How measurement can help you hit your net zero goals faster

How measurement can help you hit your net zero goals faster


Rob McCann

Rob McCann

Head of Environment, Climate and Nature

Virgin Media O2


4 minutes

29th September 2023

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The government has set an ambitious economy-wide target of reducing carbon emissions by 68% by 2030 and net zero by 2050.


But many UK organisations are still a long way off where they need to be on the journey to net zero.


We surveyed over 1,200 public and private sector workers ranging from decision makers to junior staff to find out where they currently are when it comes to their ESG goals.


78% of professionals from our research findings said they’ve been unable to increase prioritisation of ESG commitments this year, mainly due to financial and capacity constraints.


And while 89% of senior professionals asserted the importance of carbon transparency in their decision-making process, 51% still have gaps in understanding or lack reliable and clear information about the carbon footprint of the technologies they use.

“Understanding the carbon impact of the products and services we use is a vital first step to reduce emissions across our business. While we understand our own emissions, supplier emissions can often be difficult to track.”


Lindsay Harling, Head of Commissioning and Procurement at Fedcap


Technology and connectivity play a central role in how we operate, and are widely recognised as being crucial to the net zero transition. But do you know the impact of technology and connectivity on your net zero plans? Are you able to access clear, reliable data about your carbon footprint?


In this article, I’ll explore what you need to know to make tracking your own data a little bit easier.

Making compliance easier for large enterprises and the public sector

The Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) is the new EU legislation requiring all large organisations to publish regular reports on their environmental and social activities.


The goal is to help them develop more responsible approaches to operating. One of the ways the CSRD does this is by defining a common reporting framework for non-financial data for the first time, making sure we’re all working from the same blueprint.


Compliance will soon be mandatory – private sector companies will need to submit their report by 1 January 2025 for the 2024 financial year.


But 60% of UK businesses with over 250 employees may not be prepared for reporting on Scope 3 emissions by the deadline, research suggests. 56% of our survey respondents admitted their understanding of existing UK ESG regulations could be better.


Meanwhile, as the public sector is setting the goals for decarbonisation, these organisations are also having to lead from the front.


The NHS has committed to reach net zero by 2040 and over 300 councils have declared climate emergencies in the UK.


Measurement will be absolutely vital to making progress. This means harnessing data on everything from energy consumption to utility bills, travel and fuel receipts.


The good news is these fall under Scope 1 and 2 emissions and most organisations should already have this data to hand. 91% of the senior professionals we spoke to expressed confidence in their organisation’s ability to effectively track and measure progress towards ESG commitments.


The next phase in the evolution of carbon measurement is Scope 3 emissions. And the clock is ticking ahead of the 2025 deadline.

Keeping track of your entire supply chain

“Utility data and supply chain data is where we’ve struggled the most. Suppliers need to be able to tell us what the associated emissions are with providing that service or product to us, and that’s something that is a bit lacking at the moment. We like to work with local, smaller suppliers but they don’t always have that data.”


Lindsay Harling, Head of Commissioning and Procurement at Fedcap


Over 70% of an organisation’s carbon footprint come from Scope 3 emissions.


These are indirect emissions caused by your organisation and include your supply chain. They’re also the trickiest to keep track of. 69% of our respondents told us they aren’t receiving enough information to track the carbon footprint of products from suppliers or can't rely on the accuracy of what is available.


Yet expectations on supplier partners are high. 89% of respondents expect transparency from their suppliers regarding their own carbon impact, and with good reason.


Whether you’re in the private or public sector, you likely work with multiple suppliers, all of which will be creating some sort of environmental impact through the products and services you use.


Rather than you going to all of your partners to request this information, your partners should be able to bring this information to you.


It’s why we offer customers a carbon calculator on some of our most popular digital solutions to help you more easily understand your carbon footprint. This model has been verified by the Carbon Trust as conforming to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Product Lifecycle Standard.*


Building a carbon net zero future is a shared responsibility – a race we all have to complete together. By sharing data and best practice, the entire UK stands to benefit.

Need a technology partner you can trust on your net zero journey?

Find out more about the carbon calculator on our sustainability page.

*Model outputs do not constitute a verified product/organisation footprint.