Decarbonisation of your estate

On the 15 June 2023 CIPFA Property hosted a webinar on Decarbonisation of your estate with a range of speakers covering business case preparation, starting the journey, risk, insurance and funding together with a practical case study.

Due to the popularity of the event we are planning to run it again later this year.


The Climate Emergency may not be as prominent in the news lately, what with the war in Ukraine which has highlighted the UK’s vulnerability to, and dependence upon, fossil fuels. Add to this, higher energy prices, double digit inflation and a materials supply backlog and we have all the ingredients for the biggest cost of living crisis for decades at a time when the UK is one of the slowest growing economies in the G7.

Most councils and public sector organisations have declared climate emergencies and have set challenging targets to become net-zero carbon. There is now an expectation by our leaders that we can deliver the practical changes necessary to achieve net-zero carbon status, starting with our own public sector estates. But, given the bewildering array of regulations, terminology, metrics, and potential solutions, developing a coherent ESG strategy can be challenging even for the most enthusiastic and committed public sector organizations. And then there is the question of funding and resources.

Overview of the webinar

This event offered a range of options to help you measure and monitor carbon emissions and decarbonize your buildings to achieve your ESG goals, illustrated by a number of case studies.

Session 1 – Was an Introduction to Decarbonisation

This session will introduce you to the topic of decarbonizing your property estate and will introduce the concepts and terminology used in assessing decarbonisation and to differentiate decarbonisation from sustainability.

Session 2 – Preparing a Business Case to Support Funding Bids and Deliver Your Decarbonisation Programme

This session considered key features of the Treasury Green Book guidance on preparing business cases and its importance to supporting funding bids. This session helped you to recognize the read-across from business case questions, good fiscal management questions and grant application questions.

Session 3 – How to Measure and Reduce Carbon in the Built Environment

This session considered frameworks to implement the decarbonisation of your estate by reducing embodied carbon; increasing energy efficiency; increasing renewable energy on-site; maximizing off-site renewable energy procurement and offsetting remaining carbon. Fundamental to achieving these goals is the measurement and monitoring of the various sources of carbon.

Session 4 – Meeting Carbon Reduction Targets: A Case Study

With many organizations declaring climate emergencies and setting ambitious targets for achieving net zero, our presenter from Suffolk County Council detailed their approach to decarbonisation and meeting their organization’s carbon reduction targets.

Session 5 - Climate Change and Asset Management: what are the Opportunities and Risks?

The presenter from Zurich set out the opportunities and risks for the public sector from the ongoing climate emergency post COP 26. Can we afford to invest in decarbonisation programmes for our estates or can we afford not to?

Session 6 – Funding Decarbonisation – Case Studies

How do you fund your decarbonisation programmes? Even the PSDS funding programme will require you to contribute “like for like” costs. We will explore some case studies from councils who have raised the funds through local climate bonds to deliver their initiatives and hear more about the Green Finance Institute.


The online seminar was very well attended by delegates across the public sector who went away with a greater understanding of the issues and opportunities for their own organisation.

Due to its popularity CIPFA property will be delivering the online seminar again later this year.