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Edinburgh organisations first to achieve tough CO2 cuts

Edinburgh Airport and Edinburgh Napier University have become the first organisations to pass the Carbon Masters Standard, an emissions reduction scheme which sets the UK’s most challenging targets for cutting greenhouse gas output

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Carbon Masters chief executive Kevin Houston
Carbon Masters chief executive Kevin Houston
PRLog (Press Release) - May 17, 2012 - The scheme, developed by Carbon Masters, an Edinburgh-based consultancy and administered in Scotland, goes further than any of the seven carbon emissions reduction and certification schemes run by organisations south of the border, all of which are based on levels set by the Carbon Trust.

Edinburgh Airport, which has reached level two of the three tier Standard and Edinburgh Napier University, which has achieved the first level, were presented with their certificates by Stewart Stevenson, the Scottish minister for the environment and climate change, at a ceremony in the Capital last night (Thurs, May 17).

The Carbon Masters Standard (CMS) is approved by the Environment Agency and has been endorsed by Alex Salmond, the first minister, who said it would help Scotland reach its 2020 carbon reduction targets which are more ambitious than those set for the rest of the UK.

Other schemes require firms and public bodies to cut absolute emissions by any amount and up to 2.5% relative to output by monitoring and reducing their usage of gas and electricity, on-site fuel and fuel from company-owned transport.

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 Carbon Masters Gold Standard requires participants to monitor and reduce a range of additional sources of carbon output, including business travel & waste with a target of cutting their absolute emissions by 3% every year.

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 (CRC).

Kevin Houston, the consultancy’s chief executive, said:  “We are delighted to recognise Edinburgh Napier University and Edinburgh Airport’s efforts in achieving the Carbon Masters Standard  and  demonstrating  their commitment to running their organisations in a sustainable manner.

“In developing the Standard, particular emphasis has been placed on the latest climate change science, and the legislative requirements relating to carbon emission reduction targets contained in the UK and Scottish Climate change Bills,” he said.

“In this way, organisations achieving the Standard will be recognized for doing the right thing in tackling climate change.”

Houston added: “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 .The Carbon Masters Standard is designed to assist companies to do this.”

Jim O'Sullivan, managing director of Edinburgh Airport, said: "As part of our commitment to reducing our impact on the environment, we are working hard to cut our direct airport carbon emissions through improvements to building energy consumption, fuel use and waste management. Despite an increase in passenger numbers from 8.6 million to around 9.4 million in 2011, we achieved an absolute 3% reduction of direct carbon emissions compared to the previous two years.

"I'm proud of the team here at the airport who've made it their own personal responsibility to deliver on the commitments we've made around reducing our impact on the environment. Being awarded the Carbon Masters Standard is great recognition of this effort and focus. We are the first airport in Scotland to achieve such an award."

Gerry Webber, secretary of Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Gaining the Carbon Masters Standard is an important step in the development of our carbon and wider environmental management initiatives at Edinburgh Napier.  

“We will publish our updated Carbon Management Plan later this year, which along with the development of an Environmental Management System at the University will highlight our commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 35% by 2015 from a 2006/07 baseline.”

Ends

Notes to Editors:

Organisations signing up for CMS can claim early action credits that will help them to improve their position  in a CRC performance league table  published  annually by the UK’s environment agency

Those which consume at least 6000MWh of energy per year will be obliged to pay a levy of £12 per tonne of carbon they produce. Revenue from the sale of CRC allowances, totalling £1billion-a-year by 2014/15, will be used to support the public finances, including spending on the environment.  

Carbon Masters has calculated that the biggest companies could pay more than £20m-a-year for the environmental levy. With increased prices and usage factored in, public bodies that fail to take action could see their energy costs nearly double over four years.

The Scottish Government has set Scotland a target of reducing carbon emissions by 42% by 2020, compared with 34% in England and Wales, welcomed the Standard when it was launched last year.

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