Working in partnership for a more sustainable built environment

In this case study we review Burges Salmon’s role in providing legal support to The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC)

29 September 2021

The summary

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) is a charity with over 600 member organisations that represents leaders in the construction and property sectors, who are striving for a better and more sustainable built environment and decarbonisation. Burges Salmon has provided legal support to a task group that has delivered Renewable Energy Procurement & Carbon Offsetting Guidance for Net Zero Carbon Buildings. The report aims to provide valuable insight for building developers, designers, owners, occupiers, and policy makers.

Why us?

We acted as an integral member of the task group with Emma Andrews, Director at Burges Salmon, using her extensive experience in the renewable energy sector. Emma’s role was vital thanks to her knowledge and valuable input on the structures and legal contracts used to put Corporate Power Purchase Agreements (CPPA) in place.

Emily Huynh, Technical Advisor Advancing Net Zero at UKGBC said: “We are sending a clear signal to the energy and carbon market that we need more transparency as we all look to act quickly to meet Net Zero targets. Emma’s role in the task group was super valuable. Her knowledge of CPPAs combined with her legal expertise was critical in helping us to understand what procurement models are currently feasible, how these might evolve looking forward and the associated challenges industry may face. She was able to support us with the complexity of CPPAs and provide additional credibility to the task group thanks to her insight and experience in the renewable sector.”

Emma Andrews, Director at Burges Salmon said: “I really enjoyed being involved in the task group which has such an important role to play in supporting entities across the built environment sector. The issue of achieving Net Zero is gathering momentum as it moves higher up the agenda for many organisations. Alongside other stakeholders in the task group I have been able to demonstrate key areas of action and how we can all work together to make a real difference. At Burges Salmon we are committed to supporting the road to decarbonisation and sharing our knowledge and expertise for the benefit of all.”

The outcome

The task group created a final report entitled ‘The Guidance on Renewable Energy Procurement and Carbon Offsetting’ which has been published and shared widely. Our input has helped to provide much needed clarity on how to evaluate the quality of renewable energy procurement routes, including how to create additionality* – driving a material increase in the UK’s renewable energy capacity. It also outlines how the environmental integrity of an offset should be determined. This builds on previous guidance outlined in UKGBC’s flagship report ‘Net Zero Carbon Buildings: A Framework Definition’ which provides industry with clarity on how to achieve Net Zero carbon in construction and operation.

 

*Additionality in this context means choosing to purchase renewable electricity in a way that leads to the construction of a new renewable energy generating plant that would not have otherwise been constructed. The direct result of the organisation’s purchasing choice is an increase in renewable energy generation and verifiable emission reductions for the business.

 

Key contact

Emma Andrews

Emma Andrews Director

  • Energy and Utilities
  • Renewable Energy
  • Waste and Resource Management