Businesses have described as “valuable”, “fascinating” and insightful an event hosted last week by The Planet Mark.

beyond paris: the climate deal and what it means for me

“Beyond Paris: The Climate Deal and what it means for me” addressed the impact of the Paris Climate Deal on business and society. Those attending praised it for the “real insight” it brought to complex issues such as climate change and the carbon footprint of products and services, as well bringing home the importance of businesses to take continued action on their carbon footprint through best practice and through their supply chain.

“It was really valuable to have a better understanding of the issues and how they impact on our business,” said Jonathan Coily, group finance director Planet Mark-certified manufacturer, Acorn Engineering Group: “It was fascinating to hear about the carbon in our procurement.”

Key highlights of the evening was a presentation on the Paris Climate Deal by Jane Burston, head of climate and Environment at the National Physical Laboratory and an advisor to The Planet Mark, and a first hand account of how DP World’s megaport London Gateway is reacting to the pressures to cut carbon emissions, presented by its environment manager, Marcus Pearson.

“We can’t pretend the hard work is done”

Positives to take from the Paris summit, according to Jane Burston were the “historic” deal itself and the “shift in language” by the business community post-COP21, but she also warned there was absolutely no room for complacency, highlighting the reality that by end of century there is still a 40 per cent chance of temperature increase in excess of 3°.

“We can’t pretend the hard work is done,” she warned.

Marcus explained that carbon efficiency has become a commercial opportunity for London Gateway, adding what is “really key” for the port going forward, post-COP21, is to work with its supply chain to reduce carbon emissions.

There were further insights from the panel discussion that followed presentations. Carbon footprinting expert Craig Jones of Circular Ecology, shared, among other points, that 70% of the carbon footprint of the iPhone is in the manufacturing of the device, while energy expert Professor Martin Fry, and Lord Redesdale, CEO of The Energy Managers Association, both highlighted the importance of energy efficiency as the phasing out of coal-fired power stations in the UK increase the risk of energy blackouts.

“Real insight”

Commenting on the evening, David March, Group Environmental manager, at developer Keepmoat, said: “As a long-term collaborator with Planet First and holder of The Planet Mark for a number of years, Keepmoat were proud to attend this event. The panel provided real insight into the Paris climate deal, its positive outcomes and implications for business and society more broadly. As always this event provided valuable insights and an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded people across industry.”

Steve Malkin, founder of The Planet Mark and CEO of Planet First, added: “Whether it’s the carbon story from Paris, or the importance of energy efficiency, or the footprint of the stuff we buy, the truth is there’s more that organisations can and have to do. The feedback we received from the event is businesses need more information to make more informed decisions about measuring and reporting their own emissions and that of their supply chain.”

The Planet Mark Act On 7 campaign is providing free tools and guidance to help businesses, whatever their size, reduce their carbon footprint. For more information and to download materials, click on the link below.

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