Professional body has promised to eliminate its head office and staff business travel emissions by mid-century without relying on carbon offsetting.
The Energy Institute, the membership organisation for the energy sector, has committed to achieving net zero emissions “well before” mid-century.
The group announced on Friday that it intends to reach a string of science-based emissions targets over the next two decades without resort to carbon offsetting.
The EI’s decarbonisation roadmap involves reducing its head office and business travel emissions by 26.2 per cent by 2025 against a baseline year of 2019, before achieving reductions of 47.9 per cent and 67.9 per cent by 2030 and 2035, respectively.
“The EI is resolved to end its own impact on the climate and is joining a growing number of organisations on an ambitious but managed journey to net zero,” EI president Steve Holliday said. “We do not yet have all of the answers, but I hope our members, partners and customers will be inspired to follow.”
Holliday noted that the energy industry also had a key role to play in building a more resilient economy in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. “The current pandemic has wreaked personal and economic tragedy,” he said. “But it could yet lead to something positive too, if we’re smart with how we emerge from it. We must not squander this opportunity to rebuild our economies in a more sustainable way that averts future shocks to our way of life.”
The EI confirmed it will produce annual emissions and progress reports in support of the new target, as well as plans outlining how it expected to reach its new emission reduction goals. It added that its work would initially revolve around “building optimisation and behaviour change” initiatives.
The body also committed to investigate its indirect emissions, in particular in relation to its events, with a view to potentially include these in future reports.
EI chief executive Louise Kingham told members in an article in the group’s Energy World and Petroleum Review magazines that the transition to digital and remote working prompted by the pandemic may fundamentally change the industry group’s approach to events.
“With all things digital and remote being the new normal, the technology has challenged us to go faster. I expect this new norm to be sustained,” she wrote. “Will we meet again at large conferences and other events? I believe so, as we are social beings at our core, but I think it will take time and the reasons for doing so might have changed.”
She added: “Discontinuity has challenged us all. But it has also inspired us to innovate, to change our mindset, and to live life better. I think we must all build on those improvements going forward for the good it will create.”
The EI represents roughly 20,000 members and 200 companies in “almost all areas of the energy system,” according to its website, covering sectors ranging from conventional oil and gas to hydrogen, battery storage, and carbon capture and storage.