National Grid, a gas and electric company serving Great Britain and the northeastern U.S., has set a greenhouse gas emission goal for 2020 and will begin integrating carbon into its budgets and other business operations.

The company announced the interim goal of cutting its emissions 45 percent by 2020 (compared to 1990) at the same time it called for collaboration among U.K. government, industry and customers to develop a U.K. master plan for reducing emissions and building a low-carbon economy.

National Grid has already cut emissions 30 percent from 1990 levels and plans to increase that to 80 percent by 2050, matching the U.K.'s plans to cut country-wide emissions 80 percent by 2050 compared to 1990. National Grid's announcements come at the end of a 12-month effort to compile an emissions inventory, leaving the company with a detailed look at the emissions from each part of its operations.

Starting April 1, National Grid will start implementing carbon budgets for all business units, use compliance with those budgets to determine managerial performance, and start factoring in the shadow price of carbon (£27.60, or about $40, per metric ton) into future decisions about facilities, vehicle fleets, new investments and the design, construction and maintenance of its energy networks.

National Grid estimates it will emit 11.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent next financial year, and is targeting to bring that down to 9.6 million metric tons by 2020. The company emitted 17.4 million metric tons in 1990.

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