The UK Met Office has revealed plans to become a net zero greenhouse gas emitter by 2030. The organization aims to reduce operational emissions as much as possible, using sustainable and approved offsetting only where absolutely necessary.
A thorough baseline analysis of the Met Office’s carbon emissions was conducted for the financial year 2019/20. This provided a representative, pre-Covid-19 starting point from which to take action, and identified four main areas to focus on: scientific data collection/critical infrastructure, business travel, building management and procurement/supply chain.
Significant steps have already been taken to reduce the emissions of the organization. By moving to 100% renewable electricity at main operational locations, the Met Office is already saving around 16,000 tons of CO2e (CO2 or equivalent) emissions each year, around 50% of the organization’s baseline emissions.
By 2030 the Met Office’s emissions will be reduced by 81%, with sustainable offsetting for the residual 19% of emissions that are currently unavoidable due to essential operational activity.
The Met Office also plans to support other organizations in lowering their emissions to reach the same goal, building on its existing work with leading businesses and organizations to increase energy efficiency and improve resilience, with the long-term goal of reducing carbon emissions.
Detailed weather forecasts for customers are being used to optimize energy usage, improve the efficiency of renewable energy sources and even reduce the carbon footprint of air travel, thanks to detailed wind forecasting helping to plan flight paths.
Chief executive Penny Endersby said, “The Met Office is committed to aligning its own activities to the clear scientific message that carbon dioxide emissions, along with other greenhouse gases, need to be reduced. Through the continued support of staff and colleagues, we will take the organization to net zero by 2030 and help other organizations follow in our footsteps by offering our science expertise to support their own progress to net zero.”