Sustainability Question.

STATES: How long would you estimate for Guernsey to become net zero and what is the states doing to achieve this. How close is Guernsey to reaching no carbon emissions by 2030? Are you actually doing anything about it?

Lindsay de Sausmarez - Election 2020 Guernsey

Lindsay De Sausmarez – Deputy

The honest answer is we don’t yet know but we want to get there as quickly as possible. But also, we want to do it properly.  The cheats way of doing it is to say, Well, OK we have done a bit of this and we have tinkered around the edges and reduced our emissions by this much. What we will do is that we will just buy offsets to get to net zero.

We have a hierarchy in Environment and offsetting is right at the bottom of that order as it is the least meaningful way we can do it. We don’t think it is ethically right to say well actually we are just going to carry on as we were, and we will just buy our way out of it and put the problem onto other people. The honest answer is we don’t know when, but we know it has to be as soon as possible and we need to do it in a really meaningful way.


Deputy Sasha Kazantseva-Miller - States of GuernseySasha Kazantseva-Miller – Deputy

I think that what is interesting is that one of targets is to reduce your emissions by at least 50% on 1990 levels by 2030. Because we plug our electricity into the French national grid, which is largely nuclear and a bit of hydro etc., we are already on track to be below the 50% reduction based on the 1990 levels ,but we have to go further so we shouldn’t rest on our laurels and say oh well we are doing so well so we don’t need to worry.


BUSINESS: What is your business actively doing to promote sustainability?


Guernsey ElectricityAlex Herschel – Guernsey Electricity

First of all, following on from Lindsay and Sasha about what we are doing as an island, I work for Guernsey electricity and I think absolutely part of the journey is in terms of the cable and the energy we are bringing across our grid. The other key thing is a saying about what really hits home and that is it is not just doing good; it is being good. So, us importing renewable electricity is very, very important and it makes a big difference as it helps push the energy market towards renewables. Also, as a business we need to be doing good as well and that is why we need to have a look at how we are operating and how we are reducing our carbon emissions. We have set up a low carbon working group to understand what our operational footprint is and then to understand what is happening along our supply chain. This really ties in with some of the presentations and projects you have done, which is you looking across your supply chain in terms of your food waste and your life cycles in terms of your packaging. We have got to do that as businesses as well. That’s the difference between doing good and being good. It is very easy to offset, it’s very easy to get involved in corporate responsibility when we pay some money to do something that looks good. But actually, we need to look at ourselves and that is very much why the Guernsey Green Forum has formed because we recognise that we need to do that as a business. Going back to the march that you did, I cannot emphasise enough the difference it makes when you get up and you speak. It gives me goosebumps. If you don’t think that you are being listened to, well you are – they may not be getting back and actually speaking to you, but they are speaking about it behind those closed doors, so keep doing it.


Kenny McDonald, head of retail operations for the Co-op, with some of the Channel Island-grown produce which it is selling loose in its Grand Marche stores. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 25288768)Kenny McDonald – Co-op

I guess for me then, doing the right thing is obviously key for the organisation. The last number of years we have been actively involved in keeping Guernsey green. We are the first major business to sign up and do that. We have taken steps to reduce food waste. I was interested in the presentations today. I won’t lie to you, that’s a commercial solution and I don’t think we should be ashamed that businesses will drive sustainability measures which will also drive commercial benefits. The Green Forum is an extension of that for us to continue the work and more recently we have restructured the business and take sustainability seriously. We have now got a senior member of our leadership team appointed in a sustainability and community role. This role is new and created this year and that has been driven by members of our board because we recognise that we have to be serious about this. We have to not invest orphan resources and support the behaviours we are trying to get our customers and members to support us with. It’s a huge part of what we do as we are a community organisation. It is the environment which we live in and support and we work towards common goals.



Glen Tonks – Credit Suisse

First of all, I really enjoyed the presentations today. I work for a large corporate bank and we take this really seriously. The last time we checked there was only one planet. As much as I have got ambitions to go to Mars one day, there is only have one planet to protect. As a global bank, we have an important role within the community. To emphasize that we take this seriously, at the very top of our bank we have created a role, my global boss is a Chief lieutenant whose focus is on environmental sustainability. We are one of the only large global banks who have that role on their board. It’s the fastest growing piece of our bank in terms of workforce and various other things that we are doing, so that signals the importance we are taking towards this. In terms of measurable goals we have set ourselves, we are looking at our global operations and in four years we are on track for all the electricity that we consume to be from renewable sources. As an institution over the next 10 years, we are going to land in the region of half a trillion dollars to companies to help them move towards more sustainable practices. I think banks have been a bit slow towards adopting this but are vastly coming on board now.