Transition to net zero is crucial to the long-term future of the planet we all share. Achieving it is in less than three decades however, represents the biggest and most ambitious engineering project every undertaken by mankind… and it’s vital that we all, as businesses, play a full and responsible role.

This has been underlined by the recent publication of a far-reaching report from the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), a professional association and learned society based in London, United Kingdom. This report, authored by IMechE’s outgoing President – experienced chartered engineer, Peter Flinn, sets out the Institution’s overarching strategy to help our planet achieve net zero from an engineering perspective.

At present, it is estimated that the world’s total output of greenhouse gases equates to approximately 50bn tonnes per year, with the overwhelming majority of this astonishing figure being emitted from coal, natural gas and oil during the process of generating electricity. Likewise, although carbon dioxide (CO2) comprises the lion’s share of this annual output, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases – such as hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride – are also significant contributors to global climate change.

Of course, this extensive report is less concerned with the scientific or geopolitical frameworks required to effect this urgent and radical level of climate change intervention. Rather, it focuses on eight core areas the IMechE believes could help promote enhanced understanding of fossil fuel reliance and the necessary transition to low-carbon energy over the next 30 years. These are:

* significantly reducing the seasonality of energy sources, in an alternative energies environment that’s heavily dependent on wind and solar power.

* highly efficient and intelligent energy grid management, automation and stability.

* the future transformative role of hydrogen in lowering harmful emissions.

* supplies, availability and the geopolitics of critical materials.

* the upscaling of CCUS (Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage) and its adoption globally.

* the retro-fitting of existing housing stock and buildings to revolutionise their energy performance.

* rapid replication of more than 200 years of practical, pragmatic engineering knowledge of fossil-fuel-based energy systems.

* the role of governments worldwide in market interventions, guarantees, subsidies, carbon pricing/credits and their effect on funding streams into upscaling processes.

Properly observed and implemented, these core areas could combine to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2050, thus realising the principal objective of the 2015 Paris Agreement.

As well as delivering a clear framework for progress in this vital area, the IMechE report also covers the economics of implementing these essential net zero solutions, including their day-to-day operational costs and the levels of investment required globally, in order to bring them to market.

“History has shown that consumers will adopt new technologies and create new markets when products cross an affordability threshold, for example, cars, air travel, mobile phones and washing machines,” elaborates the IMechE report “Net zero solutions will only be adopted widely, if their operating costs are broadly on par with existing solutions using energy derived from fossil fuels.”

In a welcome move, IMechE has also committed to helping develop and deliver the requisite skills to underpin net zero and to work with relevant agencies in the worldwide energy and innovation sectors, in order to encourage pilot projects of exciting new technologies.

Turner & Coates – dedicated to helping our clients drive energy efficiencies!

As one of the industry’s most tried-and-trusted Quality Management specialists, Turner & Coates combines first-rate customer service with a wealth of global assessment and auditing experience, across a diverse range of internationally recognised standards.

Our proven experience in the power generation sector is wide-ranging, from the full inspection of hydro-electric systems, to implementing and certifying a range of quality management standards, including ISO 50001.

Modelled on both the ISO 9001 Quality Management and the ISO 14001 Environmental Management system, ISO 50001 sets out a framework of requirements to which businesses and organisations must adhere. This is to demonstrate that their practices and procedures are monitored and controlled by a fully auditable system committed to realising optimum energy efficiency, through a process of ongoing, measurable improvements.

Relevant to any business or organisation – regardless of its size, sector or geographical location – the ISO 50001 Quality Management standard focuses on how companies:

* manage important data and official documentation.

* identify, control and reduce their significant energy uses.

* comply with energy-related legal obligations.

* review their internal practices and procedures.

The principal component of ISO 50001 is the development of a realistic and targeted Energy Action Plan, tailored to the exact needs,  frameworks and procedures of the business of organisation concerned, and pertaining to the industry or sector in which it operates.

At Turner & Coates, we are dedicated to helping our clients achieve full IS0 50001 compliance and certification, from providing assistance with identifying areas of their business infrastructure that would benefit from energy efficiency measures, to helping to ensure that the targets and objectives set are SMART; Specific. Measurable. Achievable. Realistic. Time-bound.

Our experienced team of Quality Management consultants are comfortable working across a diverse range of industries, and in a wide variety of different languages, to help our worldwide network of customers follow a systematic approach to facilitating continual, quantifiable improvement of energy consumption, efficiency, security and use.

Moreover, the ISO 50001 Quality Management standard aims to help companies across the globe reduce their reliance on fossil fuels (or eliminate their usage altogether), substantially reduce their energy costs and pursue a proactive, responsible approach to cutting greenhouse gas emissions, in line with pan-industry targets towards achieving net zero.

Turner & Coates – helping to drive change in global energy management!