Protecting and investing in the environment

Protecting and investing in the environment

"Ricardo Energy & Environment will be world class by embodying the environmental advice we deliver for our clients"

Tim Curtis, Managing Director, Ricardo Energy & Environment

Ricardo Energy & Environment is committed to delivering excellence in environmental performance across every aspect of our business. We recognise that our impacts on the local and global environment arise from our own operations and consultancy advice.

Our corporate commitment is to ensure that we:

  • Exemplify our environmental vision to ensure we deliver quality and sustainable consultancy
  • Endeavour to achieve a truly sustainable future by ensuring our actions and advice are based on technical expertise underpinned by economic evaluation
  • Exceed the expectations of our stakeholders by building strong relationships with our people, customers, suppliers and local communities
  • Integrate sustainability into our global working practices to create a better future for our people, customers and the planet

As a leading environmental consultancy, Ricardo Energy & Environment is committed to sustainability. We are proud to have these values recognised with the highest SKA rating possible. Other improvements we are proud to have delivered include:

  • Sponsor of the Carbon Disclosure Programme, encouraging organisations to set, communicate and achieve carbon reduction targets
  • 5% drop in carbon emissions from UK buildings equating to over 50 tonnes in carbon dioxide
  • 10% decrease in total carbon emissions in the UK, including travel
  • 18% reduction in paper use in the UK compared to last year
  • Reducing energy usage through the implementation of lighting controls and energy efficient LEDs, saving 60% more energy than traditional lighting
  • Sustainable material use - Environmentally sustainable materials used throughout the refurbishment, including A+ rated environmentally efficient flooring. All hardwood, joinery & timber was Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) rated and chain of custody certificates were sourced before installation

Delivering environmental benefits

Many of the projects which Ricardo Energy & Environment undertakes for clients deliver long-term and short-term tangible environmental benefits which far exceed our own corporate energy use. We have a wide range of examples of these. Some of those that we can discuss are set out on the following pages:

Business resource efficiency 

At the end of March 2015, Ricardo Energy & Environment completed twenty years of work providing support services to businesses across the UK to help them use resources (including water) more efficiently. As well as saving them money and improving their environmental performance for much of the time, the project operated under the highly successful Envirowise banner, funded by Defra, before finally becoming the Waste and Resources Action Programme's ('WRAP') Business Resource Efficiency programme. With a strong focus on assisting small- and medium-sized businesses by training them and providing them with knowledge, materials and tools, the impact assessments carried out have indicated that the programme helped businesses to reap financial benefits of up to £3bn cumulatively over its lifetime.

Resource Efficient Scotland

Ricardo Energy & Environment has been delivering the Resource Efficient Scotland advice and support service since 2013, providing energy, water and waste efficiency advice to Scottish businesses. In its second year, the service has engaged with over 45,000 Scottish businesses and delivered over 850 site audits across Scotland. This programme identified over £36m of savings but with its intensive one to-one support helped businesses implement an impressive £20.4m of savings for the individual businesses and also achieved a reduction of 55,000 tCO2. As a result of this success we have been awarded a year’s extension to the programme

Water Technology List

Since the inception of the Water Technology List ('WTL') more than a decade ago, Ricardo Energy & Environment has delivered and managed the scheme on behalf of Defra and HM Revenue & Customs. The WTL is part of the Enhanced Capital Allowance ('ECA') scheme for water and lists all the water efficient products and technologies that are eligible for the scheme. The WTL has grown significantly over time, supporting over 4,000 water-saving products across 14 product areas and with over 200 manufacturers and product suppliers with products listed. In addition, the water reuse category, which encourages investment in plant and machinery to enable water to be treated and reused on site, was added in 2005 to help further the business case for water reuse. Since then, over £39.5m of investment has been approved, saving UK businesses 6.2m3 of water per year, and resulting in £5.97m in related savings.

Air quality strategy

The World Health Organisation has costed air pollution at $1.6tn across Europe, the equivalent to one tenth of European GDP in 2013. Long-term exposure to outdoor air pollution poses major public health risks; in the UK alone air pollution is estimated to cause 29,000 deaths per year, with an annual economic cost estimated at£9-19bn. Global impacts are increasing, driven by urbanisation and population growth. Our EU expertise is now being rolled out internationally to cities such as Riyadh, where we are developing the air quality strategy for a city of over 8 million people.

Farming Advice Service

Ricardo Energy & Environment delivers the Farming Advice Service on behalf of Defra. To date our team has provided face to-face technical advice to over 20,000 farmers (almost 20% of the UK total) and has produced guidance documents for many more, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts and to improve compliance in the agriculture sector.

Climate Leadership 

Ricardo Energy &Environment is working with the Climate Leadership Group (C40 Cities), a network of the global megacities committed to addressing climate change. We are supporting 12 of the world’s largest cities in the run-up to the Paris Conference of the Parties in December 2015, on the development of their greenhouse gas emission inventories. Described on pages 56 to 59, the work will help to ensure the cities meet the requirements of the new ‘Compact of Mayors’ initiative – a pledge to address climate change through reducing city greenhouse gas emissions, tracking progress and preparing cities for the impacts of climate change. We are supporting the Country Level Impacts of Climate Change ('CLICC') project for the Department of Energy & Climate Change ('DECC'), which culminated in a workshop attended by 16 countries. Work on climate finance readiness for countries including Vietnam, Bangladesh and Tanzania is also being supported.

Measuring and verification

We supported Information Matters in their MRV (measuring, reporting and verifying greenhouse gas emissions) project, supporting Ghana, the Philippines, Dominican Republic and Chile to develop their capacity and skills in this subject.