FAQ

The scientific consensus is beyond question. The climate is changing, and we are responsible. There have always been natural fluctuations in the Earth’s environment, but these are nominal compared to the influence that the burning of fossil fuels has had on the Earth’s temperature since the industrial revolution. Most Governments accept that we need to rapidly decarbonise our economies and the UK has a legally binding target to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050.

Source: climate.nasa.gov

There are many definitions of Environmental Sustainability, but the one that we feel represents the width and complexity of the situation in a clear manner is the Brundtland Report which defines sustainable development as: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” At heart, the concept means ensuring that we do not breach planetary boundaries across a range of sustainability indicators.

Source: https://www.stockholmresilience.org/research/planetary-boundaries/planetary-boundaries/about-the-research/the-nine-planetary-boundaries.html

An environmental impact is the effect that our activities have on an aspect of the natural environment. The term generally applies to the changes experienced by the environment due to particular events or actions made by a project, business or industry. One example would be carbon emissions from the fuels we use.

This is difficult to answer, which is why an environmental survey is usually the first action most organisations should undertake. Environmental quick wins may be as simple as increasing insulation levels, or servicing existing heating systems. An independent study will provide you with an environmental framework and solutions specific to you in order to allow you to structure your environmental improvement.

A carbon footprint is the total amount of carbon released into the atmosphere as a result of the activities of a particular individual, organisation, or community, and is usually calculated from fuels used (gas, electricity, oil etc.), transport and certain other activities.

Everything we do results in a carbon footprint or carbon output. Travel, eating, purchasing etc., all have a carbon impact. As climate change is being driven by the build-up of carbon in the atmosphere, which compromises the Earth’s ability to regulate its temperature, the more carbon we produce the more damaging it is to the environment. Edge provide a comprehensive carbon footprinting service.

Carbon and energy are commonly considered to be flip sides of the same coin. If you can reduce what you spend on energy there is usually a proportional reduction in the amount of carbon emissions generated by your operations. In situations where an organisation’s energy is primarily from renewable sources and emissions are already low, the driver to reduce consumption is usually cost savings.

Although constantly evolving and advancing in efficiency, renewable technologies are simply those that enable the generation of heat or power by utilising natural flows of energy such as such as solar radiation, wind, water, air. The Earth’s natural cycles ensure that the source of energy is constantly replenished…there will always be wind, waves and sun.

There is no silver bullet when it comes to selecting the most efficient technology for your activities. An efficient system used wastefully may end up producing equivalent, or even higher emissions than a relatively inefficient system used prudently. Before determining which energy sources are the best option, it is critical to ensure that demand is minimised via building fabric insulation and related measures. Our approach is therefore ‘Fabric First’ and only then do we consider appropriate technologies.

Inevitably, yes. Dwindling conventional resources, taxes and network costs (which account for up to 60% of the cost of electricity, for example, before it arrives at your point of use) mean that the cost you pay is likely rise year on year.

Almost all conventional fuel sources are harmful to some degree, especially those used for combustion or conversion to heat. Over the past decade, the UK’s electricity generation capacity has seen significant decarbonisation, primarily from offshore wind power. As a consequence, UK grid electricity now has a lower carbon factor than natural gas. As such, technologies such as Heat Pumps, which use a unit of electricity to produce 2-5 units of heat, are increasingly seen as the way forward for UK space heating needs.

Of course. It would be inappropriate to assume that planned environmental upgrades require whole-sale change with regards to your trusted partners. We believe it is important to ensure that the proposals are robust and contain sufficient information to allow your existing supply chain to deliver it.

Carbon offsetting is a way of compensating for or off setting your carbon emissions by making an equivalent carbon dioxide saving elsewhere. This may take the form of financial investment in a carbon reduction project, or physically planting trees. Offsetting can have a positive impact but should only be undertaken once your carbon emissions have been reduced as far as possible. Not all offset schemes lead to reliable carbon reduction. We can provide further guidance for clients wishing to develop offsetting as part of a wider decarbonisation strategy.