Case Study – RCPSG Net Zero Strategy Support


The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow (RCPSG) is a medical professional association. They are dedicated to improving patient care worldwide, and as part of that, have spoken up about the negative health impacts of the climate emergency (most recently by co-signing the UK Health Alliance’s call for Net Zero commitments in the Health and Care Bill.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow Logo


RCPSG asked us to work with them to develop their Net Zero Strategy, which involved establishing their first carbon baseline. Net Zero is at the core of their work as they are very aware of the health impacts caused by increasing pollution levels, water shortages, extreme weather phenomena  and other impacts of climate change. This project included us supporting them in identifying opportunities to reduce their current carbon baseline to then build an informed Net Zero strategy and roadmap. Importantly, their team on this project included people from all different departments of the company, ensuring that a wide range of knowledge and ideas were used.

Climate change and its impact on people’s health is a critical strategic challenge for our College global membership of 15,200 healthcare professionals across 93 countries worldwide. It was imperative we addressed our own business carbon footprint as part of this challenge.

Dr Steve Graham, Chief Executive Officer, RCPSG


The aim of this project was to leave RCPSG with a framework to take forward that will help them implement changes and reach Net Zero by 2045; in a lot of ways, our support therefore was focused on setting up tools and supporting the client project team in building up their knowledge internally. The first step of the journey to Net Zero involves being clear on where you currently are, and where you are aiming to go. For us, this means having workshops with the project team to clarify the practical details of what Net Zero means and discuss realistic ideas to cut current emissions. 

Following our Net Zero briefing and scoping workshops, our conversations focused on identifying data needed for us to build an estimated carbon baseline in stage 3 of the project.

  • To get a better idea of the current emissions, we conducted extensive site energy reviews at their two offices in Glasgow. In addition to offices, the sites also have large event spaces and training laboratories for medical professionals. As the two sites are in traditional old buildings which have listed status, the energy opportunities we recommended such as glazing and insulation had to take into account these aspects and the limitations on permitted alterations. We conducted detailed analyses of the sites’ energy consumption. 
  • We worked with their team to design a staff commuting survey, as commuting was an emission category they wished to know their carbon impact in. Commuting may not be a significant impact of all emissions, it is an area where everyone can make an impact and potentially improve wellbeing through active travel choices.
  • Finally, we expanded the data taken into account to include RCPSG’s investment portfolio. We established assessment methods to conduct an analysis of their investment portfolio and conducted research to identify the best methods for quantifying carbon emissions from investments.

Once we had collected all of the data and could provide context and information to the project team, we ran training and interactive workshops for staff to establish the organisation’s Net Zero pathway and strategy. This involved collaboration with staff at all levels of the organisation from board members and directors to section managers and facilities staff. 


We like to let our clients speak for themselves:

“Paul Adderley and the Beyond Green team undertook a detailed survey and analysis of our College carbon footprint across all aspects of our business model from July to September 2021.  This project work was broken down across 5 phases and involved 38 days support in the 3 month period.

Paul, his team and the supportive approach they undertook with our teams across the College allowed us to create a detailed analysis of our carbon footprint and to identify options and recommendations to reduce our carbon emissions by 40% by 2030 and to achieve carbon net zero status by 2045.   This policy was adopted and approved by our College Council in October 2021.  This could only have been achieved by the evidenced based approach that Paul and his team undertook with us and to develop our strategic options going forward.  An exemplary piece of strategic work, representing excellent value for money for which we are enormously grateful to Paul and his team at Beyond Green.” Dr Steve Graham, Chief Executive Officer, RCPSG