Carbon Trust

Carbon Trust
Not for Dividend Private Company Limited by Guarantee
Industry Carbon management and reduction
Founded 2001
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Key people
Tom Delay (CEO)
James Smith (chairman)
Michael Rea (COO)

The Carbon Trust is a not-for-dividend company that helps organisations and companies reduce their carbon emissions and become more resource efficient. Its stated mission is to accelerate the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy. It reinvests surpluses from its group commercial activities into its mission.

The Carbon Trust helps companies and organisations reduce carbon emissions and increase resource efficiency through providing specialist help, support and advice. As of December 2014 the Carbon Trust had saved its customers £5.5bn in costs and 60MtCO2.[1] It operates globally and has offices in U.K., China, Mexico, South Africa, Brazil and United States. It is also active in many other countries including South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Namibia, Peru, Chile and Panama.


Business advice

The Carbon Trust looks at current and future sustainability challenges and works with business and organisations to develop sustainable strategies to deliver savings.[2]

Carbon footprinting, verification and Carbon Trust standard

The Carbon Trust provides voluntary carbon certification services and carbon labelling schemes – it verifies organisation and product carbon footprint data and provides marks of quality to organisations to demonstrate standards have been met.

From February 2013 the Carbon Trust introduced the water standard to go alongside its carbon standard.[3] In November 2013 it announced the launch of the world's first international standard for organisational waste reduction.[4] In 2015 it launched the Carbon Trust Supply Chain Standard to look at carbon footprints across the supply chain.

Developing clean technology

The Carbon Trust works with governments, innovators and corporates with the aim of accelerating the commercialisation of low carbon technologies, and leads projects to deliver commercial partnerships and develop low carbon technologies.[5] It is particularly active in the areas of offshore wind, marine energy, fuel cell development and industrial energy efficiency. One such project is the Offshore Wind Accelerator, which is aimed at reducing the cost of wind power through projects focused in the North Sea. The Offshore Wind Accelerator is a partnership between industry and governments.[6]

Policy and Markets

The Carbon Trust provides analysis on sustainability issues to help businesses, investors and policy makers with their roles in reducing carbon and saving energy.[7] It works with companies and governments across the world and is presently developing a range of policy and market focused projects including in Mexico, South Africa, Scotland, Brazil and the United Kingdom.

Carbon footprinting, verification and Carbon Trust standard

Carbon Trust standards

The Carbon Trust runs a series of environmental standards that certify measurement and reduction. Currently these cover carbon, water and waste and have been awarded to hundreds of leading companies and organisations across the world.

In June 2008 the Carbon Trust introduced the Carbon Trust Carbon Standard to address what it describes as business greenwash.[8] The Carbon Trust Carbon Standard is only awarded to companies and organisations who measure and reduce their carbon emissions year on year.[9] Examples of organisations who hold the Carbon Standard include Sky, Aldi, Eurotunnel, Bupa, Pricewaterhousecoopers, Samsung Electronics, Angus Council, Capital & Regional, O2, RWE npower, Credit Suisse, Scottish Government and the UK DECC.

In February 2013 the Carbon Trust introduced the Carbon Trust Water Standard to recognise those companies reducing their water use year on year. The first four companies to receive the Water Standard were Sainsbury's, Coca Cola Enterprises Ltd, Sunlight Services Group, and Branston.[10]

In July 2013 the Carbon Trust introuduced the Carbon Trust Waste Standard.[11] In November 2013 the waste standard was awarded to the first wave of organisations, which included the Football Association, Renishaw plc, Whitbread, Pricewaterhousecoopers and AkzoNobel Decorative Paints. These last three became the first in the world to gain the triple crown of reaching the carbon, water and waste standard.

In 2015 the Carbon Trust launched the Carbon Trust Supply Chain Standard to look at carbon footprints across the supply chain. It is the world’s first independent certification for organisations that are measuring, managing and reducing greenhouse gas (CO2e) emissions in their supply chains.

