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A 30% reduction in our carbon footprint – Crown UK&I’s journey to net-zero

On completing Crown UK &I Carbon Disclosure Platform (CDP) submission this summer the Senior Leadership of Crown UK&I are delighted to establish that one year into our net zero plan we have achieved a 35% reduction in our Scope 2 emissions in the last year through switching to renewable energy, investing in renewable technology and following a programme of education and behaviour change and a 30% in our footprint overall.

The Crown UK&I group of companies understand our responsibility to the planet and our role in tackling climate change. Crown are focused on driving the circular economy, reducing waste, innovating with technology and have been transparent in reporting their carbon footprint on CDP since 2015.

In 2021 Crown accelerated our drive to become a more responsible business by creating an ambitious and holistic sustainability strategy, guided by the leading principles of Business in the Community.

Following extensive work in 2021 to collate data on our carbon footprint across all UK and Ireland brands, we have committed to a target of net-zero by 2040 for our scope 1 and 2 emissions —relative to a 2019 baseline—with interim goals of a 45% reduction by 2025, and 65% reduction by 2030.

We have a dedicated Responsible Business Team leading this agenda, involving directors and industry experts, supported by a Carbon Working Group that drive forward carbon reduction projects and track our progress.

Deep cuts in our Scope 2 emissions

The focus of our carbon reduction efforts since 2021 has been reducing the emissions created through electricity use. Through reducing our energy consumption through technological and behaviour change and transitioning sites to renewable energy tariffs, we have reduced our Scope 2 emissions by 35%.

  • Crown UK&I has made a strategic commitment to transition all sites to renewable energy contracts with our preferred British renewable energy supplier, Good Energy. Since 2021, we have transitioned 11 out of 16 sites and are continuing to transition sites as current contracts expire and the volatility of the energy market stabilises.
  • We recognise that reducing our actual energy consumption alongside our use of renewable energy remains vital. We have replaced all external lights with LEDs at 15 out of 16 sites across the UK, and replaced internal LEDs at four sites with projects in place for a further three sites. These new bulbs are around 80% more efficient to those we were using previously.
  • Creating behaviour change by making small operational changes has also been important. For instance, we have moved the location of light switches to add convenience and encouraged people to switch lights off, had incentives for employees to save energy where possible, and installed day-night sensors where appropriate.

Case Study

A major operational site had Scope 2 C02e footprint of around 85 tonnes. This site is 30,000 square foot in size, and had lights that were 25 years old which were left on constantly. To tackle this, we replaced all lighting with LED’s, introducing PIR and microwave sensors, and made all lights individually controlled in the warehouse. Through this manual intervention, we have reduced the energy consumption of this site by 37% – around 33 tonnes of C02e. For comparison, this would be enough to power 4 homes for an entire year.

Addressing Scope 1

We recognise that out fleet presents us with one of our biggest carbon reduction challenges, but are working to tackle our Scope 1 emissions. In 2021, we created a new role of Fleet Manager with a key responsibility being focused on reducing fleet emissions.  We have also established a Fleet Strategy Team, who have been tasked with exploring alternative vehicle technologies and infrastructure, as we look to also make changes to our fleet in the longer term in line with the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan.

  • In 2021, we ordered six electric vehicles. To support this as well as encourage employees to drive electric vehicles to work, we have installed charging points at three sites.
  • We are working to improve driving efficiency, from trialling route optimisation software, removing older vehicles from our fleet and introducing driver training to improve driving styles.

Responsible business in UK&I

We are aware we have a long way to go, but are driven by our ambitious carbon reduction plan which will be constantly developed as new technologies become available. Most importantly, we have a committed leadership team who recognise the need for their focus and investment in order to meet our goals. Find out more about our three-pillar approach to becoming a responsible business here.

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