Carbon Trust faces rival CRC emissions standard

Achilles gets the green light to become first challenger to the Carbon Trust Standard

The Environment Agency has formally recognised the first alternative to the Carbon Trust’s Standard for emissions reductions under the Carbon Reduction Commitment (CRC) Energy Efficiency Scheme.

The Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) has been developed by procurement services company Achilles. The firm is offering the standard to organisations that successfully implement its 'carbon reduction programme'.

In 2010/11, the first year of the CRC, participants' performance is judged entirely according to two ‘early action metrics’. One is the use of automatic meter readers, which enable organisations to gather accurate energy data. The other is achievement of an emissions reduction standard recognised by the Agency, the CRC’s lead regulator.

Until now, the Carbon Trust’s offering has been the only standard recognised by the agency for CRC purposes. To achieve it, organisations must demonstrate that they have cut their emissions over one to three years, depending on their size. They must also commit to achieving future year-on-year reductions. Over 250 organisations have achieved the standard.

Achilles provides organisations with guidance for calculating their CRC emissions footprint, carbon management software, plus verification of actual emissions. An organisation demonstrating an emissions reduction can gains the CEMARS standard.

The annual cost of CEMARS starts at £2,500 for a simpler, office-based organisations and increases to £8,500 for more complex, multi-site operations. Certification to the Carbon Trust Standard lasts two years and costs £1,000-£15,000.

The number of standards in the CRC market could soon rise to three. The British Standards Institute has applied to the Agency for its Energy Reduction Verification Kitemark to be recognised under the CRC.

However, CEMARS and the Carbon Trust Standard can both be used to certify reductions in organisations' wider greenhouse gas emissions, whereas the BSI Kitemark covers only carbon dioxide from energy use under the CRC.

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