Business cuts carbon on the scale of two cities

UK businesses have cut over 10 million tonnes of C02 emissions since 2001 because of work with the Carbon Trust, according to the government-funded organisation.

The 10.8 million figure in emissions cuts is equivalent to the combined annual emissions of Birmingham and the City of Edinburgh, says the Carbon Trust.

Now, in its seventh year of operation, the Carbon Trust is a private organisation funded by government set up to tackle “the threat of climate change and accelerate the transition to a low carbon economy.”

Over the last year – between April 2006 and March 2007 – the Carbon Trust estimates British businesses and public sector organisations have saved between 1.2 and 2 million tonnes of CO2 through working on different schemes which allow them to operate in a more ‘green’ manner.

Companies including Walker’s Crisps and Innocent Drinks have taken part in Carbon Trust pilots tracking their companies’ carbon footprints and implementing the introduction of carbon reduction labels on their products.

“We’re looking at our carbon footprint every step of the way – from the field to the shelf,” said Ailana Kamelmacher, spokesperson for Innocent Drinks.

Innocent Drinks sells smoothies and fruit juices in supermarkets and restaurants across the UK as well as Europe.

“[The work with Carbon Trust] is to get a sense of where we are in the supply chain so we know where can work most at reducing carbon emissions…Use more green energy, cut down on waste…and then [in turn] work with the consumer so we can put it all into context.”

Big brand name companies including junk food maker Walkers are also jumping on the eco bandwagon. On the company’s website, they tell customers how to calculate a personal carbon footprint based on one of their packet of cheese and onion crisps.

In the 2006/7 annual report, the Carbon Trust highlights their work, including details of an NHS carbon management pilot with 10 NHS Trusts, which they says has identified savings of more than 60,000 tonnes of CO2 with associated cost savings of £8 million. The pilot will be rolled out to another 16 NHS Trusts in the next year.

To view the 2006/7 Carbon Trust Annual Report, download at the trust’s website.

Dana Gornitzki

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