Media releases

Energy Institute embarks on ambitious net zero journey

28-05-2020
  • EI sets science-based targets for GHG emission reductions of 26.2% by 2025, 47.9% by 2030 and 67.9% by 2035
  • “The EI is resolved to end its own impact on the climate”, says EI President

The Energy Institute today confirmed its trajectory towards ending the impact of its central operations on the climate well before 2050.

The global professional membership body’s Council of Trustees and Senior Leadership Team have agreed initial science-based targets for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in line with the Paris Agreement.

The emissions covered by the targets include those relating to the EI’s London head office and business travel undertaken by staff. During 2019, the baseline year from which progress will be measured, a total of 358.1 tonnes of CO2 equivalent were emitted in the course of these activities, of which business travel accounted for 85%.

Adopting the most ambitious science-based methodologies applicable to these categories of emissions*, the EI has today committed to a reduction of 26.2% by 2025, moving to 47.9% by 2030 and 67.9% by 2035, an ambitious trajectory that will be achieved without offsets. It will set up the EI to reach net zero well before 2050.

EI President Steve Holliday FREng FEI said:

“The climate emergency demands changes in behaviour across the board – from governments, businesses and societies. The EI is resolved to end its own impact on the climate and is joining a growing number of organisations on an ambitious but managed journey to net zero. We do not yet have all of the answers, but I hope our members, partners and customers will be inspired to follow.

“The current pandemic has wreaked personal and economic tragedy. But it could yet lead to something positive too, if we’re smart with how we emerge from it. We must not squander this opportunity to rebuild our economies in a more sustainable way that averts future shocks to our way of life.”

Writing to members in the latest EI magazines, the EI’s Chief Executive Louise Kingham OBE FEI said:

“These science-based targets are a road map on the way to eliminating well before 2050 the impact of our own operations on the climate.

“This won’t be easy for any organisation but the experience of COVID-19 is transforming the net zero equation.

“Technology is enabling the EI to operate as reliably as ever, extending access to energy expertise, increasing our reach and relevance to many more than before. With all things digital and remote being the new normal, the technology has challenged us to go faster.

“I expect this new norm to be sustained. Will we meet again at large conferences and other events? I believe so, as we are social beings at our core, but I think it will take time and the reasons for doing so might have changed.

“Discontinuity has challenged us all. But it has also inspired us to innovate, to change our mindset, and to live life better. I think we must all build on those improvements going forward for the good it will create.”

The EI has joined more than 40 other environmental services organisations in setting its targets using the science-based methodology adopted by the Society for The Environment’s ‘Pledge to Net Zero’ initiative.

Setting the level of ambition is the first of many steps. The EI will now:

  • Develop plans for the delivery of the emission reductions required, initially through a combination of building optimisation and behaviour change.
  • Publicly report greenhouse gas emissions and progress against this target each year.
  • Conduct further work to understand the indirect impact of the EI’s activities, in particular scope 3 emissions relating to events. These will be considered for inclusion in reporting in future years, following engagement with the EI branch network.

Notes for editors

  1. On 11 June the EI’s President Steve Holliday FREng FEI will chair a free webinar, ‘Targeting net zero: Charting your organisation’s response to the climate emergency’, in which the expert team behind the EI’s new targets will demystify this process for organisations small and large. Registration is at https://www.energyinst.org/whats-on/search/events-and-training?meta_eventId=webinar
  2. *The EI has set these science-based targets on the basis of the most ambitious pathways to 2035 that are available within the framework. The target for head office emissions (scopes 1 and 2) follows the building sector specific ‘IEA ETP B2DS scenario’.  Through to 2035, this building sector pathway results in steeper cuts than the ‘Absolute Contraction Approach’ pathways for ‘1.5C’.  The target for business travel emissions (scope 3) references the ‘Absolute Contraction Approach’ 1.5C scenario.
  3. Louise Kingham’s full article in the EI’s Energy World and Petroleum Review magazines can be read at https://knowledge.energyinst.org/search/record?id=113842
  4. Further details of the Pledge to Net Zero initiative are at https://www.pledgetonetzero.org
  5. Further details of the EI’s policies and activities relating to the environment and climate change are at https://www.energyinst.org/about#environment
  6. The Energy Institute is a leading provider of training, recognition, tools and resources in energy and carbon management. Further information is at https://www.energyinst.org/exploring-energy/topic/efficiency
  7. For media enquiries, please contact Nick Turton on 020 7467 7103 or nturton@energyinst.org
  8. The EI will be holding the Energy Efficiency: The Road to Net Zero Conference on 23 September, exploring the approaches and strategies that leading energy practitioners are adopting to reach net zero. More information is available at: https://www.energyinst.org/whats-on/search/events-and-training?meta_eventId=62009C
  9. The Energy Institute (EI) is the chartered professional membership body bringing together expertise for urgent global challenges. 
    We gather and share essential knowledge about energy, provide the skills that are helping us all use it more wisely, and develop the good practice needed to keep it safe and secure.
    We articulate the voice of energy experts, taking the know-how of around 20,000 members and 200 companies from 120 countries to the heart of the public debate.