We have been providing sustainability consulting services to the Carbon Trust for over 7 years.We helped the Carbon Trust re-launch their very successful Design Advice Service, set up a low carbon investment fund for SMEs, and investigated opportunities to maximise carbon savings in the government’s PPP/Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) programmes.
In 2003 we interviewed 40 key stakeholders in a process that included procurement authorities, private sector consortia, funders and technical advisors on PFI projects. We concluded that there was great potential to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions in PFI projects. The recommendations included:
- Sectors need more up to date, accurate benchmarks.
- Behavioural change campaigns were required within procuring government authorities.
- A clearer mechanism for adjusting benchmarks over the life of the PFI.
- Adapting project agreements and the payment mechanism so that they better incorporate carbon emission reductions as binding performance criteria.
- Attention to environmental credentials at the bidder selection stage.
- Better management of the risk apportionment regarding energy performance.
- Using energy services companies to get best value in renewable generation.
A structured interview process was used to capture the data. The challenge was in assimilating all the data from the interviews and turning these into workable recommendations that we felt the market would adopt. The recommendations of the study were built into the Partnership for Schools documentation.