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Our Net Zero Journey

The mission is underway

Climate change is anticipated to be the greatest issue we will face this century and action is required on all fronts to limit global warming. In 2015, 196 countries adopted the Paris Agreement, a legally binding treaty to limit warming to well below 2°C, preferably 1.5°C. Since then, organisations and governments have been implementing policies to enable immediate and significant reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Current UK policy sets out a target to reduce emissions by 78% by 2035 (compared with 1990), and net zero emissions by 2050.

These policies are driving a global race to develop new green technology, deliver net zero buildings and transition towards clean energy. At Watkins Payne this is a core part of our service offering, and we support our clients across a range of schemes to promote sustainability in the built environment. See our Sustainability page to learn how we can support your sustainability goals, with BREEAM, NABERS and more.

We as a company also have a responsibility to measure and reduce the environmental impact of our own operations and the wider impact we have across our value chain. Our office building in Surrey is the first to achieve a 5 star rating for NABERS UK Energy for Office Whole Building. This achievement is a major milestone for Watkins Payne, underscoring our unwavering commitment to sustainability and excellence in building energy efficiency, both in design and operation.

“It’s a testament to our dedication to sustainability and energy efficiency. I couldn’t be prouder of our team’s hard work and commitment, not just on our projects but also within the building we work in daily,” says Robert Marshall, Principal Building Performance Engineer at Watkins Payne.

The NABERS UK Star rating system is an internationally recognised benchmark for energy efficiency performance in operation for commercial office buildings. Watkins Payne aimed to demonstrate that excellent energy performance can be achieved in any workplace, including our own unremarkable 1960s suburban office building, by implementing thoughtful measures such as meticulous control of our air source heat pump heating and cooling system, prioritising natural ventilation by opening windows instead of relying solely on mechanical cooling, and ensuring that unoccupied rooms had temperature setpoints adjusted accordingly. Watkins Payne was able to optimise energy usage without compromising comfort.

Mission Statement

At Watkins Payne we are dedicated to reducing our impact on the environment. We are working towards zero emissions in our direct operations by 2024, and being a carbon neutral organisation by 2030, according to definitions of the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi).
We have made the following commitments to see that our actions are robust and comprehensive:


Our emissions reduction goals have been approved by the Science Based Target initiative and are in line with limiting global warming to 1.5°C. We have committed to net zero in the operation of our assets under the World Green Building Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment. 


Our plan includes both the direct activities of our organisation (emissions scopes 1 and 2), and the wider impact of our whole value chain (emissions scope 3).


We will seek to prioritise emissions avoidance and emissions reduction. Additionally, through the development of an offsetting strategy based on a recognised offsetting framework, we will seek to offset to compensate for unavoidable emissions.


Our reporting is performed by an independent specialist third party in accordance with the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. Our plan is underpinned by strong data and we will continue to improve data coverage/integrity and report our progress annually.

External Commitments

Science Based Targets

We have set an emissions reduction target through the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), joining over 4,000 companies worldwide with approved targets.

▪ We commit to a 50% reduction in our scope 1 and 2 GHG emissions by 2030 from the SBTi required 2018 base year, and to measure and reduce our scope 3 emissions. This target has been approved using a streamlined validation by the SBTi, and is consistent with limiting global warming to 1.5°C

World Green Building Council – Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

We commit to net zero carbon in operation for all assets under our control by 2030.

This requires us to:
▪ Commit to only occupying net zero assets by 2030
▪ Disclose our scope 1 and 2 emissions
▪ Act to implement our carbon reduction strategy
▪ Verify our energy and emissions data
▪ Advocate for net zero among our clients and partners

Climate Group EP100

Through implementation of our Net Zero buildings commitment, we are a member of the EP100 initiative.

Together with over 100 energy-smart companies, we are improving our energy productivity and supporting the transition to cleaner energy.

For more information, find us listed at


Our external commitments have a focus on our direct emissions (scopes 1 and 2). But we acknowledge that our impact goes far beyond this, and we have an opportunity and responsibility to influence emissions throughout our value chain (scope 3).

Here’s where our emissions come from (2021-22):



Electricity use and gas for heating



Travel and transport for business purposes


Employee Commuting

Travel to work and energy use associated with remote working


Supply Chain

Emissions relating to the goods and services that we buy


Business Transition

One-off purchases in transitioning to a limited company



We have already made great progress in reducing our emissions compared with the our selected 2019/20 baseline. As expected, our emissions increased following the anomalous 2020/21 year, however have not returned to pre-Covid levels. Despite the significant one-off business transition impact, we remain in line with the trajectory of our proposed reduction plan and would expect emissions to continue to reduce in future years.

  • 2021/22

    Signed up to WorldGBC’S Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment

  • 2021/22

    GHG emissions measured & 2030 roadmap in place

  • 2021/22

    Targets approved by the SBTi

  • 2023/24

    Zero emissions across Watkins Payne’s direct operations

  • 2029/30

    WorldGBC’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment reached

  • 2029/30

    Carbon neutral across Watkins Payne’s whole value chain

Carbon reduction plan

At Watkins Payne we are dedicated to reducing our impact on the environment. We are working towards:

Our targets have been approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) and we are a signatory to the World Green Buildings Council’s Net Zero Carbon Buildings Commitment.

* Scope 3 emissions include purchased goods and services; fuel and energy related activities; waste generated in operations; business travel; and employee commuting and remote working.

Carbon reduction action

The following measures have been implemented since the 2019/20 baseline:

Scope 1 and 2 emissions have been further reduced by external impacts including decarbonisation of electricity and COVID-19.

We are currently taking the following actions across scopes 1, 2 and 3 to mitigate this increase and continue towards our emissions reduction goals: