Adrià Gelabert Bautista

Susan Harris

Agneta Persson

Paul Ashford

Sustainability Reporting and Brand Communications

June 3, 2019 | Guidance,
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“I’ve worked with several teams and individuals within Anthesis and have been continually impressed by the quality and concerted effort they put into delivering value to our business through our sustainability programs.”

Jaclyn Allen Director of Corporate Sustainability, GUESS?, Inc.

“It was a joy working with Anthesis. They provided a wealth of experience in enabling us to understand the nuances of the metrics so that we could put our best foot forward in our sustainability report. In short, I give Anthesis my highest recommendation as a Corporate Responsibility partner and publisher, and I would not hesitate to work with them again.”

VP Investor Relations, Leading Technology Firm

Anthesis offers pragmatic support for sustainability reporting, helping companies and organisations find value in what can otherwise be a time consuming, complicated and sometimes expensive process.

Benefits of Sustainability Reporting

Every organisation’s needs are different so we offer a wide range of services to help plan, write and design sustainability reports:

  • Identify and understand emerging risks and opportunities that your organization may face, and how those translate into your material topics.
  • Target your communications to the needs of your key stakeholders – employees, investors, customers, NGOs, regulators.
  • Align your report with best practice reporting frameworks including the Global Reporting Initiative Standards, International Integrated Reporting Council, Sustainability Accounting Standards Board, Dow Jones Sustainability Reporting Index), Carbon Disclosure Project, UN Global Compact and others.
  • Create a repository of answers to stakeholders’ questions.
  • Use the reporting process to drive ownership and accountability of sustainability performance into the business, as well as measure performance improvement.
  • Connect your reporting process and focus areas to the business and to commercial strategy.
  • Build and protect your reputation.

Sustainability Reporting Experience

We work with organisations both large and small across the world to help them develop sustainability reporting and communications most relevant for their key stakeholders. Our clients include:

Arista Networks • Bose • Cisco • CMC • Colas • Exponent PE • Guess?, Inc.• Kingfisher • Lindsay Corporation • Maxim Integrated • Melco • Network Rail • Provident Financial • Tesco • The North Face • Urban & Civic • YOOX Net-a-Porter •

For more information contact Ben Tuxworth.

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you

Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, Colombia, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Andorra, Finland, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.

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Navigating ESOS and the European EED as a Private Equity Firm

May 30, 2019 | Guidance,
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The risks to private equity firms in failing to comply with the Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) and the European Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) are significant, however the benefits of a comprehensive compliance program can far outweigh the cost of compliance.

The Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme (ESOS) is a mandatory scheme obligating large UK organizations to undertake energy efficiency audits of their buildings, industrial processes and transport every four years.

ESOS is the UK’s interpretation of the EU Energy Efficiency Directive (EED) meaning there are equivalent schemes that require compliance across all EU member states.

Private equity firms managing funds with several portfolio companies are often regarded as the ‘highest parent’ company, and therefore compliance risk sits with them. For many funds, this definition of highest parent also means that if one portfolio company is captured by the EED then all others are obligated too.

We believe that a comprehensive EED compliance program can drive savings to the bottom line, increase performance capabilities and eliminate reputational risk – and that the opportunity far outweighs the likely costs.

To find out more about the benefits of compliance and our approach to supporting private equity clients through ESOS and the EED download our short guide:

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We'd love to hear from you

Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, Colombia, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Andorra, Finland, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.

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Going Electric – The Current State of the Heat Debate

May 13, 2019 | Insights,
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The vision of the future is clear, we’re going electric on heating. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says as much, and the current average carbon factor is already lower than gas. Great, no more debates required, let’s roll out the heat pumps and brush up on our electrical engineering… 

This may be the impression after a cursory review of the facts and look at some of the simpler articles on this topic. It may even be reinforced by the implications of the governmentbudget statement. There is certainly some core of truth in the above, but scratch the surface and much more complex issues lie below.  

The IPCC does highlight that heating systems will need to electrify with rapid change required in the next decade to restrict global warming to less than 1.5oC. The implication of this is that we need to decarbonise heat nowThere’s no time to wait for hydrogen, though this may have a later role, it is required to use technologies already to hand 

The National Infrastructure Committee has investigated what electrifying heat might mean on a macro strategic level. Surprisingly, direct electric and heat pumps come out at broadly similar costs levels, with the cost of retrofitting energy efficiency measures to existing building stock to allow the use of heat pumps offsetting the reduction in grid reinforcement costs required to run systems with direct electricity. The headline though is both costs are high, requiring substantial investment in infrastructure and buildings. As the Climate Change Committee concludes: “low carbon heating is among the toughest challenges facing climate policy.”

