Our carbon reduction plan

We are committed to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2040.

Download the pdf version of our carbon reduction plan.

Last updated: December 2022

Commitment to achieving Net Zero

Jisc is committed to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2040, ten years ahead of the government target.

We are currently working to develop a full implementation plan which will allow us to bring this target further forward. All emissions reported and future plans include the entities under Jisc’s operational control (Jisc Services Limited and Jisc Commercial Limited). 

Baseline emissions footprint

Baseline emissions are a record of the greenhouse gases that have been produced in the past and were produced prior to the introduction of any strategies to reduce emissions. Baseline emissions are the reference point against which emissions reduction can be measured.

Baseline year: to 31 July 2020 

Additional details relating to the baseline emissions calculations

Jisc began collecting emissions data in accordance with the Streamlined Energy and Carbon Reporting (SECR) requirement for our financial year ending 31 July 2020.  In accordance with these requirements, we have Scope 1 and 2 emissions for two reporting years and have used the first of these years as our baseline. 

Scope 1 has been reported as zero due to technical issues the gas boilers which required the building to be heated using the backup electrical immersion heaters. Full Scope 3 data has not been collected or reported for these two years as this was not required, but as per reporting guidance, vehicle emissions have been included in Scope 3 calculations.  Data has been gathered from the hire car companies that Jisc uses, plus personal car usage for business purposes was derived from our expenses claim system. This represents a partial report against Scope 3 category 6 Business travel.  Our travel provider for the baseline year ceased trading shortly after the end of the reporting year as a result of the pandemic, and our travel and emissions data for other forms of transport (primarily train and air travel) was lost. 

We are in the process of gathering Scope 3 emissions data to establish a clear baseline and will include this in our SECR report for the current financial year, ending 31 July 2022.  We have identified the methodology that we need to use to calculate each Scope 3 category and the data that we need to gather for each category required. We will base calculations on actual data as far as possible rather than average data methods to ensure we have a more accurate calculation.  For example, in the summer of 2022 we launched a survey of staff to better understand commuting methods and distances, which we believe will give a more robust emissions total for category 7 employee commuting.

We have used the SECR data for the year ending 31 July 2020 as a baseline for Scope 1 and 2 but as our operations were affected by the Covid-19 pandemic and organisational changes are due in 2022, we intend to recalculate our baseline emissions to reflect a full year of our usual operations, including the required Scope 3 categories of emissions.

Baseline year emissions: 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020

Baseline year emissions: 1 August 2019 to 31 July 2020
SCOPE 10.00 (no on-site combustion of fuel for heating)
SCOPE 2187.69
SCOPE 3 (INCLUDING SOURCES)91.30   Category 6 Business travel (partial)

Current emissions reporting

Reporting year: to 31 July 2022

Reporting year emissions:

Reporting year emissions
SCOPE 10.00 (no on-site combustion of fuel for heating)
SCOPE 2Purchased electricity from facilities: 139.09 Purchased electricity from data centres: 55.70 Scope 2 Total: 194.79
SCOPE 3 (INCLUDING SOURCES)Waste generation: 0.22 Business travel: 212.73 Employee commuting: 58.16 Downstream transportation: 0.81 Scope 3 Total*: 271.92

* Categories 5 (waste generated in operations), 6 (business travel), 7 (employee commuting) and 9 (downstream transportation and distribution) have been included in our scope 3 calculations. Category 4 (upstream transportation and distribution) has been excluded as the data is not available. We will work with procurement in to consider whether category 4 emissions could be captured through changes in process and cost allocation software.

Emissions reduction targets

To continue our progress to achieving Net Zero, we have adopted the following carbon reduction targets. We will reduce our carbon emissions from Scope 1 and 2 emissions to achieve NetZero by 2040 and will put in place interim targets to ensure sufficient progress is made.   

Whilst we are working towards a net zero target, we have seen an increase in our reported carbon emissions of 188 tCO2e (a 67% increase) from our base year to the current year.  This, however, is not a true representation of the impact of our carbon reduction projects and is a result of having been able to capture data for emission sources, where gaps had previously been identified. Consequently, with the additional emission sources we are unable to report progress against our base year on a like for like basis. 

We are aware that there are still some gaps in our reportable scope 1, 2 and 3 emission and will be working to fill these gaps over the next 3 months, where the data is available. This, along with the planned organisational changes taking place in 2022/23, means we will need to recalculate our baseline and expect to use 2022-23 as our new baseline for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

Once we have a firm baseline established, we intend to bring forward our target date for achieving NetZero from 2040.  We will put interim emissions reduction targets in place to ensure that we are on track to achieve our agreed target date.  

Carbon reduction projects

The following environmental management measures and projects have been completed or implemented since the 2020 baseline. Whilst we understand these projects have led to a reduction in carbon emissions, we are unable to quantify the extent as we no longer have a like for like scenario. Re-baselining in 2022/23 will enable us to quantify the measures in effect when performing the contract. 

