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Net zero risk register

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1. Net zero by 2030 is too ambitious

Risk Title and Description

Target to reduce City Council carbon emissions to ‘net zero’ by 2030.

Service: Net Zero & Business

Date identified: 13 June 2022

Owner: Net Zero Project Manager

Target implementation date: 2030

Potential Causes:

  • Ineffective data monitoring & methodology
  • Change in Corporate Priorities
  • Lack of understanding of carbon emergency and net zero ambition
  • Officers unwilling or with no capacity to engage or make changes to their service
  • Lack of technological advancement and financial barriers
  • Growth in activity levels increasing scope 3 emissions
  • Buying of building new buildings/property

Potential Impacts:

  • Not achieving Corporate Priority
  • Reputational risk and damage
  • Carbon emissions not decreasing
  • Services being under the spotlight as high carbon emitters
  • Reliance on offsetting
  • High spend to achieve aggressive carbon reduction methods
  • Lack of funds to reduce carbon emissions


Existing Mitigations & Control

What has been done to control the risk?

  • Establishment of Net Zero Team
  • Regular engagement with relevant Directors on changes needed to reduce service carbon emissions
  • Engagement with Centre for Energy and Environment to establish improved data and changes required to reduce carbon emissions and production of Corporate Carbon Footprint
  • Engage with the Devon Climate Emergency team
  • Network to learn from best practice with industry and other public organisations
  • Net Zero Ambassadors meet on regular basis to share best practice and support service changes
  • Carbon Literacy training roll out programme in place delivering training to Net Zero Ambassadors, SMB, OMB, Cllrs and other officers, Carbon Literate Organisation Bronze standard achieved
  • Monitoring legislative changes to support a reduction in carbon emissions
  • Regular 1-2-1's with Portfolio Holder for Climate and Ecological Crisis
  • Be open and transparent with all Net Zero Ambassadors, Officers, Service Areas and Cllrs
  • News items regularly posted in City Newsletter and website
  • Dissemination of the Water Lane Smart Grid and Storage Project


Further Mitigations & Controls to be put into place

  • Review targets and continue to update and revise carbon reduction plan
  • Continue to deliver regular updates and presentations to Audit & Governance on the Risk Register, Carbon Footprint and implementing of the City Council Carbon Reduction Plan
  • Contracts of Net Zero Data Support Officer and Sustainability Project Officer will end in March 2026. Contracts need to be extended, or this will result in failure to deliver the Carbon Reduction Plan and meet Net Zero targets
  • Net Zero Ambassadors to be involved with setting annual action plan and to be allocated budget to reduce carbon emissions within service area
  • Be open and transparent with all Net Zero Ambassadors, Officers, Service Areas and Cllrs



Be open and transparent with all Net Zero Ambassadors, Officers, Service Areas, and Councillors.


Risk scores

Inherent risk
Risk Score
Likelihood 4
Impact 4
Risk score 16


Residual risk
Risk Score
Likelihood 3
Impact 4
Risk score 12


Risk scores explained