Delivering Net Zero
The Government’s target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is already driving change across all economic sectors. Measuring your carbon footprint is only the start of the journey. Organisations need to look across the scope of their emissions and set targets for reduction. But it isn’t just about setting targets. With concerns about 'greenwashing', organisations need to be able to demonstrate their trajectory of change.
Carbon footprint and reporting
We work closely with clients on the requirements for statutory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions, energy use and environmental matters. That includes advice on the application of the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting Regulation (SECR), defining the boundaries of an organisation, and ensuring the relevant data is properly collected and reported.
Measuring carbon emissions across Scope 1, 2 and 3 (GHG Protocol) and setting targets for emission reduction requires engagement with technical specialists and the wider value chain. Legal input into your procurement process can help build-in suitable reporting obligations and aligned targets into leases and supply chain contracts – ensuring access to accurate data and aligned goals to deliver reduced emissions.
Switching to Renewable Energy
Switching to renewable energy can play a significant role in achieving emission reduction targets, and is often the first step for any organisation. But simply switching to a 'green tariff' is not enough, and organisations increasingly need clarity on the energy source, associated Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin certificates (REGOs) and whether they demonstrate 'additionality'. For organisations interested in sourcing renewable energy directly from the market, we advise on direct power purchase agreements (PPAs), sleeved arrangements and on-site renewable generation. That includes specialist advice on existing supply arrangements, utility connections and application of the electricity licence exemptions.
Decarbonisation and retrofit
Getting to Net Zero requires strategic investment in buildings, processes and transport. Decarbonisation projects cover a wide range of potential measures – from energy efficiency retrofit to on-site renewables, electric vehicle chargepoints and low-carbon heat networks. We understand the importance of properly joined up thinking when implementing projects and helping clients meet their decarbonisation targets.
We advise on a range of financed decarbonisation projects, such as PPA-backed rooftop solar, financed energy performance contracts and long-term district heating concessions. Not only do these projects help achieve carbon reduction targets, but they can also help mitigate the impact of energy price rises.
As part of the Net Zero journey, any residual emissions that cannot be removed need to be offset using recognised domestic or international standards. Many organisations remain focused on emissions reduction, but offsetting provides opportunities to align with wider corporate goals (eg achieving carbon offsetting alongside local environmental or social benefits).
Impact of regulatory change
As we transition to a low-carbon economy, tracking Government policy is essential to minimise the risk of stranded assets and spread the cost of investment. We help clients navigate the changing regulatory landscape and mitigate potential risks.
Delivering Net Zero targets
We bring together lawyers from across the business to provide seamless advice on the delivery of decarbonisation works and services. We advise local authorities, developers, landlords and funders on energy and infrastructure projects - covering everything from energy efficiency upgrades and utility connections through to structuring arrangements for on-site generation, private wire, EV charging infrastructure and district heating concessions.
What is involved
We help clients establish their carbon footprint and translate their net zero goals across their wider value chain – building in reporting requirements and aligned objectives into supply chain contracts and frameworks.
Our specialist energy and sustainability lawyers work closely with clients and their technical advisers to deliver decarbonisation projects. That includes early advice on risk management and regulatory issues, advice on packaging and procurement, and drafting and negotiating contracts.
What it will help you to achieve
It is all about delivery. Early advice from experienced lawyers will help you develop your targets, and move from strategy to delivery. In an era of rapid change, we can help you navigate the requirements.