BP joins NGOs to help drivers neutralise carbon emissions

Posted: 5 September 2006

UK drivers can now neutralise the CO2 emissions caused by their driving through targetneutral, a non-profit making partnership initiative from the oil company BP.

Road transport accounts for 22 per cent of UK CO2 emissions. The scheme, available at www.targetneutral.com, enables drivers to take direct action to reduce their individual impact on climate change by funding CO2 reductions generated from environmental projects.

Targetneutral allows a driver to calculate the cost of the annual CO2 reduction required to make their vehicle CO2 neutral. An average car, driven 10,000 miles in a year, generates approximately four tonnes of CO2. To neutralise this amount of carbon emissions via www.targetneutral.com will cost around £20 a year.

Neutralise the CO2 impact of your driving Your driving emits CO2 into the atmosphere

Support projects which reduce CO2 emissions Calculate your exact emissions with targetneutral

Four tonnes is the equivalent of filling a medium sized hot air balloon with pure CO2. A huge amount of CO2 could be neutralised if all 40 million drivers in the UK signed up to targetneutral.

Advisory panel

The scheme has been developed in consultation with leading NGOs and will be advised and monitored by an independent Advisory and Assurance Panel chaired by Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director of Forum for the Future.

The Panel comprises Professor David Begg, Chairman of Tube Lines; Rita Clifton, Chairman of Interbrand; Steve Koonin, BP's Chief Scientist; Peter Mather, BP's Head of Country, UK; Ed Mayo, CEO National Consumer Council; Charles Secrett, Independent Advisor and former Director Friends of the Earth; Tim Smit, CEO The Eden Project; Professor Kathy Sykes, Professor of Public Engagement in Science & Engineering, Bristol University.

Peter Mather, BP's Head of Country, UK said: "targetneutral is a practical and straightforward step that BP is taking to enable drivers to help the environment. BP is taking the lead because our extensive research shows that there is a huge consumer demand for such a scheme, but a general feeling from customers that they 'don't know where to start'."

Jonathon Porritt, Founder Director, Forum for the Future and Chairman of the targetneutral Advisory and Assurance Panel said: "The scientific consensus on climate change is overwhelming: we need to take radical action now if we are to avoid catastrophic consequences. We all have a responsibility to take up that challenge in our own lives, at home, work or as motorists. For this reason, Forum for the Future is very supportive of what BP is doing through targetneutral. The scheme should help raise awareness of the links between driving and climate change. Helping everyone get more 'carbon literate' is something that all oil companies will need to commit to in the very near future".

BP has initiated targetneutral, providing all set-up funding and will meet all ongoing running costs.

All targetneutral members' money, apart from VAT and payment transaction costs, buys CO2 emission reductions via the purchase of carbon credits. BP takes nothing from the scheme members' contribution. BP will make a direct contribution to targetneutral when motorists who are signed up to the scheme register and use their Nectar Card when they buy fuel at a BP forecourt. The BP contribution is calculated per litre and is up to 10p per tank for regular fuels and up to 20p per tank for lower CO2-emitting BP Ultimate fuels. BP has 1 million customers per day in the UK.

The money generated by targetneutral goes to a portfolio of CO2 reduction projects including alternative and renewable energy. Replacing traditional energy production methods with low CO2 emitting alternatives, is one way CO2 reductions are achieved. Initially there are five projects including a biomass energy plant in Himachal Pradesh; a wind farm in Karnataka, India and an animal waste management and methane capture program in Mexico. As targetneutral grows, more projects will be added.

Strict procedures are followed to ensure the projects' integrity. These are modelled on those created by the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) for emissions reduction projects developed under the Kyoto Protocol. All project activity is overseen by the targetneutral Advisory and Assurance Panel.

Source: CarbonFree weekly newsletter. To subscribe email