Connectivity & Data
Governance and Citizen
Energy & Environment
Developed with the Anthesis Group, the initiative is designed as a public sector alternative to traditional carbon offsetting and aims to help the authorities benefit from local insetting investment choices.
A group of UK local authorities are taking part in an insetting initiative to accelerate their progress to net zero through innovation.
Designed as a public sector alternative to traditional carbon offsetting, the initiative is being developed in response to the carbon offsetting issues faced by local authorities, such as using emission reduction activities outside of the region and the lack of well-defined, fit-for-purpose local offsetting options.
The programme has been developed by the local authorities with the Anthesis Group, which describes itself as a sustainability activator. Its Authorities-Based Insetting (ABI) initiative aims to help the authorities benefit from their insetting investment choices locally. Insetting is where organisations invest in their own value chain to reduce carbon footprints.
Insetting can stimulate greater local investment in carbon-saving projects and the ability to quantify and report on the associated carbon impacts. As part of the initiative, Anthesis will work alongside local authorities and engage industry leaders in green investment and offsetting, emissions standards experts, NGOs, and academics. The project will result in an insetting guidance framework for local authorities in Q4 2021.
The concept was initiated following a series of Anthesis-facilitated net zero events and discussions with UK local authorities in 2020. Recognising the need for a new standard for insetting, the project was subsequently developed between Anthesis and the local authorities of Blackburn with Darwen, Brighton & Hove, Cheshire East, Horsham, Leicester, Leicestershire, Oxford, Richmond, Shropshire, Trafford, Wandsworth and West Sussex.
“We are committed to doing everything we can to reduce our emissions as an organisation by 2030, but recognise that there may still be some carbon emissions that we have not been able to completely eliminate by this date,” said councillor Julia Neden-Watts, chair of the environment, sustainability, culture and sports committee, London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.
She added: “Through this partnership with leading sustainability expert Anthesis and other local authorities we will contribute to and benefit from a framework that supports us to offset those remaining emissions in a standardised way, as well as investing locally in tackling the climate emergency.”
Councillor Andrew Western, Trafford Council leader and the Greater Manchester green lead, added: “Trafford Council was one of the first councils in the country to declare a climate emergency in 2018. Through our Carbon Neutral Action Plan, and corporate priorities, we are totally committed to the use of renewable energy sources to cut emissions and meet our target of becoming carbon neutral by 2038.”
“This project will allow authorities to be forward-thinking and help advance more opportunities for low-carbon investment in their region”
Anthesis has extensive experience in helping public bodies and local authorities across the UK to develop climate strategies. Scatter is the Anthesis-designed free-to-use greenhouse gas reporting tool that enables local authorities to assess, report on and reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced in their area without the need to commit significant resources to collect data.
“Local authorities are identifying the urgency of achieving net zero, and they realise that without innovative solutions to tackle remaining emissions, climate goals are at risk,” said Anthesis’ associate director, Matt Rooney, and lead on the project.
“This project will allow authorities to be forward-thinking and help advance more opportunities for low-carbon investment in their region. We are delighted with the support we have received so far. Collaboration and proactivity will help drive momentum and change during the decisive decade.”