Scottish airport and university slash emissions

A greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction scheme has seen Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh Napier University become the first organisations to pass the standard.

Developed and administered by Edinburgh-based consultancy Carbon Masters it claims to go further than any of the UK’s other seven carbon emissions reduction and certification schemes, and has been approved by the Environment Agency and has been endorsed by Scottish first minister Alex Salmond.

As a result, the Carbon Masters Standard (CMS) requires businesses and public bodies in Scotland to cut absolute emissions using its three tier target system, which requests organisations reduce a range of carbon emission outputs, such as business travel and waste.

This is to meet an overall target of cutting absolute emissions by 3% every year, compared to 2.5% set by other schemes.

The CMS has three levels of compliance, the highest of which is the Carbon Masters Gold Standard. Companies which achieve the first two levels, whose requirements are in line with existing schemes, have the option of progressing to the third tier, demonstrating higher levels of commitment to affecting climate change.

The CMS is aimed principally at the 2100 UK companies and organisations that, from April, are required to pay a carbon tax under the Government’s Carbon Reduction Commitment Energy Efficiency Scheme (CRCEES).

Carbon Masters chief executive Kevin Houston, said: “Increased government regulation, heightened investor scrutiny of carbon-related risk as well as volatile energy prices are leading many organisations to want to assess their carbon impact and begin taking steps to reduce it.”

Edinburgh University is set to publish its updated Carbon Management Plan later this year, which will highlight its commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 35% by 2015, against a 2006 baseline.

Edinburgh Napier University secretary Gerry Webber, said: “Gaining the Carbon Masters Standard is an important step in the development of our carbon and wider environmental management initiatives at Edinburgh Napier.”
Meanwhile, Edinburgh Airport managing director Jim O’Sullivan said that meeting the CMS target forms part of its long-term commitment aim of reducing its environmental impact.

Despite increasing passenger numbers to 9.4m from 8.6m in 2011, the airport reported a 3% reduction in emissions, compared to the previous two years.

Carys Matthews

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