In 2016 the Carbon Trust launched the Carbon Trust Zero Waste to Landfill Standard.

Carbon footprint label

The Carbon Trust helps companies to measure the carbon emissions associated with their products (embodied emissions) and also provides a label for these products carbon footprint. Measuring the embodied emissions of products enables reductions to be identified and achieved across the supply chain. The label demonstrates a commitment by the product owner to reduce that footprint every two years. The Carbon Reduction Label was introduced in the UK in March 2007.[12]

Examples of products that have featured their carbon footprint are Kingsmill bread, Walkers Crisps, a range of own brand products in Tesco supermarkets, Halifax (HBOS) bank accounts, Dyson airblades, Marshalls building products, Quaker oats, Silver Spoon sugar, Tate & Lyle sugar, Lafarge cement, Quorn foods and Pompeian Olive Oil.

The standards behind carbon labelling are now formally recognised through the PAS 2050 developed by the Carbon Trust in conjunction with BSI and Defra. This methodology is now gaining international acceptance following its launch in October 2008.[13]

Funds and financing

The Carbon Trust also supports the development and deployment of low carbon technologies and is actively engaged in the fuel cell, wave energy, wind energy, solar energy, biomass and biofuels sectors. It has a particularly active role in the Offshore Wind sector through its Offshore Wind Accelerator programme.[14]

It is involved in a number of finance schemes – including an Energy efficiency financing scheme across the UK in partnership with Siemens Financial Services worth around £550 million[15] and interest-free loans for small and medium-sized enterprises available for energy-efficient equipment in Northern Ireland, in conjunction with Invest Northern Ireland.

In April 2016 it launched its Green Business Fund offering a range of services for SMEs in Great Britain including up to £10,000 towards buying energy efficient equipment.

Subsidiary companies

The Carbon Trust has created a number of successful subsidiary companies such as Partnership for Renewables which develops renewable energy on public sector land and Low Carbon Workplace which funds and develops the low carbon refurbishment of buildings; and Future Blends which converts biomass to transport fuel.


The chief executive is Tom Delay, who came to the trust after a career with energy company Shell and management consultancies.[16]

The chairman is James Smith, formerly Chairman of Shell UK.[16]

The chief operating officer is Michael Rea, formerly of management consultancy McKinsey.[16]

Business heads are: Gina V Hall, Investment Director; Hugh Jones, managing director of Business Services; Darran Messem, managing director of certification services; Stefania Omassoli, Business Development; Richard Rugg, managing director of Programmes; James Wilde, Director of Policy and Innovations.[17]


  1. "Accelerating the move to a sustainable, low carbon economy – The Carbon Trust Annual Report 2013/14". The Carbon Trust. Retrieved 22 December 2014.
  2. "Business Advice". The Carbon Trust. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  3. "Carbon Trust launches scheme to tackle water waste". BBC. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  4. "Carbon Trust launches world's first waste standard". GreenWise. 5 November 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  5. "Innovation". The Carbon Trust. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  6. "Offshore Wind Accelerator". Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  7. "Policy and markets". The Carbon Trust. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  8. "Carbon Trust aims to end 'greenwash' by launching company standard". The Guardian. 24 June 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  9. "Carbon standard 'to renew trust'". BBC. 24 June 2008. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  10. "Carbon Trust urges business to wake up to water waste". The Carbon Trust. 9 February 2013. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  11. "Carbon Trust to take on waste". The Carbon Trust. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  12. "UK carbon label goods sales 'pass £2bn-a-year mark'". BBC. 13 October 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  13. "UKAS Awards First Accreditation for Product Greenhouse Gas Assessment". United Kingdom Accreditation Service. 7 June 2010. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  14. "Offshore Wind Accelerator". The Carbon Trust. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  15. "The Carbon Trust and Siemens launch new green finance deal worth £550 million to green businesses in the UK". Siemens UK. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2013.
  16. 1 2 3 "Our Board". The Carbon Trust. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  17. "Our Experts". The Carbon Trust. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
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