CO2 Performance Ladder reaches a milestone with 800th certificate

Five questions to Gijs Termeer, team leader SKAO

In august of this year, the 800th CO2 Performance Ladder certificate was awarded to the Dutch energy organization Pure Energie. This confirms that sustainability and awareness of CO2 emissions are gaining more relevance in business practices. Five questions were asked to Gijs Termeer, manager of the CO2 Performance Ladder, about how this milestone was achieved and what we all can expect from the CO2 management system in the future.

1. What was the most important factor for this milestone to be achieved?

“The fact that more commissioning parties are now implementing the CO2 Performance Ladder in the tender processes. As a result of an extensive research, we found out that there were seventy-five commissioning parties that made use of the ladder in hundreds of tenders in 2016. As the amount of commissioning parties implementing the CO2 management system grows, there will be more companies that want to make use of the ladder and achieve a certificate of CO2 awareness – it has a knock-on effect. We notice that the award advantage that companies gain in tender processes by implementing the CO2 Performance Ladder is one of the greatest motivations for them to achieve the certificate. However, the company that was awarded with the 800th certificate does not have a direct interest in tender processes. These developments help the CO2 management system to grow, as more and more parties want to embrace sustainability and work hard to reducing CO2 emissions. Other organizations such as the KNVB, the Dutch ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and the municipality of Renkum are also certified with the CO2 Performance Ladder. Much like Pure Energy, these organizations do not have direct interest in tendering processes. They realize the added value of the ladder in order to structure their process of continuous CO2 emission reduction.

2. What is the main focus of SKAO towards increasing the impact of the CO2 Performance Ladder?

“We want to focus on increasing the amount of commissioning parties that implement the ladder. Seventy-five seems like a big number, but there are still about 400 commissioning parties that do not implement the ladder. These commissioning organizations also need to spend more time on what happens during the project once the CO2 Performance Ladder is used in tender processes. When commissioning parties are in a continuous dialogue with their contractors, the impact of the CO2 Performance Ladder will increase. This leads to the implementation of sustainable innovations and more opportunities to reduce CO2 emissions.

3. What business developments and changes have you noticed in the last couple of years?

“A couple of years ago we received telephone calls from organizations that had no information about their CO2 footprint. In the meantime, CO2 reduction has become a common practice for many businesses. What we see now is that there is more focus on sustainability. There is more focus on reducing emissions caused by materials that many organizations use, such as asphalt and concrete. Businesses in the supply chain seek partnerships and extend the boundaries of their own organization to reduce CO2. SKAO adheres to the growing relevance of sustainability on a global level with the Handbook 3.0: CO2 reduction in the supply chain and transparency of chain activities.”

4. How do commissioning parties and certified companies react to the implementation of the CO2 Performance Ladder?

“The ladder helps companies to structure their efforts towards CO2 reduction, and ensures that sustainability remains relevant within the company. At the same time, these are the greatest challenges. CO2 reduction should not merely be a norm and certification that lets all the work to be done by the CSR manager. It should be carried on by all employees in the organization and that is exactly why the CO2 Performance Ladder provides a solution.”

5. What does the future hold for the CO2 Performance Ladder?

“SKAO has been actively working on the capacity for certified organizations to distinguish themselves on projects where they received an award advantage by implementing the CO2 Performance Ladder. Next to that, we want to encourage commissioning parties to be more actively involved during projects, by means of a dialogue between their organizations and contractors that work on the projects. Moreover, we want to clarify the social and environmental impact of the CO2 Performance Ladder in the Netherlands. We will do this by communicating more about the ladder through best practice examples. Finally, we also have the ambition to become the CO2 management system of the Netherlands. With the award of the 800th CO2 Performance Ladder certificate and the 3.000 organizations that are increasingly aware of their emissions, thanks to the ladder, we have achieved yet another milestone.”