AES Engineering Ltd went beyond Net Zero in 2021, with its global business activities delivering CO2e savings equivalent to the environmental impact of more than 18 million trees, according to figures verified by the leading standards organisation BSI.

In what may be a first for a major engineering company, BSI has verified that the company’s activities generated CO2e savings of 464,000 tonnes, resulting in a net benefit of 375,000 tonnes of CO2e, since the Scope 3 emissions in the supply and value chain were just under 90,000 tonnes of CO2e.

The group’s CO2e saving record is equivalent to offsetting the CO2e emissions resulting from the production of 416,000 tonnes of cement or 97,000 tonnes of steel and is also equivalent to preventing the burning of 150,000 tonnes of coal.

AES Engineering Ltd’s Managing Director Chris Rea said: “To put the figures into perspective, a recently reported carbon capture scheme at an advanced waste incinerator in Oslo costing £870 million pounds is expected to save around 400,000 tonnes of CO2e annually. In the UK the government is currently investing just under £200 million to fund 4,000 zero emission buses which are expected to result in a net reduction of CO2e equal to about 15% of the savings resulting from our group’s global business activities.”

AES Engineering’s carbon footprint from direct, indirect, and supply and value chain emissions (Scopes 1, 2 and 3) last year was calculated at 94,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e). As well as buying green energy, installing solar panels and other environmental investments, the group bought 5,000 tonnes of CO2 offsets from “gold standard” schemes, neutralizing completely the impact of the Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.

Since the group markets reliability products and services that save energy, water, and cut pollution, when this impact is taken into account, the carbon ‘balance sheet’ is strongly positive at 375,000 tonnes of CO2 saved.

Net Zero

AES Engineering Ltd says that the target of getting beyond Net Zero by 2029 has been delivered eight years ahead of schedule thanks to a group-wide effort and the #29by29 pledge to invest £29 million by 2029 in environmentally-friendly projects. More than £7 million has been committed already but the company intends to keep on going and will continue to support the Betterworld.Solutions initiative that encourages global industry to prioritize environmentally-friendly investments.

The group says that the journey to prove it had gone beyond Net Zero was not an easy one, since most existing accreditation schemes for Net Zero only calculated the carbon ‘balance sheet’ for the direct emissions in company-owned facilities or vehicles, and indirect emissions from electricity, steam, heating and cooling.

“I would like to congratulate BSI for working with us to find a solution to calculating the net impact of the group when Scopes 1,2 and 3 are all taken into account,” said Chris Rea. “This is vital since controlling supply chain emissions in industry (Scope 3) is essential if the planet is to reach the Net Zero target.

“Global industry needs to show it has a conscience about the environment,” he added. “In the 1950s and 1960s, businesses were all about naked capitalism and making profit. In the 21st century we learned to embrace all ‘stakeholders’ - employees, customers, suppliers and communities. Our ‘29by29’ investment makes the statement that our most important stakeholder is the planet.”