2 emissions globally and the buildings and construction sector make up a large number of holders of The Planet Mark™.

The Planet Mark™ was founded in 2013 with the iconic Eden Project in Cornwall, UK, and is awarded to businesses, properties, new developments and projects that are committed to reducing their carbon emissions. Up until 2016, holders of The Planet Mark™ were achieving an average annual 5% carbon reduction per employee.

Since it launched, The Planet Mark™ has certified over 100 organisations.


* Holders of The Planet Mark™ are required to make an annual carbon reduction of at least 2.5% on their total carbon footprint or on a per employee (or other qualifying) intensity after their second year of being in the programme

** Average figures taken from across 42 holders of The Planet Mark™ that have reported their year-end 2016 data

***using a unit rate of 11p/kWh.

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