Future homes standard: a summary

Future homes standard: a summary

From automotive to construction, many different industries and sectors, wheels are in motion to bring in legislation and new standards that will help us push towards the goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. 

Currently under review is the Future Homes Standard – updates to Building Regulations for new dwellings which will impose stricter material standards and set emissions targets.

In this post, we’ll give you a summary of the Future Homes Standard and what it will mean for the industry. 

Carbon neutral vs net-zero – what’s the difference?

Carbon neutral vs net-zero – what’s the difference?

Especially when dealt with on a global scale, differences in terminology and semantics can cause confusion and misinterpretation – so it’s best to assess what each term means and how they are applied in initiatives to reach a common goal – combating climate change and protecting the future of our planet. 

 

Carbon neutral vs net-zero – what’s the difference?

Fundamentally, there is no difference between the two terms. Carbon neutrality is the act of achieving net-zero emissions. Net-zero may have become a more popular term on a geopolitical scale as it represents more of a “quantitative” target. Some countries have misinterpreted carbon neutrality to mean stabilising carbon emissions at a certain “accepted” level, rather than offsetting them completely. 

So, whatever you want to call it, let’s dig a little deeper into what achieving net-zero  actually means.

 

What is “net-zero”?

Net zero, in its broadest sense, means that you are offsetting your carbon emissions and capturing enough carbon from the atmosphere to keep the total carbon footprint at zero. This is achieved by 1) reducing emissions and 2) carbon offsetting. Reducing emissions to zero is a little unrealistic (this would be “gross zero”) – so efforts to reduce emissions must be supported by efforts to remove CO2 from the atmosphere to make up for emissions elsewhere. This is where the “offsetting” comes in. 

Generally speaking, we use “net zero” to refer to what is actually “net zero carbon” – meaning that for every ton of anthropogenic emissions (carbon emissions caused or influenced by humans), the equivalent amount of CO2 must be removed from the atmosphere. Net-zero GHG refers to the balancing of all greenhouse gas emissions, taking into account all other anthropogenic emissions which are harmful to the environment in abundance such as methane and nitrous oxide. This is also referred to as “climate neutral”. 

That being said, the focus tends to be on carbon dioxide, as it accounts for the large majority of  anthropogenic emissions. 

 

What net zero means for us

In 2019, the UK government was the first major economy to pass into law the target of net zero emissions by 2050. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) advises this step in order to keep the UK on track with commitments made as part of the Paris Agreement in 2016, to keep global warming under 2 degrees. What this means in practice is a little unclear – it imposes a legal obligation on the government to reach this target, but how it will be enforced is still largely unknown. Currently, the UK is not on track to meet its previous target of reducing emissions by 80% by 2050 – so drastic measures and vital work needs to be undertaken to push us towards that goal. 

The four highest emitting sectors, being transportation, energy supply, business and residential, will be the focus of initiatives and additional legislation being brought in to curb emissions. 

 

Our commitment

At Elmelin, we recognise that beyond semantics and politics, climate change is a pressing global issue that needs to be addressed through the collective efforts of entire industries. We’re working closely with our clients to develop solutions that will help them create products to aid the net zero initiative. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch

 

3 key pieces of net zero legislation you should know about

3 key pieces of net zero legislation you should know about

Widespread change requires systemic change. Driving towards a net-zero society requires us to reexamine legislation and put in place sanctions and measures that will help to curb activities with severe environmental impact, and promote those with low impact.

Climate change has already been ramping up on the agendas of government bodies all over the world for the last decade or so – but with the problem becoming increasingly urgent, and a line in the sand of 2050 drawn for many countries to reach net-zero emissions, legislative changes are being proposed and being locked into the roadmap for the near future.

With that in mind, in this post, we’ll look at 3 key pieces of net zero-related legislation you need to be aware of.

Reducing carbon emissions from heavy industry

Reducing carbon emissions from heavy industry

Power and heavy industry sectors accounted for around 60% of annual emissions in 2019. Heavy industry describes sectors like steel, cement and petrochemical. The processes and fuels used in these sectors present significant and unique challenges when it comes to reducing emissions.

With the goal of net zero by 2050 fast-approaching, let’s take a look at some of the challenges of heavy industry and carbon emissions, and some of the ways they can be addressed. 

How the right insulation solves 3 challenges with battery storage

How the right insulation solves 3 challenges with battery storage

The drive towards promoting and utilising clean energy and the goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will mean an increased reliance on battery storage. In a world where we’re not utilising fossil fuels for power, batteries will be vital in powering not just things like battery-operated electric vehicles (BEVs) but also off and on-grid storage.

How our innovative insulation materials improve sustainability

How our innovative insulation materials improve sustainability

With the US now back in the Paris Agreement, climate policy is very much front and center on the agenda for all of the world’s major economies. Here in the UK, key pieces of legislation are coming in in the next decade to support our government’s quest for “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions in 2050. Firstly, by 2025, all new developments will be banned from installing gas boilers. And by 2030, the sale of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will also be banned.