The study found that the engineering sector lags both the financial services and the healthcare sectors in terms of setting ‘a target date for achieving carbon neutrality (i.e. having a commitment to reducing carbon dioxide emissions and balancing any remaining carbon emissions through removals)’. Fifty-seven per cent of engineering firms had set a date for carbon neutrality, whereas in both the healthcare and financial services sectors, 61 per cent of firms have set such a target date. In addition, under half (45 per cent) of large engineering firms had established ‘some or all short and medium-term milestones to help achieve Net Zero’, whereas 65 per cent of the financial services sector had published their Net Zero roadmaps.
The engineering sector also lags others in the three-sector study, in terms of going live with Scope 1, 2 and 3 Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions data collection and reporting. Meanwhile, just half (50 per cent) of large engineering firms had started implementing Scope 1 and 2 ‘direct’ emissions reporting, while 62 per cent of healthcare sector respondents had begun ‘direct’ environmental reporting.
Mobilityways added: “The engineering sector is also behind other sectors in terms of the more impactful Scope 3 ‘indirect’ emissions reporting in companies’ supply chains. Just over half (54 per cent) of engineering firms have begun collecting Scope 3 emissions numbers; this compares poorly with both the financial services and the healthcare sectors, where 71 per cent of equivalent-sized firms had started Scope 3 emissions reporting. Yet experts predict that Scope 3 emissions are likely to be responsible for at least 70 per cent of a typical firm’s total GHG emissions.
Exploring more deeply the progress of the 54 per cent of large engineering firms which have begun Scope 3 emissions data gathering, the Mobilityways study found that here too they were behind on specific emissions category levels. For example, only 41 per cent of these engineering firms have ‘worked out a way of measuring GHG emissions from employee commutes to their place of work’.
Julie Furnell, managing director of Mobilityways, said: “The engineering sector has arguably been responsible for more carbon emissions than any other sector, as it has invented and built much of the infrastructure that we all benefit from today. It also has the skills and knowledge to make the changes to our built environment to protect us from the worst effects of climate change over the next 30 years, and to decarbonise the way we build infrastructure and generate electricity longer term.
“However, in its quest to make these important changes, the sector must remain mindful of meeting its own carbon reduction targets in ways that might seem less significant, but nevertheless constitute important sources of GHGs, such as emissions from their employees’ commutes to their places of work.”