Ricardo’s net zero gap analysis tool

Ricardo’s net zero gap analysis tool

Helping you find the best route to net zero

Ricardo’s Net Zero Gap Analysis Tool enables you to understand your current emissions and to model mitigation measures to determine the best and most cost-effective routes to net zero.
Ricardo’s experts will work with your organisation using the tool to establish your current GHG emissions and determine a business as usual pathway should you take no action. This is your net zero gap.

Our experts will then work with you to model the impact of implementing mitigation measures on your GHG emissions to allow you to compare the cost of multiple different pathways, enabling you to make informed decisions on the most effective course of action to meet your targets and satisfy invested stakeholders.

Understanding your net zero challenge

The Net Zero Gap Analysis tool is flexible and can be quickly configured to calculate your baseline carbon footprint, aligning the model with existing base year datasets using the industry standard carbon emissions factors produced by Ricardo for BEIS. By accounting for changes over time in demand (e.g. due to growth) and underlying emission factors, the tool will project what would happen under ‘business-as-usual’ conditions. This establishes the size of the challenge to be met in terms of achieving net zero.

Modelling an effective approach to net zero

The Net Zero Gap Analysis tool is designed to enable the development of scenarios for reaching net zero by an entered target year (e.g. 2030 or 2045).  Individual measures and packages of measures can be modelled to assess the impact of alternative pathways to reach net zero.
The outputs not only include the GHG savings achieved from each mitigation measure, but also the investment costs associated with that measure.  The tool can model up to 800 measures at one time allowing you to develop a fully modelled and costed action plan to confidently achieve your net zero goals.

The following 3 decarbonisation pathway charts are cover 3 sets of mitigation measures from different sectors. One for an airport, one for a hospital, one for a Local Authority. The versatility of the Net Zero Gap Analysis Tool allows the model to be used for many different types of organisations, modelling different scenarios. The database of costs, energy and carbon savings across different companies and different mitigation measures provides greater certainty in the modelling.

(Click on the graph to expand)

The Net Zero Gap Analysis Tool allows the user to model different investment scenarios too allowing the user to determine the investment costs and the impact this has on fuel costs and operating costs to achieve net zero.

Low investment:

High investment:

Tackling the climate emergency at regional level

Many local authorities have declared climate emergencies and set ambitious targets for achieving net zero both across their entire area and for their own estates.  The question then is; how do they achieve this target? 
Our experts have worked with many cities and regions, using our tool, to answer this question. 
Starting with standard data sets such as the LA GHG data and additional local data we establish the current emissions for the area and how they are likely to evolve over time.  Working closely with the authority we have then developed potential mitigation pathways to achieve net zero and what this would look like in terms of actions required and level of investment.  This has then fed into the development of climate action plans to progress their journey to net zero.
Every city or region is different, and our tool enables a bespoke approach for each.  We have supported a wide range of authorities using the tool including Sheffield City Council, Bristol City Council, Suffolk County Council, Mid Sussex District Council and the Shetland Islands Council.

Achieving corporate net zero and developing Transition Plans

Working at the organisational level, the tool can be configured around individual buildings or groups of buildings to assess the emissions across the whole organisation from energy consumption, waste production, water use and effluent, and other carbon sources such as F-gases and business travel.  The tool can then be used to assesses the impact of individual investment projects and investment programmes allowing you to determine the most effective routes to net zero.
The tool can help schedule capital investments in energy efficiency measures, renewables, heat decarbonisation plans, alternative fuels such as hydrogen and almost any investments that are needed to reduce carbon emissions. This can contribute to the evidence needed to secure investment from the board, investors and 3rd parties including:

  • Projected emissions under different investment scenarios.

  • Residual emissions which may need offsetting.

  • Total capital cost, operating cost and financial savings.

  • Scheduling of measures and invests to provide an investment profile.

Using this approach, we have helped a range of organisations develop net zero investment plans including airports, the whisky sector, waste management organisations, NHS Trusts and the water industry.
To find out more about how our net zero gap analysis tool can help set you on an effective path to net zero, including options for licencing the tool, please get in touch using the form on this page.

Further information