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Writing an effective CRP: top 10 considerations

Updated: Mar 27

In the wake of the UK's 2050 Net Zero target, businesses are being urged to develop a Carbon Reduction Plan (CRP) in line with technical standards PPN 06/21.


If your company is a supplier to public sectors e.g. health, construction, education etc. you will likely be required in the contract tender to provide your plans to reduce emissions in the form of CRP.


This article provides key considerations on drafting a compliant and effective CRP and answers commonly asked questions about the process.




 

Top 10 considerations:


1. Know your requirements


A compliant CRP is a document that outlines your organisation's commitment to achieving Net Zero emissions by or before 2050. This document should include baseline and current emissions data, which fall within Scope 1, 2, and 3 (more information about these scopes can be found here).


The document has to be made public and should also include the measures you're taking to reduce your emissions and annually report reduction progress against these measures.


2. Carbon Neutrality Differs to a Net Zero Commitment


While Carbon Neutrality is achieved mainly by carbon offsetting, Carbon Net Zero, on the other hand, involves the continuous implementation of sustainable solutions to proactively reduce your carbon footprint.


This must be demonstrated in your Carbon Reduction Plan, though offsets can still be used for unavoidable emissions.


3. Observe the 'Mitigation Hierarchy'


Offsetting emissions has its place but only once reduction efforts have been implemented. It is not the right place to start your reduction journey but can be used to compensate for your unavoidable emissions along the way. The focus for effective carbon reduction planning, should be on providing your services using lower-carbon, sustainable and renewably powered methods. (see SBTi's definition of the Mitigation Hierarchy)


4. It's not just about carbon


The technical standards ask companies to report against all 7 greenhouse gases named in the Kyoto Protocol:


  1. Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

  2. Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)

  3. Methane (CH4)

  4. Nitrous Oxide (N2O)

  5. Nitrous Trifluoride (NF3)

  6. Perfluorocarbons (PCFs)

  7. Sulphur Hexafluoride (SF6)


5. Report beyond the bare-minimum


Scope 3 has 15 categories, 5 of which are mandatory to disclose under the technical standards. These are:


  1. Upstream transportation & distribution

  2. Waste generated in operations

  3. Business travel

  4. Employee commuting (homeworking emissions optional)

  5. Downstream transportation & distribution


Bidding entities are asked to provide this at a minimum. Should companies wish to stand out with their CRP, they should consider reporting on a broader range of scope 3 categories that are material to their business e.g. emissions from Purchased Goods & Services.


6. Consider your organisational boundaries


The CRP can be used for the parent company only when the subsidiary is fully owned by the parent company, which must be clearly stated. The CRP must be displayed on the bidding entity's website. However, bidding entities must take steps to ensure they have their own CRP as soon as reasonably practicable.


7. When to re-baseline your CRP


If your organisation undergoes changes such as name, business structure, methodology change, these must be reflected within the CRP. If required, the baseline emissions should be recalculated for future accuracy.


8. Seek appropriate sign-off


The sign-off can be electronic like an email and should include a named “board level” person with their position in the statement. Demonstrating that the signatory is a board member or someone with equivalent seniority level is crucial, as the ambitions presented in the CRP often involve the behavioural and operational change of the whole company.


9. Consider getting ahead


Even if your company is a small business and isn't within the £5m threshold, it is encouraged to submit a Carbon Reduction Plan to show how the Net Zero target will be achieved and maintained. Moving forward, a vast majority of frameworks will have CRP requirements as a part of the selection criteria so it can be beneficial to start thinking about this early.


10. When to renew your CRP


Your CRP must have been published or updated at least 12 months before your bid is submitted for a NHS contract. The 2015 Public Contract Regulations dictate that the selection criteria must apply throughout the duration of the agreement. CRPs should be renewed annually, taking into consideration changes in emissions and implementation of new sustainable solutions.


 

Get started on your CRP with Furthr


Furthr has a team of carbon accounting experts that can help you build your CRP. By subjecting your carbon footprint and reduction plan to an independent third-party, you can gain a competitive edge and enhance trust in your reporting. This proactive approach not only differentiates you from competitors but also strengthens the credibility of your sustainability efforts.


Creating a compliant CRP might seem daunting, but with the right information and steps, it becomes a more straightforward task. It is an essential document that not only demonstrates your commitment to environmental sustainability but also helps your organisation map out a clear path towards achieving its Net Zero emissions target.


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