Ricardo plc has made a public commitment to its shareholders, customers and workforce to achieve net zero carbon emissions from its operations by the end of calendar year 2030.
Ricardo has been working actively towards this goal of achieving Net Zero carbon emissions for some time and has been helping its broad client base in realizing their own climate change mitigation targets.
The company’s strategy employs a number of levers to achieve Net Zero. These include: maximizing use of renewable energy; making more energy- and space-efficient use of its commercial property portfolio as more flexible office working is implemented; maximizing the company’s ‘digital-first’ strategy and hence avoiding unnecessary business travel, and using the most energy-efficient means of where such journeys are essential, and; using verified offsetting schemes to offset residual emissions.
As part of Ricardo’s commitment to openness and visibility, which was set out in January 2020, the company’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the financial reporting year 2019/2020 have been independently verified by Lloyds Register. Moreover, for the first time, the company has included ‘scope 3’ emissions from air travel as part of its inventory.
To strengthen its Net Zero commitment, Ricardo plans to implement Science-Based Targets during the financial year 2020/2021. Science-Based Targets are goals providing a clear and verifiable route to GHG emissions reduction; a target is considered ‘science-based’ if it is in line with what the latest climate science says is necessary to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement—to limit global warming to well-below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and pursue efforts to limit warming to 1.5 °C.
Ricardo reports that the percentage of renewable electricity used by the business has increased over the last three years from 67% in FY 2017/2018 to 74% in FY 2019/2020; the company plans further actions to improve this position in FY 2020/2021.
The enhanced operational reporting, required to track the company’s progress to Net Zero, will be built on the best practice Ricardo’s environmental consultants have developed for their client work. In this work they help both governments and the private sector in achieving their goals to reduce GHG emissions and use scarce resources more effectively and efficiently.