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Mott MacDonald ISO 14064 and PAS 2080 case study

Measuring and reducing carbon footprint through science-based targets and certification

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Over eight years ago Mott MacDonald started its verification journey and has been at the forefront of delivering innovative and sustainable solutions across various sectors. With a commitment to environmental responsibility, Mott MacDonald sought to enhance its sustainability initiatives and address the challenges posed by measuring and reducing its carbon footprint. Here we speak to Group Carbon Reduction: Senior Advisor at Mott MacDonald, Bethan Hutchinson about the role of verification in helping to identify emission sources, set ambitious reduction targets, and engage stakeholders in the sustainability journey.

Our science-based targets are made up of 4 different elements including:

  • Reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions to 46.2% by 2030
  • Reduce scope 3 emissions from fuel & energy related activities, waste, business travel and employee commutes by 28% by 2030
  • 70% of suppliers to have sciencebased targets by 2027
  • Reduce absolute scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 90% by 2040

ISO 14064 and PAS 2080 have been at the heart of our carbon reduction plan for two key reasons. We want to be confident that we are accurately monitoring progress against the science-based targets set and certification shows our clients and colleagues that we taking this commitment seriously.

Verification journey

Mott MacDonald, in its pursuit of sustainability excellence, faced several challenges. The foremost issue was accurately measuring and comprehensively understanding its carbon footprint across diverse operations. As a large organization with a global presence, aligning with international standards and achieving transparency in reporting emissions emerged as a complex undertaking. The need to identify emission sources, set ambitious reduction targets, and engage stakeholders in the sustainability journey became paramount.

“We started our ISO 14064, journey in 2015, which helped us gain confidence in the method we were using to calculate our carbon footprint. It also enabled us to test this process by using just our UK business as a pilot in the initial stages. Over the years we continued our journey with ISO 14064, expanding the scope and using the knowledge and lessons from previous years.

As a company, we’ve been involved with PAS 2080 certification since 2017 as co-authors of the original version of the standard, which was published in 2016. We’re really proud as an organization to have been involved with the authorship of the standard, which addresses some fundamental challenges that the industry is facing around carbon reduction.

Lessons learned

Having been through the verification process for several years Mott MacDonald, can share key lessons learned during certification to ISO 14064 and PAS 2080.

“One of the things that help us identify any gaps that need addressing is to produce an evidence pack/ presentation and clear messaging statements, summarizing our progress against each of the different clauses within the standards and specifications before the audit. It also helps us to recognize all the achievements we’ve made in that year as well as reducing errors.

Ensuring your organization is aware of what we are trying to achieve and how they play a role in the verification process is also key to your carbon reduction journey. Leadership buy in especially plays an important role as it indicates to other colleagues that our commitments are taken seriously and develops a positive culture around carbon reduction.”

Our people are leading experts that work alongside your teams to gain a clear understanding of your risks, challenges, and needs – then share our knowledge to help your business thrive, today and into the future. Having experienced LRQA auditors that independently verify your data, information and reports drives credibility and confidence.

“One thing we have found useful is having open conversations between auditors and senior leadership members from the outset. Being transparent with your auditor is vital so they can hear firsthand how we are managing the process and advise on areas of improvement."