Navigating the path to net zero

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) is a cornerstone of the UK’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions within public services, says Nichola O’Brien

Navigating the path to net zero

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS) is a cornerstone of the UK's strategy to reduce carbon emissions within public services. As local authorities increasingly focus on securing and efficiently utilising these funds, the competition to craft a winning bid has become more intense. With Phase four of PSDS shifting towards a more strategic allocation model – prioritising projects that deliver substantial carbon reductions and cost efficiency – a robust bid is essential for success.

The public sector is responsible for 2% of the UK's carbon emissions, making it a significant area for intervention. In recent years, numerous local authorities have declared climate emergencies, reflecting a growing commitment to tackling climate change. While the UK is making steady progress towards its ambitious 2050 net-zero target, the urgency to further decrease both carbon emissions and overall energy consumption is becoming increasingly critical.

PSDS aims to reduce emissions from the public estate by 75% by 2037. Phase three saw an impressive allocation of over £1.4 billion in grant funding, representing a significant increase from previous phases. As we approach Phase four, which promises to be even more competitive, the importance of a compelling and well-prepared bid cannot be overstated.

Is there a one size fits all approach? The short answer is no. Each estate's unique characteristics necessitate customised strategies to maximise the potential of available funding and measures. Our extensive experience with more than 30 public sector organisations has included everything from comprehensive feasibility studies that identify the areas with the most significant potential for carbon and economic savings, to creating bespoke net zero roadmaps that are tailored to each organisation's specific needs and circumstances. From consultancy through to delivery, our experience underscores the critical role of early engagement in the bid process, significantly enhancing the likelihood of securing funding and ensuring the successful project implementation.

The upcoming Phase four of PSDS is set to transform how organisations approach funding applications, and will introduce new criteria and considerations that require careful planning and strategic thinking. Those who prepare proactively and adopt a strategic approach will undoubtedly gain a competitive edge in securing funds and delivering successful decarbonisation projects.

Our proven track record in PSDS uniquely positions us to guide you through this process. From application through to delivery, we have the expertise and practical knowledge necessary to create a winning bid and implement effective decarbonisation projects. With a deep understanding of PSDS requirements, we are committed to assisting partners to achieve significant, long-term sustainable reductions in carbon emissions. 

Preparing thoroughly for Phase four is crucial for those aiming to lead the path to net zero. 


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