The impact of carbon footprinting in action – a Social Housing case study

A case study looking at how the largest social housing provider in Wales, Pobl, partnered with Mazars to report on and reduce its carbon footprint.

In an era marked by increasing environmental concerns and the recognition of the strategic significance of climate action, organisations of all sizes are proactively seeking ways to reduce their carbon impacts.

We recently partnered with Pobl, Wales’ largest social housing provider, to perform an extensive carbon footprint analysis for their 2021-22 and 2022-23 activities. This collaboration serves as an example of how public and social sector organisations can systematically measure and reduce their environmental impact.

The bigger picture

Pobl's partnership with Mazars exemplifies a growing trend among public sector organisations wanting to understand their environmental impact and take active steps to mitigate it. By expanding the scope of their carbon footprint assessment, Pobl is not only meeting regulatory mandates, but also future-proofing its strategic agenda:

Resource efficiency

  • Reducing carbon emissions often goes hand in hand with reducing energy consumption and waste. This in turn can yield substantial cost-savings in the long-run, allowing for more efficient resource allocation.

Stakeholder engagement

  • Meeting the expectations of stakeholders is vital and, demonstrates commitment to sustainability through initiatives that help build trust amongst key stakeholders.

Opportunity for innovation

  • Sustainability initiatives often drive innovation. Organisations that focus on carbon reduction are likely to discover new, more efficient processes, technologies, or products that can lead to new income streams.

Reputation and responsibility

  • Adherence to environmental laws is not just a matter of compliance, but a reflection of responsible governance.

A comprehensive approach

Our partnership with Pobl measured and analysed their carbon emissions comprehensively using our in-house carbon footprinting tool. The project focused on calculating emissions across all three scopes, offering a holistic view of Pobl’s environmental impact.

1. Assessing emissions sources

One of the first steps involved analysing Pobl's activities to determine which upstream and downstream activities were relevant for emissions reporting, aligning with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

2. Expanding scope

The scope of the emissions assessment was broadened compared to previous reporting periods. We worked closely with Pobl, to incorporate tenant energy consumption into the calculations as Scope 3 downstream leased assets – reflecting Pobl's commitment to accounting for all possible sources of emissions.

3. Data collection and quality assurance

Accurate data is the foundation of any meaningful carbon footprint assessment. Data for the carbon footprinting project was therefore collected by Pobl's dedicated team and rigorously quality assured by Mazars, which then generated a comprehensive output report. This output report will be included in Pobl's financial reports, transparently communicating the organisation's environmental performance to its stakeholders.

4. Continuous improvement

The project didn't stop at measuring emissions. Process and data collection improvements were identified and shared with Pobl to enhance data granularity for future reporting years. This commitment to improvement highlights Pobl’s dedication to ongoing environmental responsibility.

   

What is carbon footprinting?

Carbon footprinting is a critical process that helps organisations assess the total amount of greenhouse gases they emit directly or indirectly. These emissions are typically categorised into three scopes:

Scope 1: Direct emissions from sources owned or controlled by the organisation, such as on-site fuel combustion.

Scope 2: Indirect emissions from the consumption of purchased electricity, heating, or cooling.

Scope 3: Other indirect emissions, including those from the supply chain, business travel, and the use of products or services by tenants or customers.

What is the Greenhouse Gas Protocol?

The Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol) is a globally recognised and widely used standard for measuring and managing greenhouse gas emissions. It provides a structured framework that organisations can adhere to when evaluating and reporting their carbon footprint.

Get in touch

To find out more about carbon footprinting, or to discuss your organisation’s environmental impact, fill out the contact us form and one of the team will be in touch.

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