PAS 2080: How to get started
Insights from Chartered Environmentalists, for everyone.
In this article we hear from three Chartered Environmentalist (CEnv) registrants aiming to remove some perceived barriers by providing a range of experience based top tips for getting started with PAS 2080. The key message – you can, and should, get started!
- Conor McCone CEnv – Carbon Manager at Skanska UK
- Lara Young CEnv – Global Head of ESG at Cromwell Property Group
- Chris Landsburgh CEnv – Technical Director, Decarbonisation at AECOM
If you want to know more about what PAS 2080 is and why it is so important, our three CEnv authors have published a handy guide:
Things to start considering for PAS 2080
Don’t let perfection get in the way of getting started with PAS 2080. A common frustration / challenge with PAS 2080 (also true for any approach to carbon accounting) is the availability, granularity and quality of data. While this is a challenge many are grappling with, and an evolving challenge, this should not stifle an individual or organisation to be able to take tangible action today.
Less is more
There is a need to prioritise to ensure the most relevant hotspots in the baseline are truly addressed. A common observation is that despite this being clear in the PAS and generally a commonly accepted approach, we are still seeing many taking on more than is practically possible to change in one go. For example, where relevant, a qualitative approach can be taken over quantitative, especially at an early stage.
Roles and responsibilities
PAS 2080 is an ongoing process that progresses with the project’s lifecycle. However, the people involved at each stage will vary and many don’t see a project from start to finish. There is therefore a continual need to restate roles and responsibilities to ensure continuity in the roll out.
The standard’s emphasis on collaboration throughout the value chain makes it truly remarkable. Each person and touch point throughout the chain has a key role to play in the success of the project. They do not need to be carbon experts, but their responsibilities will need to be made clear.
Together, we can, and need, to make a significant impact in advancing sustainability practices
Lead the way
As environmental professionals we need to ensure we proactively engage others to deliver tangible carbon reductions and be the leaders in its implementation. What makes PAS 2080 truly remarkable is its emphasis on collaboration throughout the value chain, irrespective of their level of familiarity with the standard.
So, if you haven’t already engaged your colleagues, clients, and value chain, you need to start now. Together, we can, and need, to make a significant impact in advancing sustainability practices.
If you find yourself facing challenges, don’t hesitate to seek assistance from others. The Society for the Environment, Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), and Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA) have a wealth of professionals who are eager to offer insights on how to effectively implement this standard. Reach out to them for guidance and support in harnessing the true potential of PAS 2080. We see it as our collective role to proactively engage with others to drive this vital standard forwards.
Organisational vs project compliance
There are two major elements to consider when aiming for PAS 2080 compliance at a project or organisational level:
Organisational or internal compliance: Organisation-wide buy-in
Organisations need to start to consider how they integrate carbon management into everyone’s ‘day job’. This requires buy-in and support from the business leaders to project teams, the designers to the commercial teams. Environmental professionals need to engage multiple disciplines in multiple ways to secure buy-in.
Developing internal processes that ensure carbon is integrated into your project across these disciplines is a key step in delivering a project in line with PAS 2080. This consistent and robust internal approach ensures the right people are engaging at the right time, maximising the potential for carbon reductions across the project lifetime.
Project or asset compliance: Value chain engagement
PAS 2080 in this context requires multiple disciplines from each value chain member to contribute to carbon reduction. The standard provides the framework for how and when each party should engage to maximise reductions. Understanding your organisation’s PAS 2080 responsibilities across the project lifecycle and upskilling your delivery teams on how to engage the value chain partners will maximise opportunities for collaboration, innovation and ultimately carbon reduction.
Existing management systems
Integrating carbon across an organisation may sound like a daunting task, however, the good news is that carbon can be integrated into existing management systems and processes and still be in line with PAS 2080. Not only will this eliminate the need for another new process, but it increases the chances of success by using what already exists to make carbon reduction as pragmatic and practical as possible.
Another reason to celebrate is that a lot of the structure required to deliver PAS 2080 is already in place across project delivery, we just need to weave carbon into the process and agenda.
A huge opportunity to reduce carbon presents itself once this process has been formalised and organisations approach project carbon reduction consistently. This enables comparison between projects to understand why one project outperformed another in the same sector. The robust framework at a sector or business level allows for rapid continual improvement and lessons learned to be leveraged between projects. Also, by taking the approach of integrating carbon into existing systems, it allows other important areas to be integrated in a similar way, such as social value, biodiversity and climate resilience.
The additional benefits
Delivering PAS 2080 at a project or organisational level is an opportunity for environmental professionals to engage multiple disciplines, both internally and externally. Successful implementation not only helps our projects to reduce carbon but also delivers better financial performance for us, our customers and our stakeholders.
PAS 2080 is an opportunity for environmental professionals to raise the profile of our profession and demonstrate that sustainability is good for business.