Completed carbon reduction initiatives

The following environmental management measures and projects have been completed or implemented since the start of our baseline year, including: 

  • Appointed a Head of Environmental Sustainability to lead this area and a Graduate Environmental Sustainability Officer.
  • Launched an Environmental Policy which outlines our commitment to minimising the negative environmental impact of our activities.  We also share our commitments through our wider Corporate Social Responsibility statement on our website.
  • Initiated the internal Net Zero project. This included gathering data to inform our baseline scope 1, 2 and 3 carbon emissions and production of a more detailed report focused on scope 3 emissions produced through Jisc’s value chain.
  • Launched a hybrid approach to working for 80% of our staff, which supports homeworking and brings a reduction in the amount of carbon generated through employee commuting.
  • Consolidated our office locations and sought a reduction in footprint to reduce the size of our overall estate.
  • Facilitated the recycling and re-use of 270 items of network hardware since January 2021.
  • Installed solar panels at the one building that Jisc owns, along with energy efficient lighting and heating, generating 34,838 kWh of green energy (as of 30 November 2021) and reducing our carbon emissions by 7.4 tCO2e since December 2019.
  • Advocated for the use of green energy suppliers to buildings in which we are a tenant.
  • Had environmental considerations as a priority for refurbished offices including reusing and recycling furniture.
  • Supported 89 colleagues (approximately 10% of our average workforce) through a cycle to work scheme, with salary sacrifice available to support the purchase of a bicycle and provided facilities at offices including bike storage and showers.
  • Planted 3,133 trees through our Trees for Life partner, to begin to offset carbon emissions from our train and air business travel.
  • Collaborated with Honeywell to gather data through the building management system to address priority areas of power consumption.
  • Provided guidance for our members (Exploring digital carbon footprints report and Good Practice in IT Sustainability guidance) on understanding the impact of digital carbon footprint and support them in improving their environmental sustainability and plans towards net zero.

Planned carbon reduction initiatives 

Over the next 12 months we plan to build on our existing knowledge and understanding by implementing the following projects:  

  • Identify gaps in scope 1, 2 and 3 reportable carbon emissions. Establish methodology for capturing any missing data sources and recalculate baseline emissions for 2022/23.
  • Develop a route map for achieving net zero to include:
    • achievable GHG reduction targets that support our members in achieving their targets
    • measure and report progress
    • identification of cost-effective emission reduction opportunities and commitment to required changes in operations to deliver them
    • identification and management of climate-related risks to our business
    • identification and utilization of carbon removal schemes (such as tree planting) after full reduction strategies have been applied.
  • Set organisation-wide carbon emissions reduction targets supported by interim targets
  • Set product level carbon emissions reduction targets and recommending that these are embedded into performance management goals for product owners
  • Create a decarbonisation plan for all activities to deliver targets, including applying additional lessons from the Networkshop Exploring Digital Carbon Footprints report that we should consider and apply to Jisc itself
  • Provide support for the sector in understanding the carbon impact of services
  • Provide Carbon literacy training to key staff (including CSR Champions, CSR Working Group members and product owners)
  • Continue to maintain membership of Trees for Life and will be exploring how carbon offsetting can be used alongside our carbon reduction initiatives.
  • Continuing internal communications about the importance of the Net Zero project and engaging ways to encourage colleagues to commit to making changes (a pledge wall on the intranet is being explored)
  • Developing research projects which will help support members in the delivery of net zero emissions, i.e. expansion of Honeywell project into academic institutions
  • Developing an external communications plan, that includes developing website content that highlights how Jisc’s products and services support the delivery of its members net zero ambitions
  • In the longer term we will be exploring a range of initiatives including Science Based Targets and Race to Net Zero which will be public statements about our credentials and commitment to achieving Net Zero

More broadly we will be looking to align with the principles of the ISO14001 Environmental Management Systems standard and will review operations against the standard to identify any compliance gaps. We will continue to work with procurement to understand how to better embed environmental sustainability in procurement processes and contract terms and conditions; and ensure that our own suppliers are able to demonstrate their commitment to achieving net zero by 2050. 

Declaration and sign off

This Carbon Reduction Plan has been completed in accordance with PPN 06/21 and associated guidance and reporting standard for Carbon Reduction Plans.  Emissions have been reported and recorded in accordance with the published reporting standard for Carbon Reduction Plans and the GHG Reporting Protocol corporate standard and uses the appropriate Government emission conversion factors for greenhouse gas company reporting. Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions have been reported in accordance with SECR requirements, and the required subset of Scope 3 emissions have been reported (where available) in accordance with the published reporting standard for Carbon Reduction Plans and the Corporate Value Chain (Scope 3) Standard.

This Carbon Reduction Plan has been reviewed and signed off by the board of directors (or equivalent management body).

This statement was signed on behalf of Heidi Fraser-Krauss, trustee and chief executive, Jisc. Date: 1 December 2022

Previous carbon reduction plans