Frequently Asked Questions

CONTENTS

  1. INTRODUCTION
  2. WHO IS ELIGIBLE
  3. MEMBERSHIP AND FEES 
  4. GREEN500 AND OTHER CARBON MANAGEMENT SCHEMES
  5. THE AWARDS
  6. THE CARBON MANAGEMENT SCHEME DETAILS


1. INTRODUCTION

Q: What is Green500?

Green500 is a carbon mentoring scheme initiated by the Mayor of London, aimed at large London organisations across private and public sectors. The aim of the scheme is to encourage, acknowledge and reward CO2 saving activities in London. The overall objective of the Green500 is to save 1.5 million tonnes of CO2.

It is one of a number of LDA (London Development Agency) initiatives which aims to help cut CO2 emissions in the capital by 60% by 2025. The achievements of the Green500 organisations will be acknowledged at the Green500 Awards - an annual, high-profile event hosted by the Mayor of London.

Q: Will this be nationally or internationally recognised?

The Green500 programme is designed specifically for organisations with a large London base. It aims to set a global standard of environmental excellence which will set members apart as bastions of global organisational citizenship. With the support from the Mayor or London, Green500 will be promoted as best practice for other cities in Europe and across the world.

2. WHO IS ELIGIBLE

Q: Who is the scheme aimed at?

It primarily targets large businesses and public sector organisations in London. The eligibility criteria are based on 3 key factors: number of London based staff, size of floor space occupied in London and energy bill of operations in London. However, organisations that have the ability to influence others (organisations and individuals) may be considered. 

Q: Why only large businesses?

The primary focus of the Green500 scheme is to sign up companies with the greatest carbon saving potential. This is the first phase of Green500, and in the long term the scheme may extend to all businesses. 

Q: Which sectors of business will be targeted?

The following sectors will be particularly targeted; retail, banking, business services, arts & leisure, media, health and ICT. However, the scheme will also involve organisations from the manufacturing, utilities and transport sectors. 

Q: Who else are you approaching?

Large public or private sector organisations with a significant London presence. Early signatories include Chelsea Football Club, EDF Energy, Marks & Spencer, The John Lewis Partnership, Eversheds, T-Mobile, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, Ernst & Young, Kings College London.

Q: If I am not a London based company can I still join?

No. Green500 is designed for companies considered to have the greatest carbon saving potential in London itself. The goal of the programme is to help London meet the target of reducing CO2 emissions by 60% by 2025, saving around 35 million tonnes of CO2. Support for all organisations (within and outside London) is available from the Carbon Trust and Energy Saving Trust. 

Q: Some of my business is in London and some beyond – does the scheme cover both?

An organisation may wish to extend their carbon mentoring programme wider than London and can pay to have such sites assessed. However, it is not possible to include any savings in the certification process, since the Green500 scheme applies purely to London.

3. MEMBERSHIP AND FEES 

Q: How much is it to join?

Membership of the scheme will cost clients a one-off fee of £3,500. This fee entitles clients benefit from the core services offered by Green500. There will be an annual subscription fee for subsequent years of £500. This fee will cover the annual certification process.

Q: What do I get for my money?

The key feature and value of the Green500 is the annual award presented to participating organisations by the Mayor of London. This award will directly reflect the reduction in carbon footprint of each individual organisation. To establish the initial carbon footprint and provide recommendations for actions, clients will receive a Carbon Opportunities Appraisal of their organisation, undertaken by a carbon mentoring expert.

They will subsequently receive ongoing support and guidance from the Carbon Mentor including a tailored ‘Action Plan’ detailing estimated energy, cost and carbon savings as well as the payback period for once an action has successfully been implemented. 

They will also be given access to a comprehensive list of Green500 suppliers that can help with the actual implementation of activities covered by the action plan as well as invitations to networking and ideas sharing events hosted by the Green500 team and attended by members of the scheme. The new high profile annual awards ceremony to celebrate and acknowledge the successful implementation of carbon saving activities for all members, will be hosted by the Mayor of London. 

Q: How long does the membership last?

Membership of the scheme lasts for one year and can be maintained annually by payment of a certification fee costing £500. 

Q: Does the sign up fee cover all the implementation?

Advice on how to implement individual Action Plans is not covered by the £3,500 membership fee. However, members will be given access to a comprehensive list of Green500 suppliers who are able to help with the implementation of activities covered by the action plan. Membership of the scheme covers an initial ‘Carbon Opportunities Appraisal’ which will calculate current carbon emissions. 

An Action Plan will then be devised including individually tailored carbon saving recommendations covering estimated energy, cost and carbon savings as well as the payback period once an action has successfully been implemented.

4. GREEN500 AND OTHER CARBON MANAGEMENT SCHEMES 

Q: What if I am already affiliated to another programme?

