Carbon Trust Guides Businesses on Low-carbon Investing

The Carbon Trust, an independent company set up by the United Kingdom in 2001 to help develop a low-carbon economy, has developed a how-to guide to help facilities managers, works engineers, and environmental managers make an effective business case for investment in low-carbon projects.

The guide, "Making the Business Case for a Carbon Reduction Project," is based on research conducted among senior executives who have provided valuable insight into what decision makers are looking for when considering whether to invest in a project.

Developed in response to requests for further advice and support, the guide covers the process of securing investment from start to finish and logically works through the steps of gathering data and evidence, building the case (including considerations of finance and risk), drafting the proposal, presenting it, and then maintaining momentum.

Hugh Jones, director of Solutions, Carbon Trust said: "For any business there is a finite pool of resource, and the first priority for any investment will be to drive the business forward. It is therefore vital for managers to be able to make a compelling and robust business case for their low-carbon project which stacks up against other business priorities and which clearly articulates the ROI."

The guide highlights the common mistakes made when presenting a business case including using unexplained jargon or unambiguous terms, failing to identify and deal with risk factors, not using the appropriate financial appraisal methods, and not giving a single clear recommendation.

The guide was launched alongside a new online resource that helps a business through each step of planning a project.

Areas covered are:

Defining your needs — Once a potential project has been identified use the new 'How to Implement' guides to define a solution in further detail before approaching potential suppliers.

Developing the Business Case — Learn how to prepare a business case to justify your project to senior management and secure the financial and other resources required using the new publication, online financial planning tool and suggested proposal structure.

Procurement — Once a project has been signed off what questions should a potential supplier be asked in terms of their qualifications and expertise?

Produce Specification — How to agree a specification with a supplier that clearly defines the requirements and the objectives of a project.

To investigate the new project planning resource centre, visit www.carbontrust.co.uk/projectplanningtool.

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