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Blog Post 3 November 2023 Updated 31 May 2024

How greenhouse gas emissions accounting can help you to build a net zero business

Ekaterina Zerilli, net zero consultant at Energy Saving Trust, talks about our work to support organisations to account and reduce their corporate greenhouse gas emissions.

In her role with our insights and evaluation team, Ekaterina works on our Measure Plan Act service, to advise businesses on reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. Ekaterina works with businesses to translate emissions numbers into meaningful information to help them deliver net zero strategies.

What did you do before your role at Energy Saving Trust? 

I have a genuine interest in sustainability, so before my role at Energy Saving Trust, I received a master’s degree in Sustainable Resource Management. I also worked in fish processing to make sure that the sourcing of fish was from responsible fisheries.  

From here, I wanted to expand my research skills, so I trained in emissions accounting and that’s how I ended up at Energy Saving Trust. 

What do you work on at Energy Saving Trust? 

I work as a net zero consultant in the insight and evaluation team. My first project was to build a tool to calculate the emissions for Energy Saving Trust, which has now become a part of our Measure Plan Act service. Measure Plan Act is now used by a range of different businesses, including trade associations, estate agents, and information management companies.

I help these businesses with their emissions accounting, the creation of their net zero strategies and I support them to put the tactics of their strategies into action.  

How can Measure Plan Act help businesses to reduce their emissions?

The service supports businesses to evaluate the emissions that result from their operations, develop an emissions reduction strategy and execute the actions from the plan. 

With Measure Plan Act, we can support you to: 

  • Measure: evaluate the emissions of your operations.
  • Plan and Act: develop a comprehensive plan to reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and support with the implementation of actions from the plan. 

Actions can include a variety of things, such as the development of net zero communication strategies to employees and customers and the organisation of transport assessments and energy audits.  

What makes Measure Plan Act special? 

Aside from creating a long-term positive impact on the environment, emissions reduction can actually improve a business’s bottom line. Emissions reduction goes hand in hand with cost reduction over time, as it requires the optimisation of energy and resource use. 

The dashboards that we create visualise the emissions data and present an in-depth data analysis, which then supports the decision-making process for net zero strategies. The way that we present information is unrivaled. 

The visual dashboards are what set us apart in terms of emissions accounting, they clearly represent where a business sits in terms of emissions. Behind each case, the data visualisation is the complicated work of our team of experts. 

What is the most challenging thing about your role? 

Energy Saving Trust is unique – we analyse and present data tailored to each organisation. Translating the emissions accounting numbers in a crystal-clear way can be a challenge because each organisation is different and has an individual journey toward net zero. 

Although it’s complicated work, it’s rewarding to provide each organisation with a customised net zero action plan, knowing that it will make a positive difference to the business and the world as a whole. 

What most excites you about your role? 

I think it’s quite exciting that we have developed such good tools and approaches to emissions accounting that allow us to perform the work quickly and efficiently. We are always looking at ways to improve the tools to make them the best they can be.  

Working in a team of highly knowledgeable colleagues, we always can work out a solution to a problem or answer to a question. 

What are the biggest motivators for businesses to start calculating their emissions and building plans to reduce them? 

After speaking with many businesses using our Measure Plan Act services, there are a number of motivators for businesses to sign up.  

Among them are legislative requirements and customer requirements, as well as the observation of the extreme weather that we have had in the last year, for example the heatwave from last summer or the absence of snow in the Alps. Experiencing this extreme weather makes the importance of becoming sustainable more tangible. 

There are more urgent things that drive businesses to use our Measure Plan Act services, such as the energy crisis and how business energy bills can be reduced. Businesses now realise that climate change isn’t going away and that now is the time to act.  

What are the biggest barriers for businesses when it comes to signing up for our Measure Plan Act services? 

Businesses are under significant financial pressure right now, with soaring energy costs, many are struggling to survive. As a result of this, many businesses may be reluctant to invest in emissions accounting. 

While this is true, building a net zero strategy with Measure Plan Act can futureproof their business to avoid the same types of problems going forward and get ahead of potential government regulations.  

The service can make businesses more resilient against market disruptions, such as increased energy costs, and can help businesses grow, attract and retain employees and save money, as operations that cause substantial emissions are often wasteful and costly. 

Do you have any personal recommendations about how to stay up to date with current events around sustainability? 

I occasionally listen to these podcasts with quite interesting topics regarding sustainability: A matter of Degrees, Zero, and Future Perfect

What’s next?  

We’re working on the further development of Measure Plan Act tools and the expansion of them. The interest in businesses using the tool is increasing, and I expect this to continue.  

Want to learn more about how Measure Plan Act can support on your net zero journey? Get in touch with our team of experts.

Last updated: 31 May 2024