Pro-bono Carbon Assessment for Devon Air Ambulance

10th March 2022

Devon Air Ambulance Trust (“The Trust”) appointed us to establish their 2019 carbon footprint and to identify interventions to reduce the Trust’s future carbon emissions.

The Trust delivers critical and emergency care by air and land across Devon, completing around 2,000 missions per year. The Trust are aware of the impact their services have on the environment, leading them to endorse Devon’s Climate Emergency Declaration to achieve Net Zero by 2050 and reduce carbon emissions by 45% by 2030. In addition, the Trust committed to research and quantify their carbon impact and develop a Climate Change Action Plan.

The work assessed the Trust’s Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions sources across its operations for 2019 – the Trust’s most recent ‘typical’ year. These include a fleet of four helicopters, two critical care vehicles and 21 support fleet vehicles, a head office, two air bases and 19 charity shops.

This assessment found that the Trust’s owned vehicles had the largest carbon footprint, followed by employee commuting and electricity consumption. The assessment also included avoided emissions based on the purchase of second-hand shop items in the DAAT’s charity shops. Although these cannot be counted towards an organisation’s carbon footprint according to Greenhouse Gas Accounting standards and are largely based on assumptions, this analysis suggested that 2,500 tonnes of CO2e had been avoided through these sales.

Having established the primary sources of emissions, we were able to make recommendations for interventions to reduce carbon impact in a way that will allow the Trust to continue to carry out its important work. Key recommendations were switching to sustainable aviation fuel, electrifying its fleet of vehicles, reducing the emissions intensity of business travel and following sustainable procurement practices.

If all interventions were to be implemented, we calculated that the Trust would be able to reduce its carbon footprint from 1,072 tonnes to 739 tonnes of CO2e per year. The carbon assessment enables the Trust to inform its climate strategy and make carbon reductions whilst delivering life-saving services across Devon.

Debbie Fletcher, Director of Operations at Eunomia, said: “We were delighted to work with Devon Air Ambulance Trust to deliver their carbon assessment. The Trust has shown real ambition in its targets and the desire to underpin these with a robust climate strategy, all while continuing to deliver critical services saving lives across Devon.

The climate emergency requires all parts of society, both organisations and individuals, to play their part, and we were happy to use Eunomia’s pro-bono fund to deliver this work to support the Trust to make their contribution to the UK’s pursuit of net zero.”

Jonathan Osmond, Head of Facilities at Devon Air Ambulance Trust, said: “The Eunomia report findings have helped us to identify several interventions and potential implementations that will support Devon Air Ambulance in reducing our carbon emissions through measuring, monitoring and adapting our processes. 

The report will inform our strategy to minimise our environmental impact without negatively impacting our service.”

Featured image: Devon Air Ambulance Trust