Global multi-disciplinary engineering consultancy, Cundall, was certified carbon neutral in September – the first consultancy in the world to achieve this Carbon Trust certification.
All direct emissions resulting from the business, indirect emissions from the purchase of electricity, and all business travel are included in the calculation of the practice’s carbon footprint across all its offices in the United Kingdom, Europe, MENA, Asia and Australia.
In order to meet the requirements of the internationally accepted PAS 2060 Standard for carbon neutrality, Cundall undertook a detailed carbon footprint analysis of its entire business operations and set science-based targets to achieve absolute reduction against all three scopes approved by the Science Based Targets Initiative.
The business started by improving the operational efficiency of its offices by reducing demand for energy and business travel within the business. It then improved the efficiency of lighting, controls, and metering across all its offices, as well as opting for low-carbon transport alternatives. The business then purchased renewable electricity for its tenancies and negotiated with its landlords to do the same. As a final step – and last resort – Cundall purchased accredited and credible carbon offsets with environmental and social benefits to offset any remaining emissions.
Achieving carbon neutrality across the entire business is the first step in Cundall’s ambition of becoming a carbon positive business by 2025. This target was originally established in 2012, when Cundall became the world’s first consultancy to be formally endorsed as a One Planet Company by sustainability charity, BioRegional. Since then, the business has become a founding signatory of the World Green Building Council’s (WGBC) Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment, and further confirmed its commitment to climate positive action by working with its clients to deliver net zero carbon buildings.
Cundall Australia has led this charge by achieving net zero carbon certification for its Australian offices under the Climate Active program in 2019. Now, Cundall Global has been certified against the internationally recognised PAS 2060 standard across its worldwide operations by the Carbon Trust. Cundall Global intends to continue reducing its emissions and lowering the need for offsets in the coming years, as well as delivering net zero carbon buildings and infrastructure.
Tomás Neeson, Managing Partner at Cundall, said: “This is an important milestone for our business, but it is not the end of the journey. We are dedicated to being a world leader in sustainability, and achieving carbon neutrality across our entire business is just the first step of many that we will take to ensure that we lead by example and help the built environment meet its net zero carbon responsibilities. This includes working with clients and our industry peers to set the standard for achieving net zero carbon in every aspect of our work – from design and material selection, to construction, operation, and end of building life.
“The purchase of offsets is a short-term solution, and we are dedicated to becoming a carbon positive business by 2025 by continuing to address our whole carbon footprint and reducing our emissions until the need to offset is eliminated. For now, we have ensured that we are investing in the most credible and ethical offsets available.
“Earlier this year, we named 2020 ‘The Year of Net Zero’, and we had high hopes for what the industry could achieve over this 12-month period. While Covid-19 has certainly altered the course of the conversation, we believe we can still achieve what we set out to do, starting with this investment in our own net zero future.”
Hugh Jones, Managing Director Business Services at the Carbon Trust, said:
“We are pleased to have certified Cundall as carbon neutral and are happy to see it has achieved its 2020 carbon neutrality goal as part of its commitment to sustainability. We hope other consultancies are inspired to follow suit.”
Delivering net zero carbon: translating targets into actions
Cundall’s commitment to Climate Positive Action is underpinned by science based targets and is set out in the business’s Sustainability Roadmap, which was published 2018.
More information about Cundall’s commitment to carbon neutrality can be found in the Qualifying Explanatory Statement.