IBM Consulting with Energy Systems Catapult

Sustainability Award

UK Local Authorities (LAs) currently face unprecedented pressure related to cost of living and cost of energy issues.

With over 80% of LA’s in the UK now declaring a climate emergency while having influence over 82% of the UK’s carbon emissions, the challenge to deliver change falls predominantly on small energy teams, or even one person for the LA and their communities.

The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and Innovate UK funded the Energy Systems Catapult (ESC) to develop a solution that was a ‘One Stop Shop’ platform to help local authorities turn net zero ambition into action.

Besides the limited resources and funding available to the Energy Systems Catapult, there were two fundamental challenges from the outset for this project, the ambitious scope and the urgency of the situation that drove incredibly tight timelines.

ESC wanted to bring the platform into service very quickly and deliver an extensive set of capabilities. To meet their aspirations and bringing an overt passion for the project and its sustainability agenda, IBM challenged their entire approach. Through a series of highly collaborative workshops and leveraging IBM’s thought leadership, experience, and expertise the Energy Systems Catapult successfully pivoted their strategy.

Within 20 weeks of first engaging IBM Consulting, through IBM’s authentic and collaborative approach, and expert project management and technical expertise, the highly complex and diverse requirements of 2600+ stakeholders was translated into a live, low cost, ‘configured not coded’ platform that is accelerating the UK’s journey to Net Zero.

Gordon Graham, Head of the Programme at Energy Systems Catapult said “To reach net zero, the UK needs to speed up what we are doing, learn from what has been done and help those at the forefront of the sustainability agenda by putting the information, knowledge, expertise, and tools into their hands so that we can do more, faster and more effectively. The IBM Consulting team showed us they understood this from the very beginning…..the understanding of the problem and our mission with the commitment to support us in getting there really helped us get through a very busy and challenging project together”.

Net Zero Go is a single place for Local Authorities and their partners to find and share, seek funding for, collaborate on, plan, manage and deliver local energy projects. It is a powerful, user-friendly platform to implement decarbonisation strategies and develop successful, locally focused zero-carbon projects, taking initiatives from a standing start to operational and beyond.

Since it’s official launch in March 2022, Net Zero Go is proving valuable for users and continues to be a vital asset for the goal of achieving net zero by 2050. In one year, half of all UK Local Authorities have registered on the platform and it has enabled hundreds of new low carbon projects get underway.

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