Issues for building developers, operators or service engineers 

We seem to be at a point of inflection. A lot of change is taking place simultaneously, with issues to address but no clear solutions. For example: 

  • In new build, there are few new low-hanging energy efficiency fruits left to reach for. 
  • There is continual evidence of a substantive performance gap between buildings as strategically designed, and as realistically constructed. In part this is due to a delay arising from a lack of experience in understanding and installing a lot of the new technologies and products being deployed. Closing the gap is not a simple undertaking. 
  • The national grid has decarbonised faster than anticipated, but is also facing local capacity restrictions arising from the roll out of decentralized energy technologies, which are already putting connection costs up. 
  • Under the Kigali agreement, traditional HFC refrigerants are being phased out, with limitations in alternative technologies in the market place and often additional risks present in the replacement gases. This is naturally impacting the heat pump market. 
  • Emissions from existing buildings remain a key challenge, with few easy options to address these. 
  • The electrification of transport is also on an upward trajectory, and is competing with buildings for the same electrical resources. 

“Low carbon heating is among the toughest challenges facing climate policy, ” says the Climate Change Committee.

Potential pitfalls of new solutions 

Some of the suggested solutions and changes present further issues to consider. As new F-Gas regulations prevent the use of refrigerants gases with a global warming potential (GWP) >2,500 post 2020, and drive up the cost of gases with high GWP’s <2,500, heat pump technology is changing rapidly.

The HVAC industry is rapidly migrating to R32 but this can only be used in small or external systems due to its flammability. The refrigeration industry is migrating to low GWP refrigerants such as CO2, Hydrocarbons, HFO’s, HFO/HFC blends and ammonia but these bring their own design and operational challenges. 

It is easy to see a role for this technology in commercial buildings with a cooling load, but the situation becomes more complex in dense residential deployment. Large scale heat pumps require novel low temperature district heating distribution systems and specialized maintenanceSimilarly, if ambient loop heat pumps arent treated, maintained and run as a coherent system by a single landlord or operator, the risk of a systemic problem (e.g. water quality), inadvertent tampering or alteration at an individual residence, leading to wider system issues, is high. Some heat loads may also be just too large to be met from heat pumps given the available ground area or roof area for a given project. 

Considerations for long-term success 

There are some simple ‘low-regret’ options identified by the scientific community. A continued focus on energy efficiency is required in new and existing building stock. New build are required to be designed from the outset with the ability to fit low carbon heating systems within the next 15 years. This will likely mean a continued focus on low temperature water systems to allow future flexibility in heat supply. Similarly, low-carbon district heating systems in the right geographical locations are required but are also not themselves a silver bullet to the wider challenge. 

The key issue when advising on this is likely to be whole life cost. The government’s own electricity price forecast for the national grid estimates a 12-25% rise in real prices over the next 10 years for residential, service and industrial usersAny proponent of electric heating should bear these operating costs in mind where promoting these systems, particularly where fuel poverty is a risk.  

Additionally, electrical infrastructure restraints in some parts of the country, such as the west, are already having very material impacts on capital cost and project feasibility 

Electrical capacity – future risks 

There is no doubt that some spare capacity exists in our electrical distribution systems, for example in London. But there needs to be careful consideration of how this is utilised, particularly with the rise of electric vehicles. Under current rules, a connection may be made to the electrical network for a given fee provided capacity is available.

However, once significant reinforcement of the local power system is required, the connection or connections driving this pay a proportion of the costs of the local supply reinforcement. These can be large costs, potentially making development unviable, and is already being witnessed in some parts of the country. 

Furthermore, the balance of costs for reinforcement, i.e. the costs not met by the connecting party are met by the DNO and ultimately the consumer through ongoing electrical charges for new and existing local users in their bills. This continues pushing up the price of electricity ahead of inflation with the associated fuel poverty and economic impact of this.

These costs may also be large, for example if upon a new connection a 10 MVA transformer needs replacing with a 15MVA unit to reinforce a system, the connecting party pays his share (e.g. the 5 MVA uplift) however existing consumers pay for the replacement of their equivalent capacity (the 10 MVA). This leads to a cliff edge scenario, whereby connections for those that can get them are relatively cheap, up to the current system capacity. 

However subsequent connections may be very expensive or result in increasingly greater impacts on consumer electricity prices 

There is a risk if we continue allowing development without strategic foresight that some new developments may absorb local electrical capacity, but once a critical level is met connections for other electrically heated developments or transportation become too onerous in a given location. This can affect not only large cities, but also rural towns and settlements where the electrical distribution system is weaker and fewer alternatives to electric vehicles exist for future personal transportation.  

OFGEM and the DNO’s are aware of these challenges but there is a need for wider industry debate as to how these costs will be apportioned fairly in the future, particularly where the driver is new-build electrically heated development. 

Therefore, it’s likely that the capital costs of connection and upgrading local electrical power networks to accommodate heating and transportation as well as traditional loads will come to dominate the future debate and decision making on low carbon heating system selection. Where these are high, it may drive alternative system approaches. 

Building owners, DNOs, operators and service engineers are likely to need to work very closely to understand these interactions and particularly their longterm cost and maintenance implications as we progress through this time of change. 

Contact us

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Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, Colombia, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Andorra, Finland, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.

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Communal Heating Options Appraisal for Bristol & Anchor Almshouse

April 25, 2019 | Case Study,
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“Your report was exactly what we required. It informed us and enabled us to make a better decision that wouldn’t have been possible without it. Your response was everything we could have expected – polite, timely and professional.”

