Net zero action plan survey

Module four

This action plan survey will help you identify areas for improvement in your business and inform your net zero action plan.

Walk around your workplace and complete this survey. If you have a big space you can do a survey for each floor, you can also delegate it to an employee working in that area as they’ll be familiar with the layout.

This resource covers our suggested minimum requirements which are everything in Scope 1 and Scope 2. For Scope 3, it’s employee commuting, business travel including accommodation, employees working from home, water usage, waste and purchased goods and services as a minimum. You need to consider reducing any other Scope 3 elements highlighted as material to your business. Scope 3 emissions beyond our suggested minimum can be extremely difficult to measure and we don’t cover that in this course, but you can use our list of useful organisations to get help with calculating these emissions.

This survey will look familiar as you completed it in module two. Hopefully you’ve made some quick wins and improvements since then, or you’ve learnt more about your business, so your results will look different.

Once you’ve completed it, look at our your action plan – first steps resource for suggestions on how to improve and reduce your emissions.

Scope 1

Electricity – onsite electricity generation

Onsite electricity generation Yes No N/A Action
Efficiency Is your onsite electricity generation
equipment (such as solar panels)
maintained regularly?

Gas

Central heating Yes No N/A Action
Efficiency Is heating equipment maintained
regularly – for example, are your
radiators bled and are your boilers
serviced?
Have you adapted the heating
system to the space and are your
employees comfortable with the
temperature?
Can radiators and boiler pipes be
insulated and lagged?
Can radiators have reflectors fitted?
Is the heating system older than
eight years and can it be replaced?
Are radiators and other heating
surfaces clear of obstructions?
Is the heating provided by fan coil
units instead of radiators?
Are the fan coil units nearing their
end of useful life?
Can repair work be conducted and
draught seals installed?
Are windows double or triple
glazed?
Heating period Do you have control over the
building’s heating?
Are unused spaces being heated?
Are heating and cooling running
simultaneously?
Does the boiler have timers
installed and are they set in working
hours?
Heating level Is the space too hot or too cold?
What is the thermostatic radiator
valve (TRV) setting on radiators?
Note: comfortable temperatures of
19°C are usually maintained when
TRVs are set to three. If it’s at five or higher, there’s no control over the heat emitted.
Is the heating set to around 21°C?
Note: You can cut fuel consumption
and costs by about 8% through a 1°C
drop in average temperature.

Refrigerants – owned by you (optional)

Central cooling Yes No N/A Action
Efficiency Are cooling systems maintained regularly and are there records?
Is the cooling system adapted
to the space and are employees
comfortable? Note: Air conditioning shouldn’t be switched on until temperatures reach 24°C
Are air conditioning units older than
eight years?
Are the filters in ventilation systems
blocked?
Are air conditioning units in server
rooms set below 20°C?
Cooling period Are windows and doors closed
when heating or air conditioning is
on?
Are employees happy with the
temperature?
Are timers working and on the
correct settings?
Cooling level Can natural ventilation be used to
better advantage?
Refrigeration
Efficiency Are fridges maintained regularly
and are there records?
Are fridges set to below 3°C?

Transport – company owned vehicles

Company owned vehicles Yes No N/A Action
Travel alternatives Can technology replace some travel
(such as video conferencing)?
Are certain journeys avoidable?
Can you electrify your fleet?
Do you need to provide company
cars?
Do you audit your vehicles’
journeys?
Can you downsize your vehicles?
Do you provide training for drivers
on economic driving?

Scope 2

Electricity – purchased electricity

Central heating Yes No N/A Action
Type Do you have a green energy supplier?
Efficiency Is heating equipment maintained
regularly – for example, are your
radiators bled and are your boilers
serviced?
Is the heating system adapted to
the space and are your employees
comfortable with the temperature?
Can radiators and boiler pipes be
insulated and lagged?
Can radiators have reflectors fitted?
Is the heating system older than
eight years and can it be replaced?
Are radiators and other heating
surfaces clear of obstructions?
Is the heating provided by fan coil
units instead of radiators?
Are the fan coil units nearing their
end of useful life?
Can repair work be conducted and
draught seals installed?
Are your windows double or triple
glazed?
Heating period Do you have control over the
building’s heating?
Are unused spaces being heated?
Are heating and cooling running
simultaneously?
Does the boiler have timers
installed and are they set to
working hours?
Heating level Is the space too hot or too cold?
What is the thermostatic radiator
valve (TRV) setting on radiators?
Note: comfortable temperatures of
19°C are usually maintained when
TRVs are set to three. If it’s at five or
higher, there’s no control over the
heating emitted.
Is the heating set to around 21°C?
Note: you can cut fuel consumption
and costs by about 8% through a 1°C
drop in average temperature.
Individual/local heating

(small, electric or oil-based heaters)

Yes No N/A Action
Time in use Are employees using local heating
in conjunction with central heating?
Is local heating switched off during
breaks and out of working hours?
Is local heating left on standby?
Lighting Yes No N/A Action
Controls and zoning Are there enough controls to allow
employees to only use lights when
and where they need to?
Are the controls easy to use and
access?
Are external lights switched off
during the day?
Sensors Could sensors be fitted in
certain areas, so lights switch off
automatically (such as toilets, store
rooms and open plan offices)?
Employee behaviour Can people do more to use fewer
lights?
Are you actively encouraging
employees to switch lights off?
Do ancillary employees switch lights
off out of office hours?
Lighting Yes No N/A Action
Unnecessary lighting Are there lights where they aren’t
needed (such as above cupboards)?
Natural lighting Is natural light being blocked or
overlooked?
Cleaning lights Are windows, skylights and sensors
being kept clean?
Efficient technology Is energy-efficient LED lighting
used?
Have energy-inefficient traditional
tungsten bulbs been replaced?
Are there energy-inefficient large
diameter fluorescent bubs?
Technology Yes No N/A Action
Time in use Can employees switch off
equipment during breaks or out of
working hours more often?
Are power management functions
enabled (such as energy star
feature and sleep mode on
printers)?
Can timers be installed on certain
equipment (such as vending
machines)?
Does a lot of equipment get left
on standby (such as chargers and
printers)?
Do ancillary employees switch
equipment off outside of office
hours?
Efficiency Is your equipment old?
Catering equipment Yes No N/A Action
Period of power on Is catering equipment left on standby?
Are water heaters constantly left
on?
Can timers be installed on certain
equipment (such as point of use
water heaters)?
Efficiency Is catering equipment old (such as
fridges, dishwashers and microwaves)?

Scope 3

Transport – employee commuting

Employee commuting Yes No N/A Action
Travel alternatives Do you have a flexible and remote
working policy?
Do you incentivise green transport
methods?
Do you engage employees on green
transport methods?

Transport – business travel

Business travel Yes No N/A Action
Travel alternatives Can technology replace some travel
(such as video conferencing)?
Are certain journeys avoidable
(such as flights and taxi journeys)?
Do you need to provide company
cars?
Efficiency Can you downsize your vehicles?
Do you provide training for drivers
on economic driving?

Travel accommodation

Travel accommodation Yes No N/A Action
Alternatives Can technology replace the need
for accommodation (such as video
conferencing)?

Employees working from home

Employees working from home Yes No N/A Action
Communication Do you actively engage employees
on home energy efficiency
improvements?

Water

Water Yes No N/A Action
Efficiency Do you have water efficient
equipment and technology (such as
low flow toilets)?
Do you run your dishwasher with a
half load?
Communication Do you have maintenance reporting
channels for employees to report
any leaks?
Do you remind employees to turn
off taps when washing their hands?

Waste

Resource use Yes No N/A Action
Resource use Do employees use disposable items
(such as cups, paper towels, plastic
cutlery and bottled water)?
Is there a lot of packaging from
suppliers?
Do employees have ‘bad’ printing
habits (such as single-sided printing
and printing emails)?
Does you get a lot of unwanted
mail?
Do you audit your waste?
Do you often over buy?
Recycling Yes No N/A Action
Materials Do you recycle?
Could you be recycling more
materials (such as plastic, furniture,
IT equipment and batteries)?
Could you be donating more
materials (such as furniture, IT
equipment and stationery)?
Recycling rates Do employees have personal bins?
Are there enough recycling bins and
are they clearly labelled?
Are recycling bins contaminated
with waste materials (such as food)?

Purchased goods and services 

Procurement Yes No N/A Action
Environmentally friendly products Do you use sustainable products
(such as Fairtrade tea and coffee,
environmentally friendly cleaning
products and recycled paper)?
Do you buy items second hand?
Are purchased items vetted for
environmental credentials?
Do you buy environmentally
friendly food (such as meat free)?
Deliveries Do you plan bulk purchases?
Could you buy items locally?
Waste Do you buy items that are rarely/
never used?
Communication Do you work with suppliers to
engage them on environmental
initiatives?
Offsetting Do you offset your emissions?

Other

Employee engagement Yes No N/A Action
Communication Are employees given environmental
or energy efficiency training?
Do you encourage people to take
the stairs if they can?
Do you have an active green team
or net zero team?
Do you actively tell your employees
about environmental initiatives?
Policy and strategy Do you have an environmental
policy and targets signed off by
senior management?
Are these communicated internally
and externally?
Do you run meat free Mondays, or
equivalent?

This was last updated in September 2021 by Heart of the City. 

Climate for SMEs: 4 Steps to Action is funded by the City of London Corporation in support of its Climate Action Strategy targets for a net zero and resilient Square Mile.

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