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What can we learn from mission zero

Sustainability Snapshot #24

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Lumenstream is committed to helping the world say yes to a sustainable future. That’s why, biweekly, we like to share the positive steps other businesses and countries are taking to have less of a footprint on the planet.

We think that’s news worth spreading.

Luckily, a lot of people are fighting the good fight so there’s never a lack of stories to cover.

This week we’re delving into ‘Mission Zero: Independent Review of Net Zero‘ by Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, OBE. We’ll cover what the review is, who it’s for and why it matters to you with the 11 things we learned from reading it.

What is the ‘Mission Zero’ Review?

The Mission Zero review was commissioned in September 2022 to reflect on how the UK will be able to reach Net Zero by 2050 given the changes in the global landscape- surging energy security crisis and rising costs. It seeks to reach these commitments in a way that is ‘both more affordable, more efficient, and in a pro-business and pro-enterprise way’.

Climate commitments and net zero targets remain just words on a page without a
clear, consistent, and stable transition plan.

Taken from the forward from Rt Hon Chris Skidmore MP, OBE

The Review is set out in two parts.

Part One details 7 conclusions drawn from its Call for Evidence and roundtables, ultimately comparing the opportunity in our journey to net zero as comparable to the Industrial Revolution.

Part Two provides 129 recommendations under 6 pillars.

Overall, Mission Zero sets out short, medium and long term plans to execute, well, Mission Zero.

Who Should Know What it Says and Why Should we Care?

The Review is applicable to everyone in the UK. It has taken a ‘whole society’ approach as it will take everyone to materialise the recommendations.

We wanted to pick out the points that matter for big energy users in business. You need to know if you will receive the support you need to reach your sustainability targets. You want to be able to seize Net Zero as the opportunity that it is. With that in mind, if you were in any doubt has to how the UK might be affected by climate change, the review reveals how exactly it will be impacted: rising temperature and sea-levels, and increased rainfall.

In Part Two, manufacturing is one of the industries put under the spotlight for recommendations to be made. This is not surprising considering that industrial emissions produce a staggering 17% of the UK’s total greenhouse gas emissions. The sector is expected, as stated in the Industrial Decarbonisation Strategy, to reduce these carbon emissions by 67% by 2035 then by 90% by 2050.

Manufacturers see energy efficiency and the installation of new or upgraded equipment as the
main pathways to effectively reduce emissions within their businesses.

-Mission Zero

If you’re amongst the highest 6% of electricity consumers in non-domestic buildings then unfortunately you are responsible for 80% of all of the electricity use in non-domestic buildings. Committing to decarbonisation is therefore vital for these high-energy users.


11 Things that we Learned from Mission Zero

So, what can we learn from Mission Zero that you might need to know?

  1. Renewable energy costs are dropping sharply with offshore, onshore and solar all falling below that of fossil fuels. Solar dropped the most- 89% since 2010. Hoorah!
  2. All non-domestic buildings will need to be rated at a minimum of EPC B by 2030 whether rented or owned. The Review suggests that this be put into legislation by 2025. If you’re building a new site, keep it in mind because the date is even closer at 2025.
  3. The UK will have a stable environment for businesses for planning and investment. I guess we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out.
  4. Too much waste in your business? Creating a circular economy in your sector is the only answer. But it’s easier said than done. The review proposes a task force to help businesses overcome the difficulties. Think reusing, repairing, repurposing.
  5. Many businesses reported in the roundtables that obtaining the carbon emissions of your supply chain was nigh impossible. How can we set targets if we don’t know where we’re starting from? By commissioning the ONS and/or UKRI to find out data requirements, businesses will be able to more accurately measure their carbon footprint and set their targets accordingly.
  6. The clarification of a green industrial policy. This could drive investment and create jobs in the UK and make clear where the import/export opportunities are specifically for the UK. There could be major opportunities here depending on your business.
  7. Look out for International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) standards. You may want to voluntarily take these on board this or next year to keep ahead before it is required and you’re playing catch up. They aren’t published yet, so watch this space.
  8. Could you be the ‘best in class’? The review proposes a Net Zero Charter Mark in order to celebrate those that are truly committed to and are achieving their net zero goals. You will need to be able to show hard metrics, of course.
  9. The road to decarbonisation could be a little bumpier for energy intensive industries (cement and steel producers). Having many sites that are remote or dispersed and not likely to be connected to pipelines, the wait could be longer for being able to use hydrogen or Carbon Capture Storage.
  10. Investment, more resources and ‘Help to Grow Green’ to aid the transition for your business to decarbonise. Pillar 3 acknowledges the need for more help in the private sector for reaching net zero. This can come in the form of tax incentives, loans, grants, and information to enable businesses to hit targets and contribute to the UK’s goals.
  11. Because of energy price increases and uncertainty of supply, you may have looked into generating your own on site with solar PV. And if you have, you may have had some difficulty in local planning permission or capacity in connecting to the grid. On top of that, it’s even harder if you are renting your facility. There’s also not having the upfront cash and passing credit checks being more difficult after covid (many took loans to survive). The Review recognises all of these points and recommends that they be addressed within the next two years to accelerate the adoption of on-site generation quickly.


The Takeaway

Mission Review sets out a robust plan that has clearly been devised by listening to people who know the obstacles with reaching Net Zero first hand. It is ambitious. It is optimistic. It is achievable… as long as we act decisively and quickly. Only time will tell if we can do that.


Start your journey to Net Zero with energy efficiency. Many businesses have inefficient lighting which is expensive to upgrade. It’s time to cut costs and energy use with Lumenstream. We upgrade your lights at no upfront cost.

Invest your money into your core business and leave your lighting to us. Contact us here to speak to a project developer.


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