Richard Jarratt
Bristol & Anchor Almshouse

A Bristol based charity asked us to explore different options for replacing the aging and inefficient heating systems in its properties.

The Project

Bristol & Anchor Almshouse is a charity focused on reducing social isolation and connecting communities within the city of Bristol. It operates a community centre, The Beehive Centre, as well as a collection of almshouse cottages that accommodate older people in need of safe and secure housing.

The cottages were served with electric space heating, which is costly to run. Meanwhile, the Beehive Centre was heated with gas space heating that was approaching the end of its serviceable lifespan.

All heating and hot water bills are paid for by the charity, which wanted to explore different options for replacing the existing heating arrangements.

We modelled the existing heating and domestic hot water consumption using energy bills, SAP modelling and CIBSE Guide F Energy benchmarks to provide a ‘base case’ of total annual energy consumption, fuel cost and carbon dioxide emissions.

We then forecast the energy consumption, CO2 emissions, fuel costs and capital costs for installation of each of the following four scenarios:

  • Mains gas for the Beehive Centre and cottages
  • Mains gas for the cottages only
  • Biomass for the Beehive Centre and cottages
  • Biomass for the cottages only.

Finally, we calculated the total cost savings over a 20-year period and provided a simple payback calculation.

Key Services Delivered

  • Site visits
  • SAP surveys
  • Options appraisal

Key Outputs

  • Based on the results of each scenario, the option which represented the smallest investment, was to install a new mains gas communal boiler for the cottages only. This also provided the shortest payback.
  • Better fuel cost savings at a similar payback could be achieved by including the Beehive Centre in the upgrade.
  • The best CO2 emissions savings were achieved by the biomass heating systems. However, higher biomass fuel, maintenance and capital costs lead to longer payback periods.

Bristol & Anchor Almshouse decided that for simplicity and ease of ongoing maintenance it would keep the heating systems for the cottages and the Beehive Centre separate.

Following our findings, the charity chose the option that represented the smallest capital investment and quickest pay back, which was to install a new communal gas boiler for the cottages only.

In addition, we were able to provide a small amount of Energy Company Obligation funding towards the installation of the new boiler, which further reduced the capital cost of the project for the charity.

For further information get in touch with senior associate Pete Best.

Contact us

We'd love to hear from you

Anthesis has offices in the U.S., Canada, Colombia, the UK, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Spain, Andorra, Finland, China, the Philippines and the Middle East.

[hubspot type=form portal=3887711 id=615ca462-bdcc-4537-8360-ec12f2372585]

Communal Heating Options Appraisal for Bristol & Anchor Almshouse

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“Your report was exactly what we required. It informed us and enabled us to make a better decision that wouldn’t have been possible without it. Your response was everything we could have expected – polite, timely and professional.”

Richard Jarratt
Bristol & Anchor Almshouse

A Bristol based charity asked us to explore different options for replacing the aging and inefficient heating systems in its properties.

The Project

Bristol & Anchor Almshouse is a charity focused on reducing social isolation and connecting communities within the city of Bristol. It operates a community centre, The Beehive Centre, as well as a collection of almshouse cottages that accommodate older people in need of safe and secure housing.

The cottages were served with electric space heating, which is costly to run. Meanwhile, the Beehive Centre was heated with gas space heating that was approaching the end of its serviceable lifespan.

All heating and hot water bills are paid for by the charity, which wanted to explore different options for replacing the existing heating arrangements.

We modelled the existing heating and domestic hot water consumption using energy bills, SAP modelling and CIBSE Guide F Energy benchmarks to provide a ‘base case’ of total annual energy consumption, fuel cost and carbon dioxide emissions.

We then forecast the energy consumption, CO2 emissions, fuel costs and capital costs for installation of each of the following four scenarios:

  • Mains gas for the Beehive Centre and cottages
  • Mains gas for the cottages only
  • Biomass for the Beehive Centre and cottages
  • Biomass for the cottages only.

Finally, we calculated the total cost savings over a 20-year period and provided a simple payback calculation.

Key Services Delivered

  • Site visits
  • SAP surveys
  • Options appraisal

Key Outputs

  • Based on the results of each scenario, the option which represented the smallest investment, was to install a new mains gas communal boiler for the cottages only. This also provided the shortest payback.
  • Better fuel cost savings at a similar payback could be achieved by including the Beehive Centre in the upgrade.
  • The best CO2 emissions savings were achieved by the biomass heating systems. However, higher biomass fuel, maintenance and capital costs lead to longer payback periods.

Bristol & Anchor Almshouse decided that for simplicity and ease of ongoing maintenance it would keep the heating systems for the cottages and the Beehive Centre separate.

Following our findings, the charity chose the option that represented the smallest capital investment and quickest pay back, which was to install a new communal gas boiler for the cottages only.

In addition, we were able to provide a small amount of Energy Company Obligation funding towards the installation of the new boiler, which further reduced the capital cost of the project for the charity.

For further information get in touch with senior associate Pete Best.