Twitter interview: Richard Rugg, Carbon Trust

Published on Friday, 15 November 2013 12:40
Written by Richard Rugg

Govtoday interviewed Richard Rugg - managing director for Carbon Trust Programmes: Sustainability & Resource Efficiency Advice - about reducing emissions and cutting energy usage in the public sector.

Govtoday: Hi Richard, thank you for talking to us today. Tell us a bit about what @thecarbontrust are up to at the moment. #carbon13

Richard Rugg: Thanks @Govtoday - from a public sector perspective we're focusing a lot on carbon management, decentralised energy & smart cities...

RR: and quite a lot on engagement of employees, partners & suppliers, looking at low carbon behaviour change #Carbon13

GT: How much of your work is with public bodies looking to reduce energy usage/cut carbon footprint? @thecarbontrust #carbon13

RR: well, everything we do supports our mission on carbon, but for many orgs it is about compliance, reputation & leadership #Carbon13

GT: What overall progress has the public sector made in this area over the last decade? @thecarbontrust #carbon13

RR: Over the last 10yrs we worked with over 3,000 public sector bodies, now on track to save £2.8bn & >70m tCO2e @Govtoday #Carbon2013

RR: And since 1990 UK public sector has reduced emissions by 46% @Govtoday #Carbon13

GT: Impressive! How has the current difficult financial climate affected the work you do with the public sector? @thecarbontrust #carbon13

RR: Depressingly I know many energy managers & budgets are at risk, despite long term business case being very strong @Govtoday #Carbon13

RR: I am saddened to see cases of business efficiency used as an excuse to cut back on energy efficiency despite ROI @Govtoday #Carbon13

GT: [email protected] What are the main challenges for pub sec orgs to overcome to cut their energy use/reduce their carbon footprint? #carbon13

RR: First, many public sector bodies still do not have a sophisticated understanding of energy use on their estate... @Govtoday #Carbon13

RR: Second, they often fail to effectively articulate how carbon management delivers on corporate priorities... @Govtoday #Carbon13

RR: Third, they seldom have appropriate governance structures in place to ensure effective monitoring of progress... @Govtoday #Carbon13

RR: Fourth, they struggle to develop compelling business cases & financial allocation strategies... @Govtoday #Carbon13

RR: and finally, due to competing priorities they sometimes fail to secure credible & visible senior leadership @Govtoday #Carbon13

GT: Does public sector leadership in this area have a wider influence in the wider community/society? @thecarbontrust #carbon13

RR: Well, our own recent research suggests all sectors look to public sector for leadership ... @Govtoday #Carbon13

RR: Public sector perfectly placed to engage communities & local business in outreach, supplier relations & services ... @Govtoday #Carbon13

RR: This can be achieved through planning policy, low carbon procurement, education/schools & local influence. @Govtoday #Carbon13

GT: RT @JenLowCarbon How will you encourage the climate change sceptics to make changes? #carbon13 Good Q, Jen! @thecarbontrust

RR: deal with sceptics not through climate science, but with business case & other corporate benefits @Govtoday @JenLowCarbon #Carbon13

GT: RT @danrobe76 @thecarbontrust #carbon13 how will ECO be moved across to general taxation?

RR: Not an easy question to answer, even in more than 140 characters! @Govtoday #Carbon13

GT: Do you agree with the principle of moving to general taxation? @danrobe76 @thecarbontrust #carbon13

RR: I'm not the man at @thecarbontrust to ask about that - we have others far better placed. @Govtoday @danrobe76

GT: Ok, fair enough. @thecarbontrust @danrobe76 #carbon13

GT: RT @longtontom What can high energy industries like the potteries do about minimising their carbon emissions? #Carbon13 @thecarbontrust

RR: there's a lot industry can do and is doing - for example one of our projects: @Govtoday @longtontom #Carbon13

RR: we identified potential to reduce emissions in the ceramics industry by 40,000 tC02/year @Govtoday @longtontom #Carbon13

GT: And finally, what do you hope to see in the next 12 months for carbon saving? @thecarbontrust #carbon13

RR: More investment into heat networks & local energy generation - funding from @DECCgovuk's HNDU @Govtoday #Carbon13

RR: Thanks a lot @Govtoday and all for Qs! We have a free Public Sector Carbon Network for advice & support...

RR: and more on our work with the public sector can be found on our website here: ... @Govtoday #Carbon13

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