Lessons learned on the path to net zero

Customer stories

5. Sep 2022

Maria Rincon

Social Media Manager

Evan Farbstein Headshot

Evan Farbstein

Sustainability Writer

Three businesses share carbon management advice and explain how Normative helped them along the way.

Maria Rincon

Social Media Manager

Evan Farbstein Headshot

Evan Farbstein

Sustainability Writer

For modern businesses, carbon management has become more than an environmental imperative.

It’s a source of competitive advantage for those who get it right – and a risk for those who neglect it, or who stumble along the way.

Below, three diverse companies share experiences, learnings, and advice from the path to net zero.

MTC refined its emissions calculations

With the UK pledging to be net zero by 2050 and the Paris Agreement becoming part of the UK law, Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) felt an urgent need to measure its scope 1 and 2 emissions. 

The UK-based research and technology group began by calculating its emissions using the company’s utility bills and government conversion factors. 

MTC suspected it was not reaching accurate results, so the firm reached out to Normative to help it obtain reliable carbon emissions data. 

With Normative’s help, MTC collected the needed data and succeeded in making its emissions measurements more accurate. The table below shows MTC’s original emissions calculations, compared to the new emissions measurements MTC performed using Normative:

MTC’s calculations and assumptionsNormative’s measurementsChange
Scope 1540 tCO2e657 tCO2e+22%
Scope 2978 tCO2e1,455 tCO2e+49%
Scope 31,722 tCO2e8,780 tCO2e+410%
Emissions sources measuredGas
Electricity
Water
Waste
Employee commuting
Business travel
Procurement




Gas
Electricity
Water
Waste
Employee commuting
Business travel
Materials
Transport of goods
Transactions
Fugitive emissions

When comparing the two tables, at first glance the change may seem like a bad thing, as if MTC had suddenly produced more carbon emissions. But of course, those emissions had been there all along – and by measuring them, MTC equipped itself to manage them.

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One of MTC’s biggest climate journey takeaways is to start collecting data, even if it begins with assumptions. Then, reach out for help.

Businesses should reach out for help

“We would recommend other businesses to reach out to  Normative because of how accurate they are, and get that help to improve accuracy and to be able to report better. It’s only as we get better data that we can then make the correct changes,” says Jayne Higham, Graduate Research Engineer at MTC.

MTC is striving to be carbon neutral by January 2023 and reach net zero by 2030. To do that, it’s now working hard on measuring and reducing its scope 3 emissions.

MTC’s advice? Put the effort into getting accurate data on your scope three from your procurement and from Normative. “Scope three is massive and it is difficult. It really is challenging, and we couldn’t do that at all without Normative,” says Jayne.

Reform set approved climate targets

As a modern kitchen design company that depends directly on natural resources, Reform said it was a “no-brainer” decision to start on its climate journey. However, getting started was not as easy.

Before coming to Normative, Reform struggled to come up with climate targets. 

After using Normative to calculate its scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions, Reform was able to set climate targets and get them SBTi approved.

Normative’s data has been extremely valuable in Reform’s corporate sustainability strategy. The company’s climate targets include reducing its scope 1 and 2 emissions by 42% by 2030, and aligning with its supply chain partners to reduce scope 3 emissions by 30% by 2030.

“I think we can all agree this requires first and foremost reliable data. So that is where Normative comes in. We are really happy to work with Normative because they are extremely data-driven,” says Justice Nukator, Reform’s Sustainability Coordinator.

Like many businesses, more than 90% of Reform’s emissions come from its supply chain. There are many challenges that come with measuring scope 3 emissions, and the company has been able to make progress by using Normative’s hybrid calculation methodology to get activity data from some of its suppliers. Now, they are investing in green logistical solutions for transportation to tackle their scope 3 emissions.

Customers prefer sustainable businesses

While the company only started its climate journey a year ago, the benefits have not gone unnoticed. Having an accountable and transparent climate strategy has helped Reform secure investment, deliver value to stakeholders and customers, increase efficiency, improve its brand value and reputation, stay ahead of carbon legislation, and provide a platform for innovation.

“Sustainability is at the forefront of many business practices and it brings a lot of opportunities. We are also seeing an increase in customer investment with a focus on sustainability. We cannot deny there are many challenges on this journey, but I think it goes without saying that the benefits absolutely outperform any doubts and hassles associated with the difficulties,” concludes Justice.

Learn more about Reform’s climate work

Assemblin identified carbon reduction opportunities

For this leading Nordic installation company, starting on its climate journey was no small feat. Pressure from legislative requirements and a complex value chain posed challenges for this large enterprise. 

When Åsvor Brynnel, Assemblin’s Head of Communications and Sustainability, joined the company in 2017, a new Swedish law on mandatory sustainability reporting for enterprises had just been enacted. Just like many other Swedish enterprises, Assemblin was bound by legislation to report its carbon emissions.  

As a highly-decentralized company, Assemblin quickly understood that it needed a concrete system to collect general sustainability data and specific climate data. 

The challenge for Assemblin centered on scope 3. Gathering data from complex value chains was resource-intensive and prone to errors in accuracy. This led Assemblin to reach out to Normative in 2018.

Using Normative, Assemblin was able to take the emissions measurements needed to create a concrete climate agenda and launch initiatives to reach its climate targets. Assemblin’s end goal? To be climate neutral by 2040. 

Since 2020, the company has integrated its climate agenda into the way it works with business planning, focusing mostly on scopes 1 and 2. One of Assemblin’s main focuses revolves around its fleet of approximately 3,500 vehicles. The company also tracks scope 3 emissions using Normative’s cost-based methodology.

Effective action begins with accurate measurement

“It’s important to streamline data from the beginning. Quality and accurate data are important because what you put in, you get out,” says Åsvor.

One of Assemblin’s lessons learned is that effective climate action begins with accurate measurement and concrete actions. “I think it’s important to understand that when it comes to climate, it’s a transition that is abstract and long term. In order to address it and to work on it, you have to be concrete,” says Åsvor.

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