"The Carbon Trust standard was achieved following a programme of recording, measuring, and managing ICAEW’s carbon emissions each year between April 2008 – March 2011.
As part of our programme ICAEW installed new lighting systems, controlled by movement sensors, developed a system of switching off plant and equipment during non-operational hours and installed energy efficient water cooling equipment. These changes on both ICAEW sites in the City of London and in Milton Keynes ensured the right carbon outputs for certification."
"Dear Mr. Huhne,
It has been reported that the Carbon Trust is under review and could be abolished. At the TaxPayers’ Alliance, we’ve done a lot of work on how to deliver spending cuts. Your department needs to find considerable savings and we feel that around £100 million that could be saved by abolishing the Carbon Trust should be one of them for a number of reasons.
The Carbon Trust doesn’t address a genuine market failure. If large businesses can genuinely save money by cutting their energy use, then they have an incentive to do so. Particularly with other policies – such as the Renewables Obligation – increasing energy prices and the introduction of the Carbon Reduction Commitment. If they need external advice to achieve that result, they can pay for it instead of taking money from ordinary taxpayers.
The quality of their advice is suspect. The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, recognised as a pioneer for their energy saving work, felt that the advice they received was not reliable. The minutes of their Sustainability Panel record that:
“The Chairman went onto explain that he felt the Council had been sold a wonderful idea but that only a third of the predictions were going to occur which he felt boiled down to the original plan being wildly optimistic.”
The organisation is unaccountable and inscrutable. As the Freedom of Information Act does not apply to the Carbon Trust, taxpayers cannot find out how their money is spent. Staff remuneration is high. Their Chief Executive Tom Delay received remuneration of £237,797 in 2008-09. It is difficult to tell how many staff at the organisation receive high pay thanks to its complicated structure.
Three executive partners who manage investment funds for the Carbon Trust at the organisation’s investment management arm CT Investment Partners LLP (Peter Linthwaite, Jonathan Bryers and Adam Workman) appear to be very generously compensated. They paid £50,000 initially for their share in CT Investment Partners LLP and – between the three of them – are now getting £380,000
a year in profit in fees from the Carbon Trust. They work out of the same office and the National Audit Office has raised concerns at potential conflicts of interest, saying that there “is a risk that CAT Investment Partners staff could influence publicly funded research and development or incubator support for emerging businesses that they, in time, may back by way of investment and thus from which they may earn carried interest”.
The Carbon Trust has even expanded to other countries, as if it were a multinational company, through its Carbon Trust International programme. In August 2009 they were advertising for a Head of Carbon Trust USA position. They are working to promote the creation of similar organisations in other countries. This is clearly an inappropriate use of British taxpayers’ money.
The Carbon Trust is therefore subject to considerable mission creep, its main work does not address an actual market failure, it is extremely generous in how it remunerates its staff and fails to match up to the principles of transparency and accountability articulated by the Government. While it is possible to conceive of reforms that might improve the organisation, the best way of securing value for taxpayers is to abolish it outright.
TaxPayers’ Alliance "
Here's what the FCAblog thinks of this absurd waste of time and money:
"Er, wtf mates? Could you maybe go for a Plain English Standard next time, because that's the biggest load of management-speak cobblers I've ever read. "Quantify our footprint"? "Benchmark our performance"? This is obfuscation of the highest order.
If you really want to know what this all means, there's some documentation over at the Carbon Trust's website, including the full standard. Basically, ICAEW is using less carbon than it was in 2008. But carbon measurement is a curious science. For example, the graph of carbon emissions by country says that China is the 'worst' emitter. Yet most of China's emissions relate to production of goods which are then consumed elsewhere in the world. So while Brits throw lots of shit away, China gets the blame for it, carbon-wise. And the other big scam is carbon offsets, where you pay someone who might pollute to not pollute, so that you can instead. It's the discredited system of indulgences, reinvented for the 21st century.
Of course, saving money is A Good Thing. So why not just say that that's what they're doing - they're turning lights and the air conditioning off at Moorgate Place because it means the subscription won't have to go up as much next year? I'm sure members would love that.
One can only hope that more will be made clear when ICAEW publishes its annual review in spring next year. In the mean time, if you want to undertake a futile gesture, you can always 'vote down' the article on ICAEW's website. Go on, you know you want to..."