This programme will provide additional value to your organisation, as your carbon mentor will consider the achievements you have already made when working with you to develop your Green500 action plan. The Green500 awards will recognise the savings you have already made as well those achieved through the implementation of your Green500 Action Plan. The Green500 programme will help you achieve greater standards of carbon efficiency in your London operations.

There is also a wealth of information and advice available through the expertise of the Green500 team.

5. THE AWARDS 

Q: How do the awards work?

There will be an annual awards ceremony to celebrate and acknowledge the successful implementation of carbon saving activities for all members.

All members will be awarded certification that recognises the carbon saved through the implementation of activities described in their Action Plan. There will also be awards for special efforts by members. Awards are predominantly based on how successfully Green500 members have implemented their Action Plan and hence how much carbon they will have saved. However, the awards will also include recognition to the savings already made.

Special awards will recognise best practice including a combined award to recognise the combined achievements of tenant and landlord. The awards are given by the Mayor each year and results published. Organisations will be scored against a scale of performance criteria within each category, after which scores are totalled to enable assessment against the award thresholds. There are 5 levels of Green500 Award: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond. Diamond is reserved for those organisations which have really made an outstanding achievement and score at the top in each scoring criterion. 

Q: Will this be nationally / internationally recognised? 

The Green500 programme is designed specifically for organisations with a large London base. It aims to set a global standard of environmental excellence which will set members apart as bastions of global organisational citizenship. With the support from the Mayor or London, Green500 will be promoted as best practice for other cities in Europe and across the world.

6. THE CARBON MANAGEMENT SCHEME DETAILS 

Q: What is the carbon management service?

This begins with an assessment of your carbon use and provision of an Action Plan to reduce your carbon footprint with a recommended annual CO2 reduction target.

You will be assigned your own ‘carbon mentor’ who will manage the assessment and action planning and who will carry on working with your organisation to help you implement the plan. The carbon mentor will be on hand to give guidance and provide a list of approved suppliers who can help with implementation of individual Action Plans.

At the end of the year, you will be asked to complete a self assessment of your progress against plan and this will be validated by independent specialist assessors the National Energy Foundation.

Q: Is carbon offsetting included in Green500 programme?

No. The goal of the programme is to incentivise reduction, to help London meet the target of reducing CO2 emissions by 60% by 2025, saving around 35 million tonnes of CO2. The Green500 aims to help the capital’s highest profile organisations reduce London’s tangible CO2 emissions and therefore does not use carbon offsetting. 

Q: My company is already making huge carbon savings, is it worth joining?

Yes, Green500 is the first scheme of its kind and represents London taking the lead in inspiring cities around the world to reduce their carbon footprint. Through the programme of action and rewards your company will be recognised as trailblazer or exemplar of best practice.

The Mayor of London will host an annual award ceremony offering media and stakeholder recognition opportunities for members of the programme. Being part of Green500 will create a leading CSR profile for member organisations. All members will be awarded a ‘badge’ that recognises the carbon saved through the implementation of activities described in their action plan. There will be awards for special efforts by members.

 Q: What if Green500 is not the best scheme for my company?

Our carbon mentors are comprehensively briefed on the other major schemes available for organisations to participate in, such as ISO14001 and the Energy Efficiency Accreditation Scheme and will sign-post members appropriately.

Q: I am already carbon neutral, should I join?

Yes. The goal of the Green500 programme is to help London meet the target of reducing CO2 emissions by 60% by 2025, saving around 35 million tonnes of CO2. Green500 aims to help the capital’s highest profile organisations actually reduce London’s tangible CO2  emissions and therefore does not use carbon offsetting. 

The scheme is designed not only to recognise those companies who make progress in the future, but also those which have made significant progress to date. These companies will be examples of best practice, as well as receive recognition for their continual improvement as leaders in their sector.  

Q: During the Carbon Appraisal do you visit every business site or is it aggregated based on one site?

Data is collected for the whole of the organisation as part of the Carbon Opportunities Assessment (COA). The data is validated through one site, however, an organisation can extend the scope of the COA by paying a further fee for more site visits. Typically we would aggregate information on similar site types (e.g. retail outlets) rather than visit all sites. 

Q: How much carbon can we save?

It will depend on the individual requirements of your organisation. Some sectors incur greater carbon emissions than others and companies are likely to be at different stages in terms of the management of their carbon footprints. 

Q: Can I join the scheme without committing to reducing carbon?

No. The goal of the Green500 scheme is to help large organisations in the capital achieve the Mayor of London's climate change action plan targets, reducing CO2 emissions by 60% by 2025, saving around 35 million tonnes of CO2. The Green500 scheme target is 1.5 million tonnes of CO2. 

Q: How much money can I save?

It will depend on the individual circumstances of your organisation. However, The Carbon Trust estimates that by becoming more energy efficient, businesses can expect to make savings of around 15% on their energy costs alone. By implementing carbon saving actions, members of the Green500 will save around £150 million through reduced energy